Are You a Threatening Person?

Has anyone ever told you that you might be considered to be threatening?   I’ve recently had a few different people tell me this recently abut myself, that they believed someone I was dealing with felt “threatened” by me.   I’ve also had this said to me at a couple of other points in the past, once in a work situation, and once when it came to some girl a guy friend of mine had started dating.

And I ask you because, I don’t typically consider myself to be the threatening type.  I happen to be pretty welcoming and friendly, and particularly non-confrontational.   But, as I was having this conversation with a friend of mine, and we were also discussing her school-aged daughter, I said to her, that sometimes I think the bullies in school pick on the “nerds” or the smarter kids because perhaps they feel threatened by them.  Those kids who get the approval from their teachers and their parents, while the kids who have a more difficult time keeping up maybe feel the need to get what they perceive to be positive attention in other ways, by picking on others/making themselves popular/getting kids on “their side”.   Can you tell I wasn’t the popular kid growing up?   But, is it possible that as I was growing up, and feeling so threatened by the bullies and popular kids myself, to the point where I missed nearly half a year of school during some grades, that maybe those kids felt threatened as well?

Obviously there were reasons for my “sick days” that my parents never addressed.   I felt threatened during elementary school and by the time I’d reached Jr. High I was just plain bored.  So as I now have friends who tell me their child is often complaining about being sick when they are not, or have kids who say they just don’t like school, I ask them if they have figured out why yet.  Because I do feel that children have an inherent interest in learning.   They may not have an interest in learning all that they are being taught, but children typically want to learn.  There are just so many reasons why they may not like school, and I feel it’s our responsibility as parents to figure out why.   Are they dyslexic, what’s their learning style (I learn much better visually and by application), is what they are learning too advanced/not advanced enough, are they being picked on?  These are just questions and topics that I’ve seen come up among friends and neighbors, I know there’s more.

But, maybe we all feel threatened and need to understand that in others.   I myself should be more understanding of this, and most of all I want to be understanding of this in the toddler, so that I can help him to get through those times.

Until next time,

Lorelei

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4 Responses

  1. Hi there,
    I am writing to tell you that I have also known the uglyness of people telling me that I am intimidating. But after much prayer, and a lot of soul searching I think I may be able to shed a bit of light on the issue.

    I have found that people are not always able to cope with others being stronger, wiser, more confident or more skilled than they are. At the heart of the issue is insecurity- Others feel insecure at our strengths and rather than learning to build upon the differences they choose to call out the differences because it exposes their shortcommings. This logic defies everything that scripture teaches, and everything that I have come to know is good team building behavior. One of the greatest gifts God gave us is diversity – because you excel at one field, and I at another. Accepting the differences should be the common theme. Insecurity can become very politically charged in the work place, limiting people from growth, or development too. So it is a delicate dance of learning to use the skills and personality God gave without raising levels of discomfort in others. So honestly, I still wrestle with this issue daily and God knows my struggles to figure it out.

    A second factor just might be actual personality type. There is a test that I was put through in grad school called the “Myers Briggs Personality Test” – the test samples your thought process regarding life by asking questions like – do you internalize or verbalize problems? do you see the big picture, or are you detail oriented? Do you like to think through something or just feel them out. Based on your answers a personality type is assigned. And knowing that some people are just wired differently seems to reduce misunderstandings.

    For example, I can always tell when my husband is working through a big decision because he hides away at the computer, and there is very little discussion until he has a final thought and has made his mind up. I on the other hand give him “every draft” of my thought process, and find it necessary to talk through until a decision is rendered. We are opposite on personality types in this regard. this may help to filter thoughts and understand why others are responding differently.
    Apart from that, pray. don;t stop praying and seeking God’s insight into the matter. Whatever happens, let God lead, and be a blessing.

    • Thanks so much! I think the situation has taken care of itself, but I think as I start to hear stories of my friends’ children and their school experiences, it started to put things in perspective for me. Because even as adults, those who we may perceive to be bullies might likewise perceive us as a threat. At least maybe in our children we can teach them to recognize this and build in them early the discernment to deal with these situations. As my father-in-law tells me, God allows everything to happen for a reason.

      And, I can certainly relate to having a different personality type to my husband! We actually had to take a temperament test as part of pre-marriage counseling through our church and had someone explain to us the results, which was extremely interesting.

  2. What I find interesting is that the strength we demonstrate often does not come from ourselves, but from God.

    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

    But I do think that our personalities can be a part of it. I don’t know if I’ve been described by threatening, but by simply being a Christian, a SAHM, and a dietitian, that gives enough reasons for people to feel intimidated, lol!

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