NVC Question #12


Explain to me why “intimidated” is not a proper feeling-word.


“Intimidated” isn’t an emotion—the word includes an interpretation of the situation. The emotion on its own would probably be fear, maybe anxiety, maybe some other mix. When you say “intimidated”, you’re also bringing up a story about the other person’s behavior, and I’d say there are also implications about intent. “I feel intimidated when you say that” seems much more likely to provoke defensiveness than “I feel scared when you say that”. Does that make sense?


Cool, thanks! Someone I am trying to get to know told me he feels intimidated by me and that never sat well with me, thus why I wanted to figure this out.

(Thanks to Dave Jackson for this particular question.)

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