I’ve been in this place – feeling invisible, and it’s actually worse than being bullied. How can we deal with this?
Maybe as a child, I didn’t feel completely invisible because I remember hiding from abuse. But as a young married adult with a baby, I did feel this way.
I remember nights alone with my infant son, wishing his father would come home. But even when he was home, I still felt invisible. I tried to do all the things a good wife should do, but it was never enough to keep a healthy marriage.
Feeling invisible became so normal, that I just started doing whatever I wanted, and that led to a complicated situation which added to my already traumatized past.
How does it feel to be invisible?
I’ve never met the invisible man, so I can’t tell you how it feels to be literally invisible. I also cannot explain every facet of invisibility to you because my story is different from all the other people who’ve felt invisible before. So, I want to explore how this happens.
Some people feel invisible in a group of friends, being the one who tries to speak up but is never heard. Some of us feel invisible at parties, feeling like the “wall-flower”, never being approached in conversation. It makes you wonder which is worse, being invisible or being slandered.
I think becoming invisible can happen in a number of ways. If people start seeing you like the quiet one, the listener, or the oddball, then invisibility starts. Before you know it, you’ve become a see-through person, and you cannot remember how it got this way. Now I want to offer a few ways we can overcome this feeling.
How to be seen and appreciated once more?
1. Understand how it happens
Before you attempt any other ways of bettering your life, you must first figure out how you started feeling invisible. When do you say hello to someone, who tends to ignore you? Where do you feel invisible the most? Do you get ashamed because you have to raise your voice to be noticed?
It’s time to make a list about your feelings of invisibility and who tends to make you feel this way. Also, list the places where you feel invisible the most. This has to be done before you can work on other aspects of improvement in this area.
2. Change the way you think
Okay, so you feel invisible much of the time, well, now’s the time to change that. Now, changing mindsets isn’t always easy. Sometimes it takes a lot of work to think of yourself in a different way.
If you’ve felt invisible for most of your life, this may be difficult. But, if you can only grasp just a small percentage of visibility you lost, you have the potential to be seen even more. Start walking into rooms with the positive idea that people do indeed see you.
3. Stop having one-way relationships
Although it’s kind to be a good listener, sometimes you have to talk about yourself as well. There should always be a good balance between listening and speaking in order to have a healthy relationship with other people.
To stop feeling so invisible, it would be smart to start talking about your life instead of just sitting there being the “good listener” because if you don’t, that’s all you will be known for. “She’s such a good listener”.
4. Share how you feel
If you have a good friend who actually sees you, then talk to them. Even if you only have one friend who totally appreciates your existence, that’s enough. Maybe this friend of yours has felt invisible at some point in their lives as well.
If so, they will understand you on a level that no one else can, and may be able to help. Tell them when you feel invisible and how it makes you feel. Explore ways to help with your self-esteem, as self-worth has much to do with feeling invisible. The worse you feel about yourself, the more unlikely you will want to tackle this problem.
5. Find solutions that fit each scenario
Not every instance of being ignored or feeling invisible is the same. You may feel invisible at parties because you don’t know anyone and feel unable to break the ice. You may feel invisible to family members because they’ve labeled you and put you away.
Then, you may even feel invisible to friends, maybe because they’ve moved away or you’ve both been holding a grudge. You have to figure out which solution belongs to which scenarios. Here’s a breakdown:
- Parties – If you know a few people at a party, make sure you’re standing. Sitting down makes you seem like you have no interest in talking. Approach people on your own, ask them how they are or what they do for a living. If you still feel uncomfortable, go home. Parties don’t have to be your thing.
- Family – Stop being labeled by family. Ask a trusted family member what the rest of the family thinks of you, and then figure out the details. Whatever it is, you can adjust accordingly or approach the topic with other members of the family. Opening that box can help remove labels and help you become seen again. As for husbands or wives, feeling invisible may mean serious problems. In this case, communication is key. If you cannot communicate, then you have to seek help before your relationship is destroyed.
- Friends – If a friend has moved away and hasn’t visited in some time, maybe you can go visit him. If there’s a grudge between the two of you, then take that first step to make things right. You definitely don’t want to be invisible to your best friend.
6. Don’t agree with everything
Sometimes feeling invisible comes from agreeing with everything people say. If you never have a different opinion, it will be hard to remember you, or your personality.
Sometimes, be the one to have the opposite reaction, or play the devil’s advocate. This should get things stirred up, and they will definitely see and remember you.
Feeling invisible? Now’s the time to recreate yourself!
You may feel invisible much of the time and maybe this has gone on for years. It could also just be something that started happening recently. However it happened, it’s not a good thing.
In order to appreciate your worth, you must be seen. Take the time to understand how this happened, then work through the tips listed above. Keep pushing your way through your insecurities until you balance your life again. Then you will no longer be invisible.
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