How to not be intimidating
much more powerful than we think, and the key to our happiness is to consistently remember that fact. How often do we give away our power by allowing our insecurities to create insane stories in our mind about other people?I believe that in most cases, the feeling of intimidation has nothing to do with the person who intimidates us. How many people experience near-paralyzing fear and nervousness when they’re introduced to the CEO of their company (or any other high-profile person) because they believe that they’re not good enough to be communicating with her?
This vulnerability to feeling threatened has effects at many levels, ranging from individuals, couples, and families to schoolyards, organizations, and nations.Founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom and Affiliate of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.His work has been featured on the BBC, NPR, Fox Business, Magazine and he has several audio programs with Sounds True.This is a great way to pass on gene copies, but a lousy way to promote quality of life.So for starters, be mindful of the degree to which your brain is wired to make you afraid, wired so that you walk around with an ongoing trickle of anxiety (a flood for some) to keep you on alert.Additionally, you've got to hide from predators, steer clear of Alpha males and females looking for trouble, and not let other hunter-gatherer bands kill you: these are significant sticks.
But here's the key difference between carrots and sticks. Compared to carrots, sticks usually have more urgency and impact.
This mindfulness of both the inner workings of your brain and the outer mechanisms of fear-promotion can by itself make you less prone to needless fear.
Then you won't be so vulnerable to intimidation by apparent "tigers" that are in fact manageable, blown out of proportion, or made of paper-mache. D., is a neuropsychologist and author of (in 9 languages).
That’s why I talk about the dangers of living a fear-controlled life so often on this blog (like here, here and here for starters.)While that’s true, there’s one form of fear that I haven’t really addressed up until this point, and it actually might be the most common form of fear that exists. Or more specifically, Before I dive in, a quick disclaimer–I’m not a psychiatrist (obviously), so if you have a legitimate full-blown phobia of other people, then this blog post definitely isn’t for you.
But for everyone else who sometimes feels scared or intimidated by other people for whatever reason, take a minute to fully absorb this quote: I’m a 42-year old man, and I’m not embarrassed to share that it took me close to 35 years of my life to get this lesson burned into my consciousness.
Then, by bringing mindful awareness to how your brain reacts to feeling threatened, you can stimulate and therefore build up the neural substrates of a mind that has more calm, wisdom, and sense of inner strength - a mind that sees real threats more clearly, acts more effectively in dealing with them, and is less rattled or distracted by exaggerated, manageable, or false alarms.