Are You Invisible?

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.

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  1. I went through a phase of not wanting to be noticed or seen for a while. It got real boring and lonely.

    It’s not that hard to get noticed once you apply some basic principles like you mentioned in your post.

  2. In school i always feel like no one ever notices me (except my friends). When i was in 8th grade it was the 1st day of school and we were assigned to math groups of 4 and one of the boys asked me if i was new, and i’ve been at the same middle school all three years! He also said he’d never seen me before. this is not the first time people have said this to me. its really frustrating and annoying. im going into high school this year can you please give me some advice on how to be noticed a little more.

    • Katie, read the article again. The pillars for making yourself more noticed are in it. Essentially, it’s a matter of making your self-expression bigger, louder and more frequent.

    • I went through the same thing, and realized that it could be really useful to be able to be invisible, but only sometimes. I have a few specific tips I picked up.
      – Eye contact – To be noticed, look people in the eyes for just a moment longer, just long enough to smile slightly. (To become invisible again, avoid eye contact.)
      – Bag – Oddly, a heavy bag can really hide you, because it’s hard to stand up under it. Carry only the books you need right now, and make sure it’s comfortable. When you aren’t wearing it, practice keeping your shoulders back, you’ll look more confident.

      If you’re trying to figure out how to make the article work for your life:
      1 – This works the same way at school as it does at work. You can start with one stylish, comfortable thing you really love, and make it a statement piece by planning to wear outfits that look good with it. People who don’t know your name yet might remember you as the girl with the ___ first, and that’s ok. One of my friends hardly bothered to talk, but even strangers knew him as the guy with the brown hat and the shiny mac. When he did talk get around to saying hi, they were nicer because he was familiar.
      2 – This might be most worthwhile to do in a classroom. You probably have a couple of teachers who love to explain something by telling you something which is wrong, and see who can contradict them. Figure out who really likes it when students speak up. Not only do you look smarter, but you’ll probably get better grades from that teacher. (I would suggest doing this only once or twice a week, so you seem smart, but not smug.)
      3 – Decide now what you’d say about yourself when you meet someone new, or someone trying to remember you. This makes that conversation a lot easier, and helps you decide how you’d like to brand yourself. If you come up with a few different ways you can describe yourself, then next time this comes up, you can pick one that you think the guy will find most interesting to talk about.

  3. I am invisible at work. People talk and share pictures all around me by do not include me. It hurts. No one includes me or asks about my life.

    • I am reading this and crying. I turned 27 this year and realised I have always been totally invisible to other people. Even when I try to invite someone, share a story, socialise more, it is always one-sided. I feel lonely and I feel as if I was a bad person.

  4. People who ignored others are haulty, prideful and rude. They do not take an interest in people, only in themselves. They judge us not being better than others. So they look down on people that do not have the same value as they. It is a very selfish attitude. This ignorance attitude is called “favoritism” When one person picks out of the group,it makes that person feel invisible. They feel they are not good enough to be like them. The invisible persons feel they are not being liked. It is hard to socialize with other people when feeling invisible.
    Us people who are being ignored by others live a lonely life. Which I am experiencing now. I have always felt like I am visible almost all my life. Never have a freind that I call my own.

  5. At the bottom of my comment, I meant to say invisible not visible.

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