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Self Esteem: On Feeling Invisible

Self esteem shows up in many ways. some are less noticeable than others. Did you ever feel invisible – and figure out how to hide that feeling?

When I was a kid some of my teachers called me a philosopher. I understood things in a way the other kids just didn’t see. Computers came out when I was in high school. And my teachers call me a computer. Now, as an adult, some of my friends call me pedia – short for encyclopedia.

Yeah, if you are playing Trivial Pursuit you want me on your team.

A few years ago I started wondering why I know so much and always have something to contribute to most conversations (unless you are talking about sports, which I’d rather play than watch, or television – which I stopped watching five years ago.)

Frankly, I never liked being called the computer and I am not really fond of being known as pedia either. Yet I really like being able to help people when they call with questions or challenges in most areas of life. And I especially feel good when I can offer hope to someone who has given up because no one else knew what to do.

So I used to think I lived with the dilemma of,  “Do I contribute what I know or let people flounder and find their own way in daily life?” Usually I ask if they would like a suggestion rather than just contribute.

What would you think if I told you this way of being me came from a self esteem issue?

Because, truthfully, it does.

When I was little I was so shy that people didn’t notice me. No one heard me when I talked. I guess I spoke in a wee small voice. And I felt just plain overlooked until I figured out…

If I could be the best at everything I did and if I knew all the right answers, and if I was really nice and – okay, miss goodie-two-shoes and always the teacher’s pet – except I was also popular. Kids liked me too. With all that in place people noticed me. People didn’t just notice me they knew who I was. I made friends and won awards and recognition of all kinds!

Finally I knew how to never be invisible again!

Get the picture?

Funny I never realized what I was doing until very recently. All my life I just did it. Talk about habits!

And it didn’t matter when I spoke softly because people knew what I had to say was important and they stopped their conversations to listen. Yeah, like those old EF Hutton commercials!

Okay, I love to learn and that desire fuels my ever-growing knowledge base. And I suspect I would still have all this knowing on so many subjects even if I never had to announce my presence. But I cannot help wondering would I have become so good at sports and music and art and…(I do many things well) if I never felt a need to shine?

I would not change who or how I am. I really love being me except I also like being able to sit back and just watch and listen to others speak and guess and grow without my input. After all, I discovered you only learn something when you figure it out for yourself and apply it for yourself in your own way.

So now I am usually quiet and just take it all in – with a smile.