Feeling Invisible And Unheard – A Deeper Look

listenWritten December 31, 2011 by Ethan Emerson  www.facebook.com/poeticrhythms

If there are two situations Projectors experience continually, and, find the most disheartening, it’s feeling invisible and unheard. If you’re reading this without any knowledge of what it means to be a Projector in Human Design, and especially if you understand that we all create our own reality, you might find yourself thinking that if a person feels invisible and unheard they likely have some STORY they have been telling themselves around that, and if they could just disappear that STORY then all would be well and they would stop attracting those situations into their lives.

Indeed, this is a possibility – however, it’s not always the truth. You see, I spent 2 years trying on the possibility that my story was creating my experience of being invisible and unheard, but it just never fit. I know that I create my own reality and when my Human Design coach told me that as a Projector, I would only find my success when I waited to be recognized before speaking – and that I would only piss people off by initiating anything (especially romantic relationships) I dismissed what he said completely. I thought to myself:

I create my own reality! I can learn how to initiate, I just don’t have the skillsets, but I can and will learn! I am going to be a success! I am not limited by this ‘Projector strategy’ at all. And I’ll prove it!

I thought maybe if I could just speak louder, stronger, with more conviction – or perhaps hold more authority in my voice… then people would listen to me. I thought that if I could get really great at distilling my points down to what I could express in 10 seconds, I’d keep people’s attention. I was told by others that I just wasn’t asserting myself, and I needed to start taking a stand for my life and stop putting up with being talked over. They told me I needed to be more aggressive. Being that way did not feel natural to me, but I really believed that I could learn communication skills to change the way people interacted with me.

So I spent TWO YEARS learning communication skills that allowed me to be precise, quick, and assertive while being a powerful speaker. I learned a bit of everything from NLP, Laban, and even immersed myself in Landmark Education and took on a business coach who had been trained as a Landmark Forum Leader – he was truly one of the best mentors and teachers I have ever had!

I applied what I had learned with my coaches and I did really well! When I applied what I had learned in the real world I still drove people away.

I knew something was wrong and my situation was more than just a lack of skills or effort. I’ve always been able to quickly pick up skills and become successful at everything I do. I learned to play 7 musical instruments all on my own, I was reading at one-and-a-half years old, and I excelled at every hobby and sport I ever tried. It just didn’t make sense to me that in two whole years I couldn’t learn how to simply get someone’s attention, and then keep it long enough to share my thoughts.

After an arduous 2 year struggle, I came back to Human Design and really dove into living my strategy as a last resort. I embraced my Human Design as a Projector, and found nearly instant success in every area where I had once failed for a lifetime… and that’s what this article is about: my discovery that although I wanted to believe I am in complete control of creating my reality, there are still energetic rules I have to play by if I want to be in my flow.

I understand now that while we all have the same capacity to create our reality any way we please, there are energetic forces at play that go deeper than just what we create with the mind. This article is about the discovery of the energy I carry as a Projector that interacts with others – energy that I finally surrender to; energy that I now know I cannot change.

My experiences growing up…

I’ve always felt like I am walking on eggshells with others when it comes to conversation. People either don’t hear me, someone else gets the credit for what I’ve thought of, I get blamed for trainwrecks I’ve seen coming and tried to prevent by shouting from the treetops to deaf ears, or I piss people off no matter what I say.

I’ve spent a lifetime feeling invisible and unheard and I never knew why. When I was growing up, on a daily basis I would have the most puzzling experiences with other people at school and in my community – I would offer my thoughts on the topic of conversation, and be talked over as if no one heard me speaking. The person next to me would say exactly what I just said, and suddenly everyone in the group would agree and give them praise for what they had said. If it was a solution to a problem, the other person would get full credit and the rest of the group would look at me and tell me, “why didn’t YOU think of that? You’re supposedly the SMART one!” These experiences left me baffled. This wasn’t just occasional – it was constant.

I really did know all the answers…

All my life I have been able to see deeply into problems to find the most logical and efficient solution almost immediately. All the people around me would go through trial and error for long periods of time before trying my solution, and in the end I was always right. Whatever the issue my peers or family faced, I saw a clear solution – but no one ever, ever, EVER heard me when I offered that solution. I may as well have been a ghost.

I always pissed people off…

For my whole life I never understood how I could crack a joke, be scowled at by everyone as if I was annoying and not funny, only to have the person right next to me immediately crack the same joke in the same tone of voice and witness everyone bust out into hysterics, hailing them as the group’s comic.

Generator friend of mine once told me that she found me to be cumbersome when I comment in conversation, and that she really wishes I would just not make any comments because I’m just not funny. This was a complete contrast to my experience with other groups of people, as some of my circles of friends thought I was the funniest person in the world! After my friend’s comment, I became almost entirely silent in her presence, walking on eggshells when I felt inspired to crack a joke or make a comment.

I could never hold people’s attention… so I developed a habit of speaking as fast as possible…

On the rare occasion when someone did hear what I had to say, their attention on me was very short-lived. It was almost as though I only had 30 seconds to get my point across, and after 30 seconds they would literally walk away or start a new topic of conversation, even when I was in mid-sentence!

Feeling unheard is bad enough, but I often felt invisible as well…

I remember one time when I was about 12 years old and studying at the local library, I found a lost dog and called the number on the tag so he could be reunited with his owner. When the lady came to pick him up, despite me handing her the dog and saying that I was glad I was quick enough to catch him, she didn’t hear a word I said. Instead, she looked at the two people with me and asked, “which one of you found him? Here’s $20″ – and she handed my friend the reward. It was as though I was literally invisible to her.

Through these experiences I came to believe that no one wants to hear what I have to say. It seemed pretty obvious to me. The only problem is that I had way too much valuable information to share with people! I turned to writing to satisfy my need to express myself.

I never thought about why people didn’t want to hear what I had to say until I spent three solid years of my life doing transformational work including Landmark Education, specifically the Landmark Forum. As part of my transformational work I was taught to look inside, to look deeper and find the root of the lies (my story) I have been telling myself my whole life. When I thought about how I have always believed no one wants to hear what I have to say, I had a difficult time finding what was underneath that belief. Why did I believe that? I wanted to answer this question internally – not externally. In other words, despite the evidence of being ignored, interrupted and hated every time I opened my mouth, I wanted to find the answer inside of me. What did I believe about myself that caused me to think no one wanted to hear what I have to say?

After 2 years of no answer, it was finally suggested to me that perhaps maybe I believed that what I had to say wasn’t important. I tried that on as a possibility… and it didn’t fit AT ALL! My body told me that wasn’t true for me, but I listened to my mind instead – thinking it was probably true and I just wasn’t able to see it. I figured it was my “blind spot.” My coach was telling me to keep looking deeper and deeper because I probably had some kind of limiting belief about the importance of what I have to say… and I would find it if I just kept looking.

Two years later, as I dug deeply into myself to find my truth I realized that there really was no limiting belief about the importance of what I have to say. I have always known that I have incredibly valuable information to share with people and the world. If anything, I have always been overly confident that my knowledge could solve everyone’s problems if they would just listen to me.

I had no idea that in order to get people to listen to me I simply needed to wait to be recognized – and once I was recognized, I would have that person’s full attention. I had no idea that in order to get people to take my advice, all I needed to do was wait for them to ASK for it. I spent a lifetime offering advice to people who never listened, yet once I began allowing people to come to me and ask for my advice, now anything I suggest is treasured like gold.