Life Lessons

What to Do Next Time You Feel Intimidated by Someone’s Title

No relationship should make you feel a lesser person, professional or otherwise

Rita Duponty
3 min readDec 17, 2021
Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

We live in a society that is title-oriented. From doctors, attorneys, teachers, to priests, policemen, and the list goes on. When around people that carry a title and maybe a specialist in their field, do you feel like a dummy? Do you feel intimidated?

Human Too

Every person on our planet should be considered equal to one another. That person with a degree across the table from you, breathes, eats, and sleeps like you do. No magical powers do they possess. They share with you human commonalities.

Respect Their Training & Education

Many moons ago, I use to be in awe of one of my bosses. Why? He was an editor, scientist, retired professor, and represented the United States in the World Conference for Gas. He would always say, “the only difference between me and you is that I have had the schooling. It’s all about the opportunity you may have had in your life.”

This advice stayed with me for years.

He was humble and never condescending. I have never met anyone with more technical “smarts” than him. Yet, I never felt intimidated by him. People were drawn to him by his inviting nature. It is not what a person knows, but it is how they treat others that counts.

So when speaking to someone with a title or specialist, do not let their title intimidate you. Appreciate their training and education. Respect them for their hard work.


Although you respect them, they are far from perfect. If you have questions, you should feel free to ask.

No professional has all the answers. You may come up with a scenario that gives rise to further consideration and research. Of course, this may or may not be welcomed by the professional on the other end. That’s okay.

When you hit a wall, it may be the person on the other side. At this point, it may be time to let it go and walk away.