11 Ways To Be Seen And Heard When You’re Feeling Invisible (2024)

  • Do you often feel like no one notices that you’re in the room? 
  • Or do you sense that people don’t see you for who you truly are? 
  • That they see what you have or do but don’t see you for you?

If you feel any of the above, you need to read this piece.

Feeling Invisible
Photo by mikoto.raw Photographer from Pexels

Let’s talk about why you’re feeling invisible, how to uproot this feeling from the roots, and more!

How To Stop Feeling Invisible And Start Being Seen And Heard

While changing your body language and clothing might help you feel more visible, it isn’t an effective way of feeling visible for the long haul. 

What you need are psychology-backed tips that stay effective in the long term no matter your age or location around the world.

Let’s dig in!

1. See And Hear Yourself First

If you’re going to solve feeling invisible in a long-lasting way, you have to stop depending on external circumstances and other people to make you feel seen and heard. 

People might change and start seeing you for who you are. Circumstances might change and make you more visible. That would be nice. But you must understand that non of these scenarios would change your ability to feel seen for good. 

What you need is to shift your question from “What can make others see me?” to “What do I need to cultivate in me so I can feel visible from within?” 

And that’s the only way you’d get to experience lasting feelings of visibility.

So how can you see and hear yourself first? Let’s dig further…

2. Choose To Come Out From Your Hiding

If you felt invisible for some time in your early years, you might have chosen to intentionally hide from the world. Yet instead of feeling better, it might have made you feel more invisible.

That’s because the cure for feeling invisible is to always come out of your hiding place and start expressing your true self.

To know which parts of yourself you’ve hidden, ask yourself:

  • When did I start concealing my true self?
  • Why did I start hiding parts of myself?
  • What did I hide about myself? Do I still hide?
  • In what ways do I hide some parts of myself today?
  • What am I scared of people knowing about me?
  • What parts of me do I ignore/deny exist?

Draw out what you’ve been covering and pay attention to ways you still hide today. Then follow the next strategy

3. Reconnect With Your Natural Self

Detaching from some aspects of your true identity makes you start feeling invisible after some time. But when you reconnect with that fearless, authentic you, you’ll start feeling confident in your existence again.

Just like you did when no fears were pulling you back yet as a child.

So it’s time to go back where you left parts of yourself. It’s time to ask yourself:

  • What was I like as a child?
  • What did I truly love growing up?
  • What have I faked in my life?
  • Why did I start acting what I’m not?
  • What can I do to be true to my natural self?

Trust me, you can only start feeling visible from within when you’re living authentically.

4. Start Expressing Yourself In A Safe Space

If you’ve been suppressing your opinions, you won’t be able to start speaking up immediately

You cannot embrace your entire natural self at a go. It all takes time. And a safe space for a start. 

What do I mean?

For instance, before you start expressing yourself in boldness in an environment full of judgemental people, you have to go somewhere you won’t receive much pushback when you speak your mind (like a therapist or an accommodative friend). Or before you start speaking on a controversial topic, speak your mind on a light topic first.

It’s all about taking baby steps from your hiding place to the world so that the light in you can be seen more clearly.

5. Practice Speaking More Assertively

If you get so frustrated because of people not listening to you that you end up complaining or acting out – or if you’re scared of articulating yourself because perhaps you experienced childhood emotional neglect, you need to learn a more effective way of speaking your thoughts.

And that’s assertive communication.

This type of communication is straightforward yet respectful hence demanding the listener’s attention. It’s about validating other people’s needs while expressing your own feelings.

Here are assertive sentences you can learn from:

  • “I respect your opinion but I have a different one on the matter. I feel like everyone needs to take care of their personal needs not only for the sake of their mental health but also so that they can help others better. I believe it’s not selfishness but self-care.”
  • “I understand you really need a favor on this one but I’m sorry I can’t take more tasks right now.”

For a deeper understanding of assertive communication, check out our resource on assertive anger.

6. Do What You Love Or Love What You Do

People feel invisible sometimes because they’re busy doing what they don’t love or hate what they do. It’s because when one feels purposeless in their lives, it tends to breed a feeling of invisibility.

Do What You Love
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

You might have tried doing things your family/partner/friends like so you can get approval from them but instead felt unseen as everyone continued with their lives as usual leaving you stuck in something you don’t like. 

The truth is, you can’t make people see you for who you are if you’re not going to follow what you love doing. 

That’s why you need to keep seeking what interests you and pursue it. And while you’re still on the journey, keep finding amazing things about what you do so you can love where you spend most of if not all your time in.

7. Snap Back To The Reality Of Your Life

Have you been living on autopilot? Have you checked out of your life and fit yourself into a purposeless routine? Are you present in your life or are you merely getting high on escapes (endless routines/drugs/movies/social media)?

If you’ve been feeling unseen by the world, especially your loved ones, it might be because you’ve checked out of your own life. You’re not even seeing and listening to yourself that’s why you feel unseen and unheard by other people.

The solution? Check back into your life. Choose to start being present in your life.

Create an action plan and make effort to break your bad habits. Get interested in your own life and start living consciously.

8. Lessen The Time You Spend Where You Feel Overlooked

You might be trying to be seen and heard in the wrong places and hence end up frustrated when it doesn’t happen. 

For instance, if you’re in a circle of drama queens, narcissists, and gossipers, you’d feel invisible because:

  1. You don’t want to call attention to yourself so that you don’t become the subject of ridicule whenever not around
  2. Even if you want to voice out your feelings, no one may listen because they’re all too self-centered and direct all the attention to themselves

If this is your case, you’ll have to choose to spend less time with them and more time in places your opinion would be welcome. And that gets us to our next point.

9. Go Where You Want To Be Seen And Heard

You can only feel visible in this world if you stop focusing on fitting in where you don’t and start becoming more visible where your interests lie most. What does this mean in day-to-day lives?

Seen And Heard
Photo by ELEVATE

Instead of trying so hard to be seen by your siblings whom you don’t share many interests with, focus on spending quality time in relationships with deep emotional connection. Don’t let your inability to talk much around your siblings inhibit you from striking conversation with your colleagues and friends.

Be involved in activities you feel confident in and express yourself with confidence. 

  • If you’re a deep thinker, you’d feel more visible around other deep thinkers
  • If you’re more experienced in team-oriented projects, accept to lead others on that instead of trying to fit somewhere you feel invisible
  • If you love taking responsibility for the environment, seek other environmental enthusiasts to share your passion with

You get the point.

10. Stop People Pleasing And Help Only When You Really Want To

You might start helping people out of love but when left unchecked, you may start doing it out of fear of becoming invisible. 

In the end, the same people you’re helping would still not make you feel seen because you’re not operating from a place of authenticity. You might fade out of their sight altogether and that’s when they start treating you as what you do and not who you are.

While childhood emotional neglect and mental health disorders may play a part in all this, the way to gain freedom and start feeling seen again is to stop people pleasing.

  • Take responsibility for how you’ve let people treat you
  • Set healthy boundaries around how you help out the people in your life
  • Help people only with what you can afford to lose be it time or other resources
  • Go an extra mile with favors only when you want to

11. Work With A Professional To Help You Get Back On Track

Dealing with feelings of invisibility in our own lives sometimes needs more than self-coaching for it to work. That’s why it’s smart to consider working with a therapist or coach who can help you:

  • Uncover the source of your feelings of invisibility
  • Learn how feeling invisible has affected your mental health and overall life
  • Stop feeling invisible in gradual, time-tested steps
  • Feel worthy and regain the self-confidence you need to feel visible again

A behavioral psychology professional can not only notice lies you tell yourself in your body language but also help you interpret your feelings in more accurate perception.

You can also check out, Online Life Coach: The Complete Guide for more info.

What Does It Mean To Feel Invisible?

To feel invisible means you sense no one takes you seriously or you’re being ignored by others. You might think that others don’t consider your feelings or see you for who you truly are as a person. 

What Causes A Person To Feel Invisible?

Here are the causes of feelings of invisibility:

  • Childhood emotional neglect: Some parents ignore and even criticize the emotions of their children thus making them feel invisible their entire lives. They also may view the child through what they do instead of who they are which makes the child feel unseen.
  • People pleasing attitude: While many opt to please their family and friends to become more visible, this unhealthy habit instead ends up making them feel more invisible.
  • Inauthenticity: If one doesn’t get honest with who they are and live that way, they end up feeling invisible because no one gets to recognize who they really are.
  • The choice to become invisible: After one is overlooked by their loved ones, they might unknowingly opt to fade into the background only to end up with deeper feelings of invisibility.
  • Unconscious living: If one doesn’t stay interested in their own lives, they also detach from the feelings of visibility
  • Wrong relationships: If someone doesn’t invest in relationships where they are seen and heard, they end up feeling unnoticed around people who don’t acknowledge them.

How Do You Deal With Feeling Invisible?

When feeling invisible, you need to let go of control and make the first move in making small talk where you want to, stop hiding, and start expressing your authentic self among family and friends while reminding yourself that you deserve to be seen and heard.

  1. See And Hear Yourself First
  2. Choose To Come Out From Your Hiding
  3. Reconnect With Your Natural Self
  4. Start Expressing Yourself In A Secure Space
  5. Practice Speaking Assertively
  6. Do What You Love Or Love What You Do
  7. Snap Back To The Reality Of Your Life
  8. Lessen The Time You Spend Where You Feel Overlooked
  9. Go Where You Want To Be Seen And Heard
  10. Stop People Pleasing And Help Only When You Really Want To
  11. Work With A Professional To Help You Get Back On Track

Why Do I Feel Invisible In Social Situations?

You may be experiencing shyness which is social anxiety that causes one to fear scrutiny due to low self-esteem. You may also feel like you don’t fit in with the social group which may be true or a false view distorted by your low self-confidence.

Feeling Invisible In Relationship

You might feel invisible in a relationship because your true self isn’t recognized or your needs remain unheard. However, it could also be because you depend too much on the other person to fulfill your personal needs.

I Feel Invisible To My Family

If you feel invisible to your family, it might be because your feelings are invalidated and no one acknowledges your true self. Also, they might regard only what you do instead of who you are. This might be because they never learned to be attuned to emotions themselves hence the concept, “hurt people hurt.” 

Why Do I Feel Invisible To Everyone – Feeling Invisible Depression

You might be feeling invisible to everyone because you think that no one cares about your feelings or entire existence. However, this is an inaccurate view of reality distorted by a poor mental health condition. Check the rest of the article for solutions.

Feeling Invisible Quotes

When you’re feeling invisible, remember:

Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others, because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tzu

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie

I am bent, but not broken. I am scarred, but not disfigured. I am sad, but not hopeless. I am tired, but not powerless. I am angry, but not bitter. I am depressed, but not giving up.” — Anonymous

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” – Robert Morley

Final Note

To be honest, feeling invisible is one of the worst feelings to experience. But just like others in the human psyche, you can deal with feelings of invisibility with the right tools once and for all.

I’ve given you those tools in the above strategies. Now it’s your time to turn your life around. 

But before you go, consider helping me share this article with others struggling to be seen and heard. 

Until next time, thanks for reading!

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.