Do your work colleagues barely notice you when you enter the office? Does your boss hardly know your name? Do the people you hang out with have no clue what you’ve been doing lately? Do persons of the opposite sex pretty much ignore you?
Chances are that you’re socially invisible.
I am continually amazed by the importance of making yourself noticed, both in your career and your social life. It’s often not a complete method in itself to get what you want, but it is always the first crucial step.
If others don’t even notice you, they’re also not going to remember you, want to get to know you, build a connection with you or pay attention to what you have to say. When you’re invisible, you have no visible impact and you suffer the consequences.
In my coaching, I frequently work with ‘invisible’ people and help them learn to stand out more. If you’re an invisible person, there are three action steps I advise you to focus on.
1. Dress to Stand Out, Not to Fit In
The majority of people dress to fit in. They wear commonplace clothes in boring colors; they have generic and predictable attire. Thus, they fit in so well that you pass by hundreds of them on the street every day and you barely notice a few.
You want to do the opposite: Instead of wearing what everybody else is wearing, be original. Instead of wearing dull colors, add color to your wardrobe and accessorize with style (even as a guy). Don’t go all outrageous, but do make sure you stand out.
Dressing in a way that expresses you and gets you noticed is not only a sign of fashion style but more importantly, a sign of confidence. Most people are too afraid to attract attention by dressing with personality. Well, you want to get comfortable with attracting attention.
2. Stop Avoiding Conflicts
Most invisible people are inclined to be harmonizers. They are scared of conflicts and upsetting others; so when the possibility of a conflict arises, they’ll do whatever it takes to prevent or suppress that conflict.
They’ll hide their opinions, wants and feelings. They’ll make pointless compromises and sacrifice their needs for the sake of always getting along. And since they never rock the boat, they don’t get noticed and don’t get their needs met.
Here’s what’s essential to realize: conflicts are not all bad. Often, the journey towards a positive change involves conflict; things need to get worse before they can get better. So embrace the constructive potential of conflict and assertively put yourself out there, even if you generate conflicts.
3. Talk More about Yourself
Listening is certainly one of the valuable people skills to have; and there is plenty of praise in the self-growth and business literature for it. But guess what? So is talking and expressing yourself.
I find that sharing yourself, your experiences and your ideas is frequently the ignored half of career and social success. I’ve also noticed countless times that we don’t connect emotionally with persons we barely know anything about, and this makes being talkative essential.
If you’re invisible, chances are that you’re the kind of person who keeps to themselves and tries to give others room to talk. Unfortunately, this is an excellent way to get people either using you, or ignoring you.
In this case, it’s time to get more outgoing. Share yourself more, talk about your experiences, tell stories, express your thoughts on various subjects and get used to being the center of attention, at least some of the time. It will do wonders for you.
Ultimately, I see getting yourself noticed as a matter of confidence. The individuals who believe in what they have to offer authentically put themselves out there, get noticed and get ahead. It is this kind of a mindset that you want to take in.
Image courtesy of timfotography.com