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We trade off being more likely to detect predators for being more likely to think someone may be a threat when they are actually not.
Here are some factors that may be running in the background when we think others are intimidating: 1.This can work both ways, such as when someone who is shy or socially anxious is viewed as thinking they are “too good,” are seen as believing they are superior to others.We misinterpret others’ true intentions all the time, relying on the evolutionarily hard-won ability to make snap judgments to survive, leading to vicious cycles of misunderstanding and miscommunication as our distorted assumptions become a social reality in the absence of corrective measures.When the entire culture is suffused with bias, it is hard to say who is intimidating and who is intimidated—and what is really going on may be exactly the opposite of what we think is happening.When we are taught to see others as a threat, as inferior, as resentful, our unconscious bias can be so deeply conditioned into us that we are hard-pressed to catch even a glimpse of ourselves in the proverbial mirror. The aftermath of using simplistic defenses — We can project our own intimidation onto others who are not actually intimidating.
Specifically, intimidation often serves to maintain power dynamics, keeping people in their places in the pecking order and maintaining the structure of society itself, to a significant extent by suppressing dissent and marginalizing dissenters.