The Intimidation of Others [10.24.2005]

Originally posted on MySpace on October 24, 2005:

I have been called a lot of things in life, but never have I been so confounded by one particular word that several key people have used to characterize me lately.

in-tim-i-dat-ing
1. To make timid; fill with fear 2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats

I was surprised the first and second time that someone said it. Defensive when it was used the third time. Angry over the fourth usage. And now… confused as ever when the fifth person said it to me this morning.

I always introduce myself to others and enjoy meeting new people. I engage in conversation. I crack corny jokes. I will shake the hand of someone who highly annoys me, and will gladly shake the hand of someone who I wish would just go play in traffic already. I just do not understand why anyone would ever describe me as such. I am a nice guy. I am an approachable person. I like people.

Obviously I questioned why I am so-called “intimidating” and the central reason why I am apparently “intimidating” owes blame to … my friends who are apparently an intimidating “clique.”

clique
1. an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose

According to the dictionary.com definition above, yes my friends and I have a specific purpose and one specific purpose only… to have fun. The word exclusive does not apply.

Maybe the incestuous nature of my circle of friends scares people off (i.e. we have all made out with one another at one drunken point in time for no reason except that we were drunk)? Perhaps it is all of the inside jokes that so prevalently dominate our conversations, but what good friends do not have their own inside jokes? Could it be the attention-grabbing antics that inevitably surface when out in public? Whatever the case, if I were standing on the other side of the fence… those reasons would not lead me to characterize anyone as “intimidating” or “exclusive.”

Maybe I am blind to my own flaw, but am I or the group of friends whom I surround myself with really “intimidating”?

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