When I was in high school, at an impressionable age, all I wanted to do was to be heard and seen by my peers as my true self, but as time went on, I quickly realized that I was all but invisible to everyone around me. No one paid attention to my words or took care of my actions. Eventually, this feeling caused me to question my worth and self-esteem.
Let’s be real here. In many situations we face, all we want to do is go invisible to escape embarrassment, unfortunately, it’s not a real superpower we possess. Wanting to escape the situation is one thing, but purposefully being ignored and feeling invisible in social situations is something entirely different.
We work hard to show our achievements and experience to others but when you’re constantly overlooked, it can be devastating. If you’ve had others startle when you speak, constantly talk over you, or dismiss your efforts as futile, then you can understand when I say, “feeling invisible” is a real experience.
With time, this experience can blend into your existence and make you question everything you’ve ever known about yourself. Rejection, being ignored, and feeling insignificant can take a toll on your overall health and can take away your self-esteem and confidence.
Below, I’ve listed some common reasons why you feel invisible and what to do when feeling invisible becomes an experience you can’t seem to escape.
“Why Do I Feel Invisible To Everyone?” 1. Prejudice And Discrimination
People of Color, minor communities like the LGBTQIA+ community, and other minority groups are more likely to feel invisible than others. Even if others are subtle in their put down, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination against you can make you feel invisible.
Some common examples of feeling invisible can include;
Receiving less recognition or pay than your peers
Assuming you have a particular skill set just because of your racial or cultural identity
Being ignored for your contributions using terms such as “diverse” or “privileged”
Not acknowledging your racial, sexual, or cultural identity
2. Emotional Neglect And Abuse
If you’ve ever experienced emotional neglect or abuse in your childhood, then it can also affect your well-being and make you feel invisible. The reason could be negative parenting, strict rules, or unwillingness to care.
However, it’s not necessarily these same reasons. Sometimes, your parents’ attention on each other might seem too much, and you get the impression that you’re not that loved by them.
We all fear rejection but when this rejection begins in childhood through bullying, it can bring a set of pain too much to handle.
If you’re constantly ignored by your peers or made to feel insignificant, it can not only affect your childhood but can carry on in your adulthood as well. Many a time, discrimination and bias from teachers and mentors can also make you feel invisible.
4. Being Shy And Introverted
Shyness can also be a factor, though not your fault. Being shy or introverted can mean you find it harder to open up to others. You might be scared of making new friends, worrying about what others might think of you, and avoiding talking to others.
Unfortunately, because of this, you might go unnoticed by many making you feel unseen. You want to connect with others but because of your shyness, you stay out of crowds, making it easy for others to overlook you. Although, not intentionally.
5. Depression And Other Mental Health Disorders
Feeling invisible can also be a manifestation of depression and can make you want to hide away from others. This can happen with social anxiety as well. Such mental health conditions can make you spend less time with others, which can make your loved ones eventually stay away from you.
However, it can also be because others dismiss you by minimizing your symptoms. They might;
Dismiss your symptoms
Blame you for your problems, and
Invalidate your struggles
This can also make you feel invisible to your family, friends, and peers.
The Effects Of Feeling Invisible On Your Health
When you’re constantly overlooked or ignored, it can cause you severe emotional and mental distress that can increase feelings of;
Eventually, it can begin affecting your relationships – Platonic, romantic, and professional – causing emotional and mental exhaustion.
Did you know that constant rejection and “feeling invisible” can result in actual pain? When you are constantly unheard and unseen, it can make you feel inferior and doubt your existence, eventually leading to social shutdown and withdrawal.
For example; you may stop contributing to a conversation because no one pays attention to what you say and eventually, it is noticed by others, and you’re criticized for it. Feeling invisible can also leave you feeling lonely, invalidated, and detached from others.
What To Do When You Feel Invisible?
If you’ve been feeling invisible or if you’re beginning to question, “Why do I feel invisible to everyone?”, then here are some steps you can take to feel confident, heard, and seen again;
1. Set Boundaries
Ignorance might not always be intentional, but it doesn’t hurt less. So what to do? Well, you can start by opening up to others and explaining your feelings.
To your friends, you can tell them that you feel neglected, hurt, and lonely, and extend an invitation the next time they want to hang out. To your partner, you can say that you feel frustrated when they ignore your efforts, and you need them to at least acknowledge your efforts.
2. Change Your Communication Style
If you want to be acknowledged, then the simplest way to do so is to ask for it. This means changing your communication style to assertiveness.
Here, you need to speak and state your feelings and remind others that you and your voice also exist. If you are overlooked intentionally, then you need to be careful with your words. Be bold, be confident, and state your needs directly and clearly as you can.
3. Check In With Your Emotions
Emotional struggle is not easily understood, but you can do your part by checking in with your emotions. When your emotions are repressed, they can come out as indifference and aloofness in your expressions, so understand your emotions.
It’s OK to spend time knowing yourself and also to share them with your loved ones. You can try;
Daily meditation, and
Opening up to your loved ones
4. Reach Out To A Professional
No matter your causes for feeling invisible, reaching out to a therapist can be beneficial. Therapy can offer a safe space for you to explore your emotions, trauma, and experience. This can also help you gain better insight into yourself. A therapist can help unravel past trauma, explore unaddressed mental health concerns, teach healthy communication skills, and much more.
When you’re overlooked, unheard, and unseen by everyone around you, it can not only hurt your relationships but also your self-esteem, self-worth, and confidence.
A little assertiveness, boundaries, and emotional expression can go a long way in helping you chase away the experience of “feeling invisible”.
I hope that this blog helps! For more, feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media.
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The post What To Do When You Feel Invisible (& Why You Feel This Way) appeared first on Calm Sage – Your Guide to Mental and Emotional Well-being.