Is There Anybody There?

Do you ever feel invisible? Speaking with a colleague at work only for them to talk over you and cut you off? What about when you are walking around a supermarket and someone bumps into you without apologising, like you aren’t even there? Or driving your car and someone pulls out in front of you? You are at home talking to your partner but they are too busy watching tv to notice what you are saying or that you are talking?

If you are feeling invisible what can you do to make yourself be seen? Here are 3 things for you to try:

Project your voice. Have you ever been in a restaurant and heard someone’s conversation from a good few seats away? They aren’t shouting but they are speaking loudly above everyone else. Annoying though this may be for everyone in the restaurant, at least they know the person or people they are with will not miss a word of what they say. I’m not asking you to speak that loudly and I know it isn’t easy to put your voice out there but turn your volume UP. It can be tricky when the space around us is so quiet. Speaking softly is expected in so many situations, but when you need or want to be heard, then you must project your voice. Think of a time when you have been at home listening to music or in the car or shower and you sing your heart out. You don’t whisper it, you sing those words like you are on stage playing to a crowd. This is the voice you need to use – confident and strong. Say what you need to say in a clear and loud way.

Don’t accept interruptions. This may feel awkward, particularly if you are not someone who likes to be noticed or likes to avoid these kind of awkward situations. However, you are entitled to say something and be heard. If you are on a work call or in a meeting and you get cut off then say to the person politely ‘please can I finish what I was saying’ and continue. Make sure the tone you use is light and friendly. More often than not the person will apologise and let you carry on. I think most people are savvy enough not to interrupt, but don’t feel bad for saying something if they do. Too often I have said nothing when someone interrupts and then the flow for what I was saying has gone and I never get that moment back, so I leave things unsaid and feel unseen and unheard. In the moment that might be fine. But if it keeps happening, then others will see this as ok. Remember what you have to say is just as important as what other people are saying.

Get away from technology. Not all the time, but some of the time. If you want to speak to your partner but they are constantly glued to their phone or TV and barely glance your way. Ask them politely to put the phone down or switch the TV off to give you some time to talk. If you always watch TV when eating your dinner, why not sit at the table, switch devices off and use this time to talk instead. Create a device free half an hour and chat. Say what you want to say and be heard. If you are a family where it is difficult to speak without it turning into a shouting match between you and the kids, then try using a talking item to help. It can be any item you want such as a remote control or an ornament. But the rule is whoever is holding the object is the only person allowed to talk at that time. Take it in turns to say what you want to say and get it off your chest free from interruptions. It’s important everyone gets to say what they need to and this will ensure no-one feels left out or invisible.

Being invisible would be a pretty good trick, however, when you already feel invisible knowing you are 100% there, then it can become frustrating and get you down. You might begin to question your own ability to have conversations where what you say is valid. Your voice needs to be heard. So stand up tall, project your voice, don’t accept interruptions and give yourself and your family technology free talking time.

Have a great week. Thank you for reading. Take care and look after you.

Love Emma xx

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