Intimidating is defined as “having a frightening, overawing, or threatening effect.” Typically, though, it’s used to describe someone who is confident, capable, and assertive. But if you’re a woman, the term is often used against you as a synonym for bossy, or worse, bitchy. Perhaps that’s because it defines what it really takes to be a successful woman these days—having to speak louder, do more, and exist in a larger capacity than our male counterparts in order to be seen, heard, and understood.
After all, one of the hallmarks of being a strong woman is constantly being called intimidating. But is that such a bad thing? Here, some inspiring quotes from powerful women who came before you on what exactly it means to be intimidating—and why you should own it like all the mediocre men in your life do. Because at the end of the day, intimidation is caused by one’s perception of themselves in your presence, so consider it a compliment.
The Most Inspiring Intimidating Woman Quotes
“We realize the importance of our voices only when they are silenced.” –Malala Yousafzai
“After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backward and in high heels.” –Ann Richards
“A woman is like a tea bag — you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.” –Eleanor Roosevelt
“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half their inferior. Luckily, this is not difficult.” –Charlotte Whitton
“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” –Madeleine Albright
“I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” —Madonna
“Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you.” —Hillary Clinton
“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” —Mae Jemison
“Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” —Elizabeth Gilbert
“When anyone tells me I can’t do anything … I’m just not listening anymore.” –Florence Griffith Joyner
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” –Margaret Thatcher
“It’s not your job to like me, it’s mine.” –Byron Katie
“I don’t care what you think about me. I don’t think about you at all.” –Coco Chanel
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” —Helen Keller
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” —Rosa Parks
For more intimidating woman quotes, check out these excerpts on building confidence.
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