Maria Amir:

A believer can never truly stomach a sceptic, because the latter’s refusal to take anything for granted is always perceived as a slight. For some inexplicable reason, a sceptic can never simply be acknowledged as someone who has made the choice to stick with the logical over the illogical and it is always, always taken personally.

I think this is true, but not always in such a straightforward way — I have no doubt that many believers are able to tolerate the presence of skeptics by viewing them with mildly amused condescension and pity (if not caricatural contempt), although, of course, you could easily argue that such poses are a way to cover for feelings of inferiority. Defensiveness is usually a sign of a lack of confidence and assuredness. Arguing is simply fun to do, of course, but when you find yourself feeling that little extra bit of emotional urgency to prove that you do so know what you’re talking about, it might be a sign that you aren’t so sure about it yourself. And when it comes to metaphysical beliefs, well, as Mark Twain said, faith is believing what you know ain’t so, hence the understandable anxiety about being challenged.
She’s talking specifically about skepticism with regards to religion, spirituality and superstition, but this same dynamic manifests itself in other ways, too. As someone who, in many ways, just doesn’t neatly fit in with a lot of groups, doesn’t care to join in many popular communal activities, I find myself often having to try to gently deflect such invitations without provoking the all-too-common reactions she mentions. In many cases, I honestly don’t care what other people enjoy doing and don’t think any less of them for doing it, but they do often take a demurral as a personal rejection, not a simple difference of opinion or taste. People don’t seem to trust a person who holds too many things at arm’s length. Someone who appears to constantly maintain a detached, analytic outlook is someone who can’t be counted on (or manipulated). There has to be something you’re willing to entirely (and publicly) give yourself over to without any hesitation to appear to be fully human in their eyes, whether it be church, sports, romantic/sexual passion, drinking with the boys, or popular entertainment. Too much self-control makes you seem dangerous.
In the longest and remotest ages of the human race there was quite a different sting of conscience from that of the present day. At present one only feels responsible for what one intends and for what one does, and we have our pride in ourselves. All our professors of jurisprudence start with this sentiment of individual independence and pleasure, as if the source of right had taken its rise here from the beginning. But throughout the longest period in the life of mankind there was nothing more terrible to a person than to feel himself independent. To be alone, to feel independent, neither to obey nor to rule, to represent an individual – that was no pleasure to a person then, but a punishment; he was condemned “to be an individual.” Freedom of thought was regarded as discomfort personified. While we feel law and regulation as constraint and loss, people formerly regarded egoism as a painful thing, and a veritable evil. For a person to be himself, to value himself according to his own measure and weight – that was then quite distasteful. The inclination to such a thing would have been regarded as madness; for all miseries and terrors were associated with being alone. At that time the “free will” had bad conscience in close proximity to it; and the less independently a person acted, the more the herd-instinct, and not his personal character, expressed itself in his conduct, so much the more moral did he esteem himself. All that did injury to the herd, whether the individual had intended it or not, then caused him a sting of conscience – and his neighbor likewise, indeed the whole herd! It is in this respect , that we have most changed our mode of thinking.
– Nietzsche