At times, we are confronted by people who seek to intimidate us. This offensive behavior is most frequently a cover-up for their fear. Let us investigate why we play this role and how we can communicate with those who behave towards us in this way.
1. As intimidators we seek to control others by making them fear us. We keep them from requesting anything from us or controlling us in any way, by making them afraid to approach us. We do this by shouting, intimidating, accusing, threatening and perhaps even physical violence. We use other peopleΥs fear and self-doubt to control them.
2. When we are in this defensive state we believe that the others are always wrong and, if they do not start shaping up, we have every right to punish them. We are simultaneously the police, judge, jury and execution squad.
3. Another “advantage” of playing this role is that we never have to look at ourselves or change anything about ourselves, as “we are perfect” and the others are all wrong.
Now, some can combine the role of the victim and the intimidator and thus get the double benefit being right for two reasons. The misconception here is that whoever is the victim is right and whoever is angry is right.
Thus, in order to cope with the intimidators in our lives, we will need to overcome our fear. This fear has its basis in childhood when a shouting parent was a real threat for many reasons. First of all, there might be punishment and thus emotional or physical pain.
Secondly, all our security and survival were dependent on this person who was shouting and intimidating us.
Thirdly, if this person was shouting in such a belittling way, this must mean that we are wrong, evil, a bad child, and thus not worthy of love and respect.
Now, even as full grown adults, our subconscious reaction tends to be fear and self-doubt when someone shouts at or accuses or intimidates us. I have seen comic situations in which a small-sized woman intimidates a man twice her size with her threats.
I – message to an Intimidator
A possible communication with an intimidator might be the following.
“I need to discuss something with you. You know, there are times when I am afraid of you. When you raise your voice and threaten me, you stimulate old fears from my childhood years. When that happens, I back down from confrontation with you. I retreat from confrontation suppressing my needs and sometimes my values. When this happens I lose my self-respect, and feel injustice and then angry with you. My heart closes and my love for you diminishes. There are even times when I think of revenge.
“With the way you act, you may get what you want from me at that moment, but you lose my love and respect.
“I have decided to overcome my fear and be more honest with you. I am going to express my needs and values even when you shout or intimidate me. I would like to ask for your help with this effort.
“I am very interested in helping you fulfill your needs. I believe that we can both get what we want. I would like to ask you to express your needs without threatening me. Simply tell me what you need from me. I, in response, will also express my needs to you. I believe we can find solutions without my fearing you and retreating when you threaten me.
“How do you feel about this idea?”
In addition to this communication, we also need to understand why we are attracting such behavior.
1. Are we too intimidators Π where and with whom?
2. Do we fear intimidators and why?
3. Do we have a poor self-image, which allows them to behave in this way.
4. Is this a repetition of childhood experiences Π are we used to and expecting this kind of behavior?
5. Are we doing something that is annoying the other? (Playing the victim, interrogator or the aloof?)
6. Are we rejecting this person in some way?
7. Do we feel guilty about something and thus are attracting this behavior?
8. Are we ignoring the otherΥs needs in some way?
9. Do we need to work on our relationships with our parents Π because this issue has to do with them?
10. Do we need to learn to respect ourselves more and stand up in a loving but assertive way to this person?
11. Have we hurt this person in the past and thus perhaps need to ask forgiveness?
12. Are we suppressing Π controlling this person Π and they are seeking freedom in this way i.e. Adolescents.?
What is our lesson here?
Beliefs -affirmations which can free us from the control of Intimidators
1. I am safe and secure in every situation Π regardless of this personΥs behavior.
2. Nothing can ever happen to me, which is not exactly what I need for my spiritual growth.
3. This person is my teacher which life has placed before me.
4. The other is unhappy and afraid, or else he or she would not be acting in this way.
5. Behind his or her angry and threatening appearance hides a fearful and hurt child.
6. Life gives me exactly what I need at every moment so that I can learn my next lesson in my growth process.
7. This behavior is a reflection an indication of the otherΥs problem and not of my self-worth.
8. I help others see themselves and grow by lovingly but assertively standing up to them.
Basically we need to remember our own inner security and self-worth as well as to perceive behind the intimidatorΥs threats, his or her fear and self-doubt.
We will then be able to react with strength and loving assertiveness.