Power Points — Do You Feel Invisible?
Do you sometimes feel invisible? Does it seem like people only notice you when they want something from you, and they ignore you or disappear when you have a need or want of your own?
This is a really painful, lonely, difficult place to be, and it’s amazing how many people feel this way.
If you were raised in a family where people didn’t value your needs, yet expected you to meet theirs, this might be one of the reasons you feel this way. As a child you may have been taught that the only way to get noticed and receive positive attention was to suppress your needs and focus on those of others.
Now that you’re an adult, you might still be looking for love and approval by giving to, and taking care of, others, as you were taught to do when you were small.
If you were raised to be a caretaker of others, you most likely weren’t raised to also take care of yourself. The unspoken bargain, what you hoped would happen, was that if you were there for people, they’d be there for you.
Unfortunately, it seldom works that way!
Now, taking care of others is a good thing. It’s wonderful to be giving, supportive and compassionate to people. The missing ingredient is that you might be forgetting to also give these wonderful things to yourself.
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to look at why people don’t give you the same consideration and support that you give them. Could it be because you unconsciously treat yourself disrespectfully, and model this behavior for others? Without realizing it you’re teaching people how to treat you.
The good news is that you are now an adult, which means you have the power to make things different. Even if you were taught to disregard your wants and needs as you focused on others, you can now change that early patterning, and begin treating yourself with the respect you deserve.
Imagine what it would be like if you stopped ignoring yourself and started occasionally putting your needs first. Setting boundaries around behaviors you will and will not accept from others?
Some things you can do to turn things around are:
- Look inside yourself and begin acknowledging your feelings, wants and needs. Tell yourself that what you feel is as important as what others feel, and act accordingly.
- Start speaking up for yourself. Once you’re aware of your feelings, wants and needs, Speak Up and make sure others are aware of them too. If they continue to ignore you or get angry when you do this, you might be in a toxic relationship that you will need to re-evaluate.
- Start taking care of yourself as well others, and modeling for them how to give to you as well as take from you.
- Stop accepting one-way relationships, where the other person talks about him/herself for hours, but doesn’t listen when you begin to speak.
- Give people the opportunity to be there for you. Take a risk, share your thoughts, and encourage others to respond.
When you change your behavior, some people will be happy to see that you’re stepping up and being assertive. However, others will probably be angry and confused. If you patiently demonstrate your boundaries and hold them firm, you will model for others how you expect to be treated. Eventually people will modify the way they treat you, and their respect for you will grow as you demonstrate your self-respect.
There might be some people who just want to be in a relationship with you for the way you take care of them, and as you grow stronger, they will probably fade away and find someone else to abuse.
Always remember, you are a lovable, valuable, capable, competent person, and it’s time you and everyone else acknowledge this.
The bottom line is that the key to being visible is to respect yourself, take control of your life, and make sure others are aware that you are as important as they are.
Please comment so others can benefit from your wisdom and experience.
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