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By working more with this person, you will learn about their default behaviors, and they will about you.In my experience, intimidating people become less intimidating the more we understand them and build a strong relationship with them. It is possible that this person has not deliberately set out to intimidate you, and does not sense that this is happening.A possible outcome is that this person will moderate their behavior to be less intimidating, and not just to you.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.These are the bullies and cads who use aggression and coercion to get their own way, or do it just for ‘fun’.
This person might be tall in stature, eliciting a ‘fight or flight’ response in you. Does this person use coarse language or aggressive words? Perhaps this person is a mystery to you – one moment they seem on side, and the next against you? This person could be your boss – someone with genuine positional power over you.Anything you do is scrutinized, challenged or faces disagreement.Intimidation is a default behavior – they put up a front. Sensing weakness, they press their ‘superiority’ to get the upper hand, because they haven’t yet seen the value you bring to them. If you’re sure that the intimidation is genuine and not just how you perceive the relationship, then you mustn’t accept it any longer. Before you go to HR with a grievance, tackle it head on by telling this person that you’re feeling intimidated, and give them a chance to moderate their behavior. If it continues, then you have a genuine case for approaching HR to mediate a solution.