How to talk to someone intimidating

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Before you open your mouth to speak, take a deep breath and silently say something reassuring to yourself on the exhale – like “It’s no big deal” or, “They’re just a person, like me”. Rehashing an embarrassing situation too many times keeps you from moving forward.

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Are you struggling to understand how your working relationship is mutually-beneficial?

You may be sensing that this person doesn’t need you as much as you need them, which puts this person in a perceived position of strength.

These are the bullies and cads who use aggression and coercion to get their own way, or do it just for ‘fun’.

Then there are people who don’t deliberately intimidate you and it’s for whatever reason, that feels intimidated.

Do you get nervous when you have to talk to someone intimidating - like your boss, or the handsome waiter taking your order? And she says doing this acts as a self-soothing mechanism that interrupts the fight-or-flight response, and helps switch your brain from emotional to rational mode so you can think more clearly.

Well, here’s how to calm your nerves, courtesy of Woman’s Day magazine. Also, if you know in advance that you’ll be meeting with someone who intimidates you, plan your opening sentence. And if you still wind up sounding less than articulate, don’t dwell on it.

You may feel intimidated if the person’s reputation precedes them.Think about your default response, as much as theirs.Consider what prejudices you bring to the table as much as what this person might bring.You’re quiet and don’t speak up to avoid being attacked. This person might even be a subordinate – somebody who works for you (believe me, this happens more than you might think.) You probably sense a lack of ‘parity’– that you don’t have the right to engage with this person at the same level. Or this person could be a colleague – someone who uses clever words and exerts personal power or expert power that you believe you can’t compete with.

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