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They might be used to getting their way and have strong personalities, she said.

“[T]hey may not see that their behavior creates emotional distancing in their relationships — unless someone speaks up.”So how do you speak up? According to Farris, let the person “talk — but not dominate — the conversation, and validate what you hear.” For instance, you might say: “I can see how you feel that way,” or “What I hear you saying is …” If they feel heard, they might relax a bit, she said.

You’ll have to decide if acting like an idiot is going to be worth it.

And even if you decide it is worth it, you must realize tall people won’t fear you.

Below, Farris, owner of Counseling Recovery in San Jose, Calif., shared five helpful ways. (Because all of us, no matter our differences, just want to feel heard.) 2. If you’re dealing with someone with a strong personality, they might keep pushing if you’re backing down, Farris said.


Well, his nose to my sternum.“What’s your problem, big man? You trying to prove some point, walking like you’re gonna cut me off? As far as I know, there’s no general solution you can take advantage of to seem permanently intimidating to tall people.

In the previous piece about being assertive with people who intimidate you, we talked about clarifying your values, starting small and shifting your thinking about the intimidating person.

That is, we can change our perception of the person, so we no longer feel intimidated by them. Today, we’re talking about other tools you can use.

When we’re truly assertive, “we focus only on ourselves without making the other person wrong,” Farris said. This is different from starting sentences with “you,” which can put people on the defensive. She shared these examples of statements you can say: 3. Farris suggested applying this saying in 12-step programs to your situation: “You didn’t cause it, you can’t control and you can’t cure it.” That is, what the other person is saying or doing isn’t about you.


When you realize this, it makes it easier to be assertive.4.

How do short people seem intimidating to taller people? This tiny, angry little gangbanger kid flings the driver’s door open, launches himself out of the car with his birdy little chest all puffed out, and storms right up to me, nose to nose. Then he specifically said, “You think I’m scared of you just because you’re tall? But I really hoped it wouldn’t come to that, because crazy people do crazy things. So the lesson to learn from this is, if you are short and you want tall people to be intimidated by you, you’re going to have to be willing to act like an idiot.


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