We’ve all had those days where we feel like no one sees us. We feel overlooked, or unappreciated for our hard work at the office, in our relationships, and in our own home.
According to research, being ignored and overlooked can be just as harmful as bullying. In fact, research has found that feeling ignored can affect our sensory perceptions, and can create feelings of self-doubt, lack of control, and feeling unworthy of attention.
In a 2014 study, psychologist Sandra Robinson compared the psychological damage done to employees in the workplace by bullying vs. exclusion. She found that being ignored by co-workers was more harmful to people’s emotional well-being than being mistreated by them. This feeling and experience of being excluded can erode self-esteem and self-confidence, and lead to worsening depression and anxiety. Being excluded or ignored can:
– Cause emotional trauma or stress.
– Cause psychological stress.
– It may have serious physical side effects.
– It can cause behavioral changes.
– It can destroy relationships.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Taking a deeper look at yourself and why you might feel invisible and experience being excluded ( whether real or perceived), can help you toward being changing this.
The first step is working on you. Be it through support groups, therapy, self-help books, whatever helps you best. By working on improving your self-love and confidence, it will increase your attractiveness- And chances are, others will take notice. But, even if they don’t, it won’t matter as much, because you’ll feel better about being you.
Another helpful tidbit of information is to be aware that other people have their own issues, and could be struggling as well. So their ignoring you or excluding you, may have absolutely nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. In this case, if appropriate you can offer support be it by listening, offering them a ride, saying something nice, or just giving them space. Maybe they feel better being around certain people during this time, and that’s ok. Let them.
It’s also important to remember that everyone is in a different place on their journey, and some are sicker than others. So maybe this person, or these people that you feel overlooked by, just aren’t healthy for you, and letting them go would be best. As a bonus, this action will free up your time and energy to focus on healthier, more mutually beneficial relationships.
Another step towards being seen and heard, is taking a look at your own actions and behaviors. What am I doing that could repel people, or create distance? Am I selfish, self-seeking, fearful, or acting out due to a perceived feeling of lack?
Needy energy is not good energy. So take a look at that, and start to practice the opposite behaviors- being selfless, giving, trustworthy, and confident. This takes work, but with a little help and hard work, you can do it.
Lastly, make an effort to focus on the good things that others do. When you show your appreciation for others, and gratitude toward the people in your life, these actions and behaviors more often than not, will come back to you. In fact, you get what you give. So if you want to be seen and heard by others, start by making sure that you are seeing and hearing them first.
So to recap, no one wants to be ignored, excluded, or unseen. That’s human nature. But if you are experiencing this in your own life, you are not alone, and there is help.
Seek out a therapist, a trusted family member, or friend- and work through the core issues that may contribute to this feeling. Learn to let go of relationships that are not healthy for you. And focus on being grateful to the people that you do have in your life. Show others that you see them and that you appreciate them, and before you know it, these actions will come back to you in spades.
For more information on what to do when feeling unseen and unheard, check out the following site: