Vail Daily column: Am I invisible?
So this past Sunday before heading to church we decided to go out to breakfast. And as we entered the restaurant, the staff was happily greeting each guest who arrived and let them know they would be right with them. However, for whatever reason, when we walked in, there was dead silence as they busied themselves with the work immediately in front of them.
Now I get that they were very busy, yet when the people behind us walked in they also received the warm and courteous greeting. I didn’t take it personally, as I am sure we were just caught in a moment of the staff being super busy. But I will share that for a moment it felt like we were invisible.
Have you ever felt that way? You know what I mean right? That feeling when others around you may be receiving a little extra attention or being waited on or taken care of and you are left there wondering what you did and if you possibly offended anyone. Do I look different? Am I wreaking of body odor? Or am I just invisible today?
There are times when we want to be invisible. There are situations or events happening around us where we just hope and pray no one calls on us or asks us a question, or God forbid, asks us to participate in some way. And we certainly want to be invisible when asked to volunteer for a project or opportunity that just doesn’t fit in with who we are or creates a conflict in our social calendar.
“You want me to do what? When? … I am very sorry, you see that was the day I was going to rearrange my sock drawer, paint my garbage cans, create a data base for my soup recipes alphabetically, phonetically, numerically and categorize each by ingredient. And if I could squeeze it in, list all the people I know who have seen the movie ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ at least 10 times. So you see, I would love to help but I am just very busy.” We can make a million excuses and make ourselves invisible when and if we really wanted to can’t we?
Let’s think about this in a slightly different way. How about when we give anonymously or do some kind of random act of kindness? Doing things for others when no one else knows that we did it, contributing to a great cause and not attaching our name to the message or posting. Are we invisible when we do those things? Yes we are, and I have to share with you those are probably the times we feel the best.
It’s easy to feel offended or hurt when others are receiving special attention and we feel like we have been overlooked or forgotten, when we feel like maybe we are invisible in the eyes of people, companies, our friends and sometimes even our own families. And even though the excuses come fairly easily, we probably feel some sense of guilt for not volunteering or making ourselves invisible when our friend calls and needs our help moving for the third time in two years.
And when we determine that we want to be invisible for a good cause, when we do something for the greater good, or for even one person or family and they had no idea that we did it, it’s in those moments of invisibility that we receive the greatest joy and satisfaction.
How about you? Are you conveniently invisible when you want to be or do you intentionally make yourself invisible for a good cause? Either way, I would love to hear all about it at email@example.com, and when we choose to become visible for the right reasons, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.