Intimidating others may not be among your priorities but it comes in handy in some situations. Some people have naturally intimidating personalities, while others have a mild temperament and spirit. It is difficult for individuals with mild personalities to be intimidating when the need arises. That's when this article comes handy.

How to Be Intimidating


Use your body language techniques

Your body language communicates a certain attitude to those around you. Here is what you should do to appear intimidating:

  • Stand upright and lean forward a bit when talking to others. Such a posture makes you appear tall and confident. 

  • Command your space by taking as much space as possible when walking, sitting, or standing. Stand with your arms out and legs apart and walk with your arms open. Keep your arms and legs open and lean back when sitting.

  • If you are addressing a group of people, rest your hands on your hips while your arms remain open, away from your body. Such a posture conveys authority. 

  • Another intimidating posture is crossing your arms firmly on your chest when sitting, walking, or standing. But crossing your arms loosely on the lower part of your body conveys nervousness instead of authority.

  • Smiling shows that you are agreeable and friendly. So replace smile with scowl if you want to convey anger, disinterest, and aggression. People will fear talking to you with such an attitude.

  • Point fingers at others if you want to convey conviction and authority. It may seem rude and aggressive but it is a good way to be intimidating.


Pay attention to your appearance

You can learn how to be intimidating by appearing clean and well-groomed at all times, which will make you look confident and assertive. Grow a beard if you want to display assertiveness and masculinity. You should also dress better than those who you want to intimidate. Choose formal wear such as suits and formal dresses if you want to convey authority.


Control your facial expression

Your facial expressions convey your emotions. People know that you are happy when you smile, shocked when you gasp, and in disagreement when you frown. Maintain a neutral expression to limit the emotions you show. Practice how to maintain such an expression in situations that call for you to smile, frown, or laugh. Master the technique alone with a mirror or together with a friend.


Look directly into people’s eyes

You can intimidate people by maintaining direct eye contact. But some cultures consider direct eye contact as rude and disrespectful, so you have to be careful when applying this technique. Besides, rolling your eyes and glaring while talking to people will also intimidate others. But this can be interpreted as rude in some contexts, so use it with caution.


Be confident when talking to others

Learn to voice your opinions and face conflicts confidently. You do not have to agree with others all the time. Use “I” statements instead “you” statements to convey authority. Do not defend yourself when others criticize your opinion. Instead, use direct statements to emphasize your opinion. You can agree with others in principle but disagree with the details. Maintain your stand and state it repeatedly when necessary. Learn to say no to some requests.


Trash talk helps

How to be intimidating? Use trash talk or just criticize others which communicates confidence when used properly. You can use it directly or sarcastically. For example, you can try words like "I've finished 10 cases this month. What about you, Cal? 3?" But do limit your trash talks to one's abilities and not identity. Do not use offensive language such as racist or sexist talks.


Take advantage of a group

Ask a group of friends to walk with you especially when walking into new places. You look important and confident with an entourage behind you, which also makes you come off as a dominant figure. Your entourage can boast about your abilities and achievements to others. You can hire an entourage where necessary or ask your friends to idolize you when walking with you.


Stay calm and quiet

You can intimidate others with your composure and silence. Keep your talk direct, short, and snappy. Avoid any expression like blinking, gulping, and smiling while speaking. The other person will know that you are serious. Besides, you can even look disgusted and give orders without adding a word to them. One important rule is to never repeat yourself. The person should get it the first time. A timely violent act comes in handy at times but you don't need violence in most situations. Always stay composed and never flinch or show any emotion when speaking.


Size matters

A big size will definitely make you look intimidating. You can increase your size by going to the gym or practice some martial arts as well. You can always command attention with a black belt.  Bear in mind you cannot scare anyone with baggy pants and tight shirts, so always wear many layers if you are small. Your clothing should make you look solid.


Hide behind the curtain

How to be intimidating? Let people know of you without meeting you. Let them know you as the person on the other side of the line. Send people to handle your business on your behalf. You can also create an impression of the boss upstairs without allowing people to see your face. By the time you show up in person, the people you have been dealing with will esteem you highly.


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