Introduction and Context
Over the course of almost two decades of gaming, and most of my real life, my experience is that there's a social approach which seems like one of the many workable choices 'on paper', but turns out to cause more problems than it solves in practice. I'm talking about the approach that involves getting what the PC(s) want(s) through threatening the NPCs.
Whenever I examine scenes in which such an approach either was or could be used, an overwhelming majority of the time I get the impression that it's not the best choice. That at best it'll provide a short-term gain at the cost of a greater long-term loss, which adds up to be a net negative throughout the whole length of a campaign.
Now, an overwhelming majority of systems which distinguish approaches, be they Rapport vs. Provoke, Charm vs. Intimidate, Respected vs. Feared, Persuasion vs. Intimidation, or whatever else they may call them, seem to not consider one of the two to be sufficiently inferior to warrant a discount or a disadvantage compensation. Similarly, I see that many players and GMs are much more comfortable with this approach and see it as quite worthwhile (e.g. willing to play a PC whose only way of socially dealing with others is through terror).
Based on that, I'm assuming that I'm just not very knowledgeable in the strategies of choosing social approaches, or am lacking some other knowledge or practical understanding - thus I'm asking how to mitigate the drawbacks and emphasise the benefits of intimidation-oriented approaches, keeping them 'worth it' as compared to other (primarily more 'positive') approaches to social interactions over the course of a campaign, and prevent them from turning into a downward spiral.
The Off-Putting Drawbacks
There are two key drawbacks that make me see such an approach as generally inferior, and that I want to learn to roleplay 'around' - either by roleplaying in a way that would reduce the disruptive effects thereof, or in a way that would make the drawback worth the benefit.
The primary drawback I see is that of consequences spanning beyond the short term. Even assuming the browbeating attempt is successful, it creates resentment and worsens future relationships with the NPC in question. Even if a power asymmetry makes the target unable to just avoid the PC in the future, this still creates risks down the line - this a contributor to why, for example, minions and dragons betray their evil overlords and switch teams at the most inconvenient moment. This isn't just a matter of tropes and fiction - based on the contrasting experience with workplaces where bosses use different social approaches, the ones that went for intimidation had a major long-term deterioration of the underlings' attitude and reduction of morale. It seems like if I play my PC as a thug, this is prone to creating a trail of enemies - enemies who either hate my PC for the actions in question, or even the whole party for being in cahoots with the thuggish jerk. (Can substitute another fearsome archetype in place of thuggish if you like.)
The secondary drawback is that of applicability and appropriateness. There are more situations where being likeable is useful than situations when being scary is useful. E.g. even in warfare, the grudging respect of the opponents tends to be of use. Conversely, there are many situations where being scary either doesn't confer worthwhile benefits, or has additional drawbacks (such as reactions of onlookers). Perhaps I'm just terrible at seeing the right moments for playing up the scariness of a PC in a useful way.
A Word on 'Naturally Occurring Situations'
The above observations are applied to what I call Naturally Occurring Situations in the context of a campaign. By that I mean that the GM tends to generate situations the way they would be logical for the setting and the campaign, without significantly bending the logic to cater to specific character builds. I understand that it's possible to deliberately come up with situations that would emphasise a specific approach, but I found most such approaches too contrived and thus not good for willing suspension of disbelief.
This also incidentally means that a large but not total part of my interest focuses on finding enough good uses of intimidation as a player or as a GM controlling a proactive NPC that would make it competitive with diplomatic/persuasive/charming approaches (which tend to be a much more universal tool in the kit, and much less prone to backfiring), when analysing situations that already came up. Conversely, answers that amount forcing the events to 'conspire' to raise menacing approach to usefulness/appropriateness level of the more likeable ones (whether through GM fiat or metanarrative influence given to players in narrative-leaning systems) are not helpful.
A Word on System Agnosticism
This was never intended to be a mechanical question; it's a question about roleplaying in a non-self-detrimental way. The observations of mine are gathered across playing using multiple systems, including campaigns which only nominally adhered to a system (being played very rules-light most of the time), or which use roleplaying, not mechanics, to resolve social situations. Thus the question is tagged as system agnostic. If some sort of non-agnostic default assumption cannot be abstained from, it's probably best to take 'freeform roleplay over IRC or other chat' as one for a starting point.