How to relax/be more lighthearted

I've been hearing a lot recently from different people that I'm very intense. I've heard it from family and friends, as well as colleagues. I don't intend to come off as intense, but people seem to think I am, and I think many could view that as offputting.

Curious to hear if anyone has heard similar feedback, and how they have adjusted their behavior to seem a little more lighthearted.

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (16)

Apr 7, 2021 - 12:57am

There's a few YouTube videos and books on this sort of topic.  Take this with a grain of salt, generally speaking appearances does play a role as we human beings are highly visual. 

How is your hygiene? 

Do you have a neat appearance? 

Learn diaphragmatic breathing to relax.  This will ease up a lot of things.  Get a good massage, sauna/steam room to relax your muscles.  Breathing slowly and down to your stomach relaxes you too (unless you have a condition otherwise).  Practice good daily reassurance and think positive/good things.  Get plenty of sleep, and your mindset/appearance will relax as time goes on.  This is not something you can fix overnight.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Apr 7, 2021 - 1:11am

Honestly, I got similar feedback too. The thing is I am pretty introverted and that came across as intense given I wouldn't open up easily unless I knew someone well. I personally started cracking some more jokes here and there to show people my lighter side.

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
Apr 8, 2021 - 8:21am

I've had a similar situation occur. I think it comes down to two things: the physical and the spiritual. The physical includes proper breathing, stretching and skin care. The spiritual includes meditation and mindfulness reading (flow: the art of being in the present, the power of now, atomic habits).

I'm not sure what may cause this persona for you, but for me and I imagine many other students, we mostly live in the future. We always think that the next internship, exam, course will bring us what we need to relax. In conversation or outward expression, it gives off a form of restlessness that tenses others around you.

  • VP in S&T - FI
Apr 8, 2021 - 12:57pm

it's probably less about what you say, than how you say it.

Don't make it unnatural, but speaking more slowly, with more pause between words will make you seem more chill 

Apr 8, 2021 - 2:37pm

Get into BJJ or weightlifting or something hard you can get good at aside from your job. When people work a job and that job is the toughest thing they've ever done, they take it very seriously.


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.
Apr 8, 2021 - 10:37pm

Elaborate a bit more on what you mean by intense. If it's really that huge of a deal to you to the point where you'd like to expirement with your psyche, try mushrooms. Do your research etc etc.

Plenty of research on mushrooms shifting people's personalities.

Go, Go, Excel

  • Research Associate in Research - Other
Apr 8, 2021 - 11:14pm

Define intensity.

Are you too energetic? Are you too blunt? 

I'm one intense motherf***er but I enjoy the intensity and always do it with a smile and a sense of humor. At the very beginning of my career, I thought that intensity would be a bad idea. So I tried to hide it, but then no one really got to know me. Then out of nowhere, something struck inside of me and I felt like I woke up from a long sleep. I got in touch with who I really was (mostly because I did a lot of drugs, I mean marijuana) and my energy levels CAME BACK. 

It turns out that my boss really vibes with that intensity and he felt like I was itching his back big time. Dude was trying so hard to not to be as intense as he really is for way too long. Overall, I think I brought the team a whole a lot of energy. I crack jokes all the time now and everyone on the team is so much closer.

Whatever intensity you have, it's fine as long as you do with a smile on your face.

Apr 9, 2021 - 7:32am

I gave up on that. I've been told I'm intense and I have a tendency to say ''naturally'' things that make people's jaws drop. My effort is focused on trying to be nice towards everyone, unless I have a reason not to, and avoid talking behind people's back. 

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

April 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (9) $911
  • Vice President (32) $350
  • Associates (180) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (102) $151
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (25) $146
  • Intern/Summer Associate (95) $145
  • 1st Year Analyst (387) $131
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (315) $82