How to Intimidate People

It started in the playground, where that sweaty bully dished out bad insults and made you feel like a putz. Years later, you’re still being intimidated: on the street at night, in job interviews, at pickup basketball games, when someone says something nasty to you in the bar—in all these situations you’re stuck being the victim rather than the aggressor, the one who has to back down while your tormentor grins that shit-eating grin at you. Don’t you wish there was a way to shut him or her up, to force that clown into a humiliating retreat? Not by throwing a punch, of course, since that could end with you in a jail cell or badly beaten or both. You’re going to win this fight without it ever becoming a fight.

The problem is, not everybody has a natural knack for intimidation. Practice makes perfect, but since firsthand research in this field can be slightly hazardous, I thought I’d get some pointers from a group of individuals who are skilled in getting the bullies of life to back the fuck off.

VICE does not advocate the use of violence or illegal activity, nor do we advise you to put yourself into a position of danger.

Click through below to read intimidation tips from:

Nebraska same-sex couple's rainbow flag burnt in their front yard

The same week that we’re celebrating progress for families in Nebraska, a same-sex couple in Omaha are dealing with the aftermath of a hateful, terrifying act that took place right outside their home. 

Ariann Anderson and Jess Meadows-Anderson woke up in the middle of the night to a commotion outside their house and thought they were being burglarized. One of the women ran to check on their daughters, and when the other went to the window to see what was happening, she saw the rainbow flag from outside their home burning. 

When she looked more closely, she saw a 23-year-old man who lives about ten houses away from the family running down the street holding the burning flag, waving it up and down. 

Cameron Mayfield, 23, had reportedly just lost his job and as a result was drinking heavily when he committed the act. According to his father, it was a simple coincidence that the flag he chose to burn happened to be a rainbow.

The victims naturally see things a bit differently.

“It’s just a reminder that hate is still out there,” said Jess.

Ariann told local reporters, “It goes beyond being vandalism or theft — that’s a direct attack.”

“Simple coincidence”? I think not. Call it what it is – a deliberate act of hate.

During a demonstration, masks (gas masks, goggles, scarves, scuba masks, filter masks, and sunglasses) minimize the effects of tear gas and pepper spray, as well as obscure one’s identity. Extremists also employ shields (trash can lids, sheets of plexiglass, truck tire inner tubes, etc.) and body protection equipment (layered clothing, hard hats and helmets, sporting equipment, life jackets, etc.) to protect themselves against law enforcement officials during marches. Intimidation techniques such as videotaping and the swarming of police officers are used to hinder the arrest of other demonstrators. Activists seldom carry identification papers and may refuse to divulge any information about themselves or other protesters.
—  Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Intelligence Bulletin No. 89 (October 15, 2003)
On the way home from Wal-Mart...

I drove by the parking lot of a restaurant. I heard the screaming of a man, “Suck my ****, you bitch!” and I looked over, stopping my car. The street was not a major one. There was no traffic around me. I stared at the man. He had backed a woman up against the car and was very close to her, screaming profanities. When he looked up and noticed me staring through my rolled-up window, he yelled “WHAT?”

I decided it was part of my duty to make sure that this man wasn’t going to hurt the woman he was yelling at. I turned around in a nearby parking lot, entered the parking lot where the man and woman were, and got out of my car. I walked calmly over to the man who was easily a foot taller than me and could probably bench press twice my weight. I peered around him to the woman. “Are you alright?” She nodded. I stared up at the man. “What seems to be the problem, sir?" 

"My problem is that nosy little bitches like you can’t stay out of other people’s business!” He stepped closer to me, as to intimidate me. I didn’t blink.

“Sir, you are screaming violently at another person in public. You have made it the business of every person walking or driving by.”

“You think you’re tough, do ya?” He sneered and stepped closer to me, purposely trying to loom over me and make me step back. I did not step back. I simply tilted my neck so that I could still make eye contact with him.

“No, sir. I am very aware that I am not as strong as you in body, but it does take a weak intellect to think that towering over someone gives you power over anyone you may encounter.”

“Wh- are you calling me stupid?”

The woman speaks up, “Please hon, just leave.” She casts a wary glance at the man. That was enough evidence for me that this man can get violent when angered enough.

The man puffs out his chest. “Yeah, leave. Mind your own damn business.”

“No, I think I’ll wait here for a bit.”

He moves a bit closer. “Leave.

“This is a public place, sir. I will not leave. I will wait for you to depart without this young woman.”

He scoffs and glares at me. A few minutes pass and he realizes that I was not joking. He grudgingly leaves and the woman hugs me before getting in her car and driving off.

I could have kept driving. I could have just stayed in my car and watched. I could have gotten hurt if this guy was stupid enough to get violent with me, but we need to start standing up for our fellow human beings. We need to make those who would hurt others realize that raising their voice will not get them their way. Pass it on. Don’t walk by. Stand up.