Many people experience feeling invisible at some point. It’s the feeling you get when you walk into a room and no one looks up. You want to be at least acknowledged, but nobody seems to notice you’re even there. Perhaps you feel like you’re being overlooked or taken for granted whether it’s at work, school, or home. You can be surrounded by people, yet feel alone.
It’s a feeling that can be difficult to shake, and it often leaves you lonely and isolated. So what causes it? And how can you change it? We’ve put together a list of reasons why you might feel this way, and what you can do in order to feel seen!
1. You Were Neglected as A Child
Feeling invisible can be one of the effects of childhood neglect. Maybe your parents or primary caregivers were too busy with their own lives to give you any attention. Perhaps they didn’t have the emotional capacity to care for you in the way that you needed as a child. Or worse, you were abused by your caretakers.
This kind of treatment can certainly make it hard to feel like the people around you actually see you, and it’s also possible that you’ve carried that feeling of invisibility into adulthood. This feeling can make it hard for you to connect with people and develop relationships that are truly meaningful.
And while many people find it hard to cope with the fact that they were neglected as children, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways you can start to feel more connected and less invisible, even if you didn’t have someone there for you when you were growing up. You can begin to heal by reading books about childhood neglect, talking about it with people who have been through similar experiences, and finding ways to give yourself a voice.
2. You’re A Victim of Narcissism
Feeling invisible is also a common experience for people who have been victims of narcissism. Narcissists are extremely self-absorbed, and they view other people as objects that can be used for their own gain. If there’s someone like this in your life, it’s easy to feel like you don’t matter; and that’s because, to them, you don’t.
Your needs, desires, and feelings don’t matter at all. Narcissists tend to make excuses for their behavior, blame you for things that aren’t your fault, or accuse you of things that aren’t true. They may even gaslight you into believing something that isn’t real. They’ll use any means necessary to silence you and keep themselves from feeling vulnerable or wrong in any way, even if it means making themselves look like monsters in the process.
If someone treats you like an object and makes you feel invisible, there are steps you can take to heal from the trauma and get back on track with your life and your sense of self-worth. The most important thing to remember when dealing with a narcissist is to keep yourself centered and balanced. You need to avoid letting them get under your skin, and the most effective way to do that is by not taking things they say or do personally. Most importantly, you must set firm boundaries so you don’t get sucked into their games anymore.
3. You Have Depression
Depression can definitely make you feel invisible. It’s like the world around you is a film you’re watching. People are moving, talking, and doing things, but you’re not part of their story. They don’t see you. They don’t even know you’re there. When this happens, it’s hard to remember that it’s just a temporary condition.
It feels like your friends and family don’t care about you anymore, or don’t even know who you are. Everything seems bleak and hopeless and you feel like giving up. But know that there is hope. The first step toward feeling less invisible is to understand what the problem is.
There are several different types of depression and each one presents itself differently in terms of symptoms and severity. Nevertheless, if your symptoms interfere with daily life, then it’s time to seek help sooner, rather than later.
4. You’re Seen as What You Do, Not Who You Are
If you feel like you’re invisible, it may be because people only see you as what you do or the service you provide. In other words, they don’t have a sense of who you really are and what makes up your personality. For example, if your coworkers only see you as a good employee, but don’t know that you’re also a good friend, then they might not ask you to hang out outside of work.
Or maybe someone at a party will talk to you only about your career, but not about your hobbies or interests. And that’s because they’ve only heard about your career. It’s not hard to get stuck in a cycle when you’re constantly putting your professional life front and center.
But it’s important to remember that when people don’t know anything else about you, they’ll never get to see the real person behind the role you play in the workplace. You are not your job! You are so much more than whatever it is you do for a living. You’re an individual with feelings, thoughts, and experiences that go far beyond what you choose to do with your life professionally.
5. You May Be Too Focused On Your Insecurities
If you feel invisible, it’s possible that you’re not just imagining things. In fact, it’s more likely that your own insecurity is getting in the way of your ability to make friends and bond with others!
When you’re too busy thinking about what others think of you, whether or not they like you, or if they’re judging you, you lose sight of the positive things about yourself. But there are many things that make you special and unique. Think about some of those qualities instead of focusing on how you don’t measure up.
6. You’re Shy
Shyness is a real thing, and it can make you feel invisible like no one is taking notice of you. But it’s not just about being seen by others, it’s also about seeing yourself as someone who matters. If you don’t know what you want to say or do, or how you want to present yourself, it can be hard for others to get a sense of who you are and what your interests are.
Thankfully, being shy doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life and make friends; it just means that you have to work a little harder at it than some people do. You don’t even have to force yourself into situations where you’ll be around strangers. Start by hanging out with someone who’s more comfortable in social settings. They already understand that you’re shy, and they’ll help keep things low-key so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
7. You Are Too Concerned with Pleasing Others
If you’re a people pleaser, you have an innate desire to make everyone around you happy, even if that means sacrificing your own needs and wants. This is a noble goal, but it can also leave you feeling overlooked.
Especially since there are always people who will gladly take advantage of your good nature. Here’s how to change that! Start by doing things for yourself first and foremost. Make sure your needs are being met before you start worrying about anyone else’s. You might feel like this makes you selfish or unkind, but it’s important to say no once in a while.
You might also consider setting boundaries with others, so they know where they stand with you and why. By actively trying to understand how you come across to others, you can make yourself more visible to them. So work on expressing your thoughts and feelings, developing assertiveness skills, and initiating connections with others.
This ensures that your presence is noted and understood, which will help you attract the opportunities and connections you deserve.
What do you think? Can you relate to any of the reasons listed? How has it affected your life? Share your thoughts and comments below. And if you’re still here, consider subscribing to our newsletter we regularly post such articles.
Thanks for reading!