Why do people ignore me?

+52 votes
asked Apr 13, 2015 in Relationships by Ian (570 points)
Sometimes I feel like I’m invisible. It seems like every time I go to an event that includes strangers no one even notices I’m there. They don’t draw me into conversations even though I stand close by and occasionally make a comment, they walk right by without greeting me, and the ones I do meet don’t pay any attention to me afterwards. I know I’ve always been shy but I’m still here. So why do people ignore me?

2 Answers

+14 votes
answered Apr 20, 2015 by Day (630 points)
So why do people ignore me? When you’re in a group of strangers, remember, they don’t know you. It’s only natural for people to gravitate to the familiar, to people they’ve met before and know a little bit about. Most people are somewhat uncomfortable around strangers so they turn to the accustomed. You are a stranger to them and you may feel like you’re being ignored but it’s because they are feeling a bit shy themselves so it’s their natural response is to ignore you. You have to find a way to break the ice and make them feel more comfortable.
+9 votes
answered Apr 19, 2015 by Annelynne Yeeun (1,160 points)

People are pretty self-centered and their attention usually falls mainly on something or someone who attracts their focus. Apparently, for some reason you’re not very noticeable to folks, that’s probably why you got ignored.

But you can change that. I’m not suggestion being boisterous or dressing wildly so people will look at you. I don’t think that’s the kind of attention you’re seeking. What I’ve found is that people that get noticed are people who project an air of confidence. Their body language issues a statement. They stand tall with heads high. Their smile is genuine and they talk in a strong, clear voice that is easy to hear. Most shy people tend to speak quietly, chins tucked, and their statements often sound more like questions, lacking surety. They don’t make hand gestures but often clutch their hands together in a nervous grip.

When I was a young woman I was painfully shy. I felt awkward and was my own worse critic. But when I needed a job and the only one I could get was in sales, I knew I had to change. No one wants to buy from a salesperson that doesn’t project confidence in themselves and their products. I forced myself to act more like the successful salespeople around me.

Even if you’re shy, practice presenting a confident front. Don’t linger in the shadows and expect someone to seek you out there. When you’re introduced to someone offer a firm handshake and make solid eye contact. Talk in a clear voice and put some animation in your face. You may feel like jelly on the inside, but no one can tell by looking at the outside. It takes work to overcome your shyness but I know you can do it. 

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