Overlooked

Being Overlooked

In real life I feel that I often get overlooked. I am not sure what people see when they look at me, but they certainly don’t see what is really there. It can be frustrating but I also think maybe it allows me to go undetected for things too. It can lead to that feeling of people being surprised by what you have done and by what you have achieved, which is really quite nice at the time. However, once things settle down, I feel like it is quickly forgotten again. Gone from their minds.

I suppose it is to do with making an impression. Some people are really good at that. They are vivacious and have presence where others do not. Those are the ones I think – we are the ones who can be overlooked. We fade into the background all too easily. We don’t shout about what we do but are quietly confident, understated, going about things in a subtle and non-threatening way. I am drawn to those people too; I am comfortable with them and feel I can be myself.

It has been odd, in a sense, having an online presence. Here you are what you write. You have your persona and you have your words and that is more or less it. What you write becomes what you are. It somehow seems to drill things down until we become the essence of ourselves. There are no distractions, no impressions to create. Just raw feelings on the page which are there for others to read and to understand. We have no body here, we make no sound. We are the trail of ink that we produce, telling our story.

And our words have to make themselves visible. They have to be enough on their own, as there is nothing more. My image and my voice is born from the words on the page and if they are memorable, I am memorable too. I have done better in this world. What I have to offer and contribute seems to be more easily seen on here than it is in other worlds, be that as personal skills and qualities, or successes and achievements. Perhaps people are looking more carefully, but it has been nice to  have that place somewhere.

It has made me feel that I am not taken for granted. That I am seen and recognised for what I know and for what I do. It has allowed me to build on what I have started and for that to be a gradual thing. I feel that I have a place and that I belong in that place. That the space is recognised as mine and that I have ownership and control. As if what I do has a direct bearing on what I become, the more the more, and the less the less.

This stands in contrast to other parts of my life. I am not seen there. I become wallpaper while the other louder, brighter pieces of furniture stand out. I become invisible and blend. I don’t build upon what is there in the same way. I do things which are noticed but forgotten so I am forever starting over. Overlooked. Not really understood. Like a constant starting again, and again. Not a reinventing but a restating, a reminding of what and who I am.

And yet it allows me to exist more safely. I move in the shadows, unlikely to be exposed. I worry about being discovered, uncovered, when really nobody is looking at me. Would they ever join the dots when I am not what I seem? Who would attribute those things to me? Those talents and skills and qualities? I would not be recognisable to them, invisible as I am. So perhaps there is a positive in being overlooked. Perhaps it allows my two worlds to co-exist. The deep, dark secret that someone like me would never have. The colour and the brightness and would belong to someone else.

For more on mental health please click the button above to check out the SB4MH site, or to read more of my own posts, click here.

Posted in Mental Health.

23 Comments

  1. Having met you, I can only say that to overlook you or forget you says a lot more about them as people than you – in my opinion. It tells me they don’t deserve to know you, or have you in their lives, for they don’t appreciate who you are!

  2. As always, I enjoy your introspective views of yourself and the world around you, Missy. It would be a mistake for anyone to not pay attention as it is often the quiet thinkers and observers who have the most to offer … nj … xx

    • I agree with you and take comfort in that. It’s a recent irritation though as it has happened quite a bit. Why not consult with those who watch and think and know. Too many are taken in by the show I feel. Thank you for commenting. 😊

  3. Very definitely certain types of people get overlook, even ignored. I’ve had that for years in the work environment where all the blusterers happily ignore your input and then don’t appreciate a few months later finding out they should have listened.

    Writing is certainly a way inviting people to see who you are. Neither the reader nor writer has anything to prove and so a connection can be made that doesn’t have that ‘real’ world baggage.

    I’m sorry that you feel you become part of the furniture, but I’ve found that accepting it means I do enjoy working in the shadows, popping my head out once in a while.

    I see you contributing so much and very much like the way you express yourself.

    melody xx

    • Thank you so much. I know what you mean about the shadows. I also feel that is me. I am not showy or someone to be pushing themselves at you and I’m not comfortable being like that. I wish people would look deeper sometimes or closer but it’s really nice to be somewhere where it happens for people like us too. 😊

  4. This post made absolutely so much sense to me. Sometimes, to colleagues and some family members, I want to scream out what I do online, what I have achieved here and tell them ‘here I am, look at me’, but then again, I don’t. I don’t want to be in the midst of their attention, don’t want them to keep their eyes on me and what I do. In a way, I actually prefer it the way it is, even though I still sometimes have the urge to share absolutely everything I do, and tell them ‘come on, see me!’

    Great post, Missy!

    Rebel xox

    • I can so relate to that part Marie. The temptation is always there but as you say, definitely advantages to quietly knowing it yourself. 😊

  5. It is their loss and stupidity if they overlook you – I am glad you feel valued here – i for one do not take you or your writing for granted – so more please 😉 x

  6. Wonderful post Missy! I agree with so many things you have said, but also with Rebel. I’m the background friend. The quiet sometimes weird one and I’m ok with that. I want to share this part of me so badly but I’m so very scared of the backlash I would receive in doing so. So for now, people see me here and it’s fine and dandy. 😉

    • Thanks you. That is true for me too. Sometimes being self conscious and the old need for acceptance holds me back 😊

  7. This is a fantastic post, Missy! It is such a perceptive and thoughtful observation, and one I can definitely relate to. I often feel invisible myself, and although sometimes that hurts, I do prefer to hide in the shadows. It is only behind anonymity that I feel I can be myself. Thus, your well-made points really resonate. 👏👏💜

  8. This has so much depth, oh my! I love this post, the way you describe the safety of your own space, where not the flashiest and the loudest make the biggest mark, but the ones whose words shine.

  9. Great post Missy. So deep and transparent.

    For most of my life, I would have said the same. I would repeatedly be overlooked and no one seemed to notice what I was capable of. What I came to realize is that most of the people in our world are simply shallow. They chase things that are popular or shiny. So when it comes to people, they only tend to see dynamic, charismatic personalities. There were numerous instances of getting bypassed and overlooked, but was the one to solve the problem from the shadows, that left a surprised look on people’s faces that was all the satisfaction I needed.

    But then I also ended up as “the owner of the room” later in life that made me realize, I could own any room I wanted…I just had to want to. (By that I mean like when you teach. You own that room. You’re not overlooked by those students and are probably remembered and valued.) I too was a teacher, and now have another high level leadership role where my position demands I’m the one to be seen. I now realize I can stand quietly in the shadows, which sometimes feels natural, and I can choose to step out and be noticed. Whether that fits for you or not, only you (and HL) would know. But I am sure that you can take solace in knowing it’s their loss to overlook you! 😉

    • Thanks QH. You make an interesting point about owning the room and that is true of my teaching. It is good to be able to exist in both spaces I think 😊

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.