Is Intimidation Causing Your Low Self-Esteem?

Intimidation can drastically lower self-esteem because it spreads the message the you deserve to be taken advantage of and/or treated with less respect than you deserve. Our natural inclination to believe what people say about us makes you internalize that message, so that you start intimidating yourself. If you have low self-esteem, you may want to ask yourself, “Who’s been intimidating me in my life?”

Some forms of intimidation are obvious, but others are not, which may make it hard to heal your low self-esteem if you haven’t looked in this direction yet. For many people, especially youth and women, intimidation from parents and other authority figures plays a huge role in their self-esteem - but because they’re parents (constantly there, or used to be), we overlook their influence. A very common form of intimidation in families is guilt or shame, where the child is treated as inferior when they diverge from parental values - a young woman may be ostracized in her family if her religious views differ from her Fundamentalist parents, etc. Intimidation is then disguised as “moral education” and/or “parenting.”

Other forms of intimidation are:

  • Using force to get what you want from others
  • Threatening to or using power and control to get others to do what you want
  • Getting others to believe they are less powerful than you
  • Threatening others with your size or strength to get them to do what you want
  • Holding punishments over their head, such as being fired, spanking or divorce
  • Being quick-tempered, angry or getting into a rage with someone to get them to do what you want
  • Behaving in a way that has others frightened to step up to you
  • Using your wealth to get others to do what you want
  • Using racial or sexual slurs to diminish others

It’s no coincidence that low self-esteem is common to most abuse victims - intimidation is definitely a form of abuse, and it has to be addressed as such. The effects of intimidation will not stop until the person is confronted (“You are being abusive to me”) or the situation called out (“They used to do this to me, and I need to recognize that as abusive”). By naming the situation, you can begin to overcome it - this may sound optimistic, but it is very true for intimidation, which works because the victim believes it is normal and right treatment.

If you are the one being intimidated, the first step to healing from this is to recognize the behavior. Now you can begin to stop and think, “Am I letting this person intimidate me? Am I once again giving up something I want for what they want instead?” Once you realize this, you can begin to discover what you want, and how you’re going to achieve it. Need more support or ideas about growing your self-esteem? Here you can find more

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora is a well-known coach, conflict solver and trainer, and CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Sign up for free, here on her blog, to be connected to her creative conflict solutions, positive suggestions and life-changing coaching sessions, along with blog updates, news, and more! We can begin by you having a complimentary consultation with Dr. Nora. Visit her at her website today to talk with Dr. Nora and receive a plan for action to change your life. She's ready to help!

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