Saturday, October 29, 2005

Shitty Descriptive Word of the Week


in·tim·i·date, .v. in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing, in·tim·i·dates

1. To make timid; fill with fear.
2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats.

Synonyms: intimidate, browbeat, bulldoze, cow, bully, bludgeon.

These verbs all mean to frighten into submission, compliance, or acquiescence. Intimidate implies the presence or operation of a fear-inspiring force.

Adj : discouraging through fear.

People often tell me I am "intimidating."

"Oh E. Spat, you're intimidating and that's why you have a hard time meeting men!"

"E. Spat, for what it's worth, your personality can be a little intimidating for people who might be not as outgoing and gregarious as yourself."

"E. Spat, you're intimidating, but it's just means you're a strong woman!"

I am so effing sick and tired of being told I'm intimidating. Am I loud? YES! Am I funny? YES! Do I have a strong personality? YES! Straightforward? YES! Don't take shit from too many people? YES! Say what I mean? YES! Intimidating? NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I do not discourage through fear, coerce, or threaten (unless you marry me first).

I know this seems really minor but it REALLY bothers me. Because, when people say I'm intimidating I think of the definitions above, and I take things to heart! I don't want to be a fear-mongering ogre that everyone runs from when they seem me coming. And, seriously, no less than 10 people have described me as intimidating in the past month or so...including my boss yesterday. I *know* that these people don't necessarily mean anything horrible by it, but are mostly trying to say "you have a very strong personality," but it really, really hurts my feelings and I dwell on it. I think most of the people who know me would say that I can be loud (most of the time), obnoxious (hopefully only some of the time), and that I have sort of a larger than life personality. I like to be the class clown. I like to tell funny stories to entertain people. I like to live my life as vividly as possible. And, you know, I'm nearly 31 years old (God help me) and I spent four years as a military officer and I grew up in a certain way and so, no, I don't generally couch everything I say in a nest of a platitudes, but I don't think that makes me someone who frightens others into compliance and submission!

Anyway. Rant over I guess. This has really been bothering me.
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