Shyness is misunderstood as aloofness all the time. As a sales professional that goes to a lot of networking events, I have been brushed more times than I can recall. As far as I am aware, I am still alive and well (and certainly more successful as a result of still going for it anyway). Like our values, the qualities that intimidate vary for everyone.
A friend of a friend of mine who appears standoffish confided in me one night at drinks he is shy and loves it when people interact with him. Well here is one universal truth, well put by Eleanor Roosevelt, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." And I don't need to meet you to know that there is nothing inferior about you, my friend.It is often a defense mechanism which helps them avoid having to form closer relationships.This way they feel safe from rejection and if people don’t warm to them they feel okay about it as they have controlled that situation by being intimidating. Jordan Belfort, the infamous Wolf of Wall Street, said in his memoir, "I'm insecure and humble, and I embarrass easily... If I had to choose between embarrassment and death, I'd choose death. I really found this to be true on three particular, separate occasions. The third occasion was when I volunteered my number to a cute stranger at a concert in Sydney in 2007. As a fan, something took over me and I introduced myself to him with little more than a smile, my name and some words of appreciation for his work. Kelsey stood up, asked me about myself, introduced me to his wife and thanked me sincerely from stopping by. She was very warm and chatty and shared her story with me as to how she got started in the culinary business. Most people -- including famous people -- are cool! Sometimes, if you make the first social move and say hello, you might be eradicating two people's nerves. You are giving power to your ego when you worry/overthink. Or as Arianna Huffington calls it, the "obnoxious roommate in your head... People appear intimidating purely due to the assumptions and thoughts we hold about them.Dealing with intimidating people becomes a lot easier when we manage our perceptions about them.The truth is that they often care deeply about what others think.So don’t buy into the image of intimidation – it’d not what is going on underneath for them- the part you don’t see, they part they hide.Everyone designs how they wish to come across but beneath that we all have vulnerabilities, insecurities and self doubt and this is no different for people with intimidating behaviour.When dealing with intimidating people, it is important to remember that they have a vulnerable side too.