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Are we afraid of being ignored?

Are we afraid of being ignored?

May 6, 2021

Being invisible to society and at the same time having the recognition of this are two phenomena more linked to each other than we think. One of our biggest nightmares is to be repudiated as a pariah by the people around us. Being invisible or not being, being ignored among our peers, can become a determining factor in life, with significant consequences in our way of being.

Since Psychology and Mind We explain the causes of this reality that many people suffer, and we will try to point out some solutions

Our worst nightmare: to be ignored by others.

I'm sitting at a bar table, enjoying a good beer while listening to other people's conversations. In Spain. If you want to find out about something go straight to a bar, possibly because of that unhealthy habit of raising your voice you always end up knowing everything even if you do not want to.


I look at a boy who has chosen a secluded nook to be absorbed in his reading hobby. The waiter has previously served three tables whose guests subsequently reached him. The boy looks at the waiter impatiently but he does not see it, he looks like a ghost . However, a middle-aged gentleman enters the establishment and everyone learns of his presence, they turn to look at him, he is a recognized client, one of those of a lifetime.

The waiter knows exactly what the man is going to have for breakfast and hurries to serve him between effusive conversations. The boy is increasingly irritated , not only because he feels none too but also because of the histrionic joy between the client and the waiter. Finally, he finally shouts at the waiter and leaves with a frown.


Invisible people in the society of the image

This event made me reflect that, in a society as visual as the western one, all are easily digestible slogans. We have a vital obligation to portray it absolutely everything , and a photo is always easy to digest (the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words).

We have developed the need to always be in the photo, and when this does not happen, the world comes to us. It would then be appropriate to ask the following questions; What do we want to see in each image? How do we want to be seen or remembered? And the last but not least: What do we really see in a photo?

This mystery has an answer: the information deposited in our brain, that is, all the data that we have introduced in the mind including the psychic dynamic transformed into custom and that forms the compendium of concepts that we have regarding our own being, society and the environment that surrounds us. Definitely, categorized information that has also been nourished by the family, cultural and social idiosyncrasies .


From this point we have structured our psyche, in a complex system that obeys the schemes that have been mechanized which gear in the deepest unconscious. When someone looks at us, he does not do it through his eyes but through his mind, and sees (or rather interprets) what he has experienced.

Loneliness versus company

In the concept we have of ourselves (the self-concept) both the drive to be absent and the inclination to be present coexist. In certain areas of our lives we would like to have a wide recognition while in others we need to disappear from the face of the Earth, to be completely invisible.

Alternate between that need to have recognition with the need not to attract attention it is something totally normal and logical, because throughout our life we ​​go through different personal and social contexts. The problem occurs when one obsesses in a sickly way in a single need, because the person who suffers it is applying the same schemes and norms to totally different situations, generating in this way a feeling of frustration.

That is when the psyche needs to create a new perspective of the world and of itself.

"The worst sin towards our fellowmen is not to hate them, but to treat them with indifference, this is the essence of humanity"

-Shakespeare

The fear of not having emotional ties

Our greatest fear is to be despised, ignored or ignored . Relationships are more productive when they are stable, when affective bonds are created that offer the subject long-term protection (because we do not stop being social animals). The question is the empirical experiences that we live determine and condition different affective styles.

When certain affective styles are out of the norm, society usually rejects the members who own them, since it does not comply with the previously established social canons. In the same way that many recognitions are unfair, disproportionate or exaggerated, a large percentage of social exclusion is also unfair.Many times we boast of our justice, but we always end up making certain groups invisible, that is the evil of our century. In our we fear more to not emphasize that to do it, although it has a negative effect.

"There is only one thing in the world that is worse than talking about you, and that is that they do not talk about you"

-Oscar Wilde

Between reality and appearances

Not being visible is due to problems of social adaptation, like the bar guy who only stood out when he shouted at the waiter. But I'm sure the boy did not feel good about the anger. It did not occur to him to be noticed through dialogue and assertiveness.

However, these situations are also due to certain illusions and expectations ; They do great feats or try to attract attention in order to receive rose petals and applause accompanied by the drum roll, but this does not stop being a mere self-deception because we are not recognized for what we are but for what we pretend to be.

The reductionism of the senses

Many emperors, generals and leaders of antiquity feared not to be remembered, and that fear hides even greater fear; the fear of being ignored. Do we exist if nobody sees us? Of course, yes, it would be enough for each one to accept himself , with all the virtues and defects, but for this we must enhance, as emitters and receivers, all the senses, perhaps in this way we do not give so much importance to the image.

But sooner or later the look of the neighbor comes; It can be a positive or negative judgment. Or much worse: we can see ourselves relegated to the half measures of indifference , that gray color that smells of mediocrity and in which we do not want to suffocate. It is just in the worst moments, just at that moment, when it is shown if we are capable of loving ourselves or not.

In conclusion, it's about doing an introspective analysis and much more , we could begin by including the sense of hearing in a totally visual world. The problem does not lie in not being seen, but in not being listened to and not knowing how to listen, among others. We need to refine the ear more and less the view! We need to stimulate all the senses!


How to Deal with Being Ignored (May 2021).


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