The Power of Invisibility

I like to think I’m an observant person. It serves me well. People give off subtle clues that help me gauge their feelings or pick up on what they really mean which can be completely different than what they say.

Sometimes I miss the clues, The Mentalist I am not and after all, a person’s private thoughts should be just that. However, I can see the conflict playing out in front of me between their feelings and their words and since I also love puzzles it’s hard for me to let the mystery go unsolved.

But there is a mystery happening more and more that I’ve recently tried to figure out:

Why do people treat others as if they are invisible?

We’ve all encountered them. They cross the street in front of your car without so much as a glance in either direction. It’s the people who walk through a door then let it slam on your fingers, or worse, the side of your face. It’s the work associate that passes you in the hall and says nothing. Most times I’m left with my smile and kind words of greeting dangling and dying half way out of my mouth. I think being treated like that from someone you know is the most surprising and hardest not to take personally.

I understand that, in those moments, they might be busy or just aren’t paying attention. People may have multiple deadlines looming over them which necessitates their tunnel vision and laser-like focus. Empathy goes out to the person who slows down or stops at every intersection because they are clearly looking for an address.

I get it; the world doesn’t revolve around me.

But it doesn’t feel good when it happens. I don’t feel good when it happens.

I know my attitude and how I conduct myself is my choice. I choose whether or not to become angry and curse them under my breath or merely shrug it off and go about my day. I’ve purposely let the door slam and ignored people standing right next to me. I’m not proud of it. I think I was trying to solve the mystery by putting myself in their place. I was trying to find out what they get out of it and what they feel, if anything, when they do it. Does it make them feel invincible? Uplifted? Important? Alas, it only made me feel awful. I didn’t enjoy being that kind of person.

I realized the mystery lies between my feelings of how I was being treated as opposed to how I feel about myself when I turn the tables. Feeling bad about me is more damaging than any outside influence or event, however undeserved, that may be thrust upon me.

So let the doors slam and treat me as if I’m a ghost. I will continue to hold the door open for you and say hello when I see you in the hall. I don’t do it for you, I do it for me.

But if you walk in front of my car you might want to pray that my observant tendencies are at full power that day.

I choose invisibility. It feels pretty good…


~ by Karen Miraz on December 15, 2012.

One Response to “The Power of Invisibility”

  1. Excellent! Well said. Thought provoking…

    Random acts of kindness aren’t random – they’re intentional and meant to make the other person feel: good, better, surprised, aware, confused, obligated to pass it forward, eager to pay it forward, entitled, like someone cared enough to do something nice specifically for him/her for no apparent reason, pleased, kindness. That’s what they’re for – to elicit some feeling within the other person – whether it’s shared with me or not – whether it’s payed forward or not. I choose to be kind, daily. it feels pretty good…

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