Being Seen: Do Some People’s Childhoods Set Them Up To Live In Other People’s Shadow?


Although human beings have their own needs and feelings and, therefore, have their own life to lead, it doesn’t mean that everyone on this planet will have their own life. Instead, some people will have the tendency to fade into the background.

When someone experiences life in this way, they will have their own life to lead, but it will be as if they are not really here. They will have a physical body and there will be certain things that they do each day, yet they won’t fully show up.

For Example

So when it comes to the people that they spend time with, these could be people who are happy to take the limelight. When they are around these people, one might not say a lot and could be happy to let them take all of the attention.

In a way, it will be as though the people in their life are on stage and they are just part of the audience. Or, the people in their life are the leading actors, with them just being part of the supporting cast.

Another Part

Not only this, these people could have a lot going on in their life and one might not have a lot going on in their own life. The people in their life can then have a lot to say about their life, with one not having much to say about theirs.

When it comes to ones career, it could be an area of their life that causes them to experience a lot of frustration. Now, they might not really have a career or they could have one but they might not have been able to get very far.

The Opposite

It has been said that the need to be seen and heard is something that everyone has, however, what is clear is that one is not going to feel seen and heard. They will have people in their life, yet they could feel as though they are all alone.

So even if they spend a lot of time around people, they are not going to feel connected to them. There could be times when they wonder why they are even here and they might wonder if they actually do exist.

The Norm

What one may find, that’s if they were to take a step back, is that their life has been this way for a very long time. This will mean that they will be used to feeling indivisible and as though they are not truly seen by others.

If they have had moments when they were seen, though, it may have caused them to feel very uncomfortable. They would then have experienced what they wanted but it wouldn’t have been an enjoyable experience.

A Strange Scenario

If this is the case, one could struggle to understand why this happens. In addition to this, they could also struggle to understand why their life is this way to begin with.

What they could do, to get a greater insight into what is going on, is to imagine that they are expressing their true-self around their friends. At first, this could be something that feels good but, after a while, their inner experience could change.

A Deeper Look

As time passes, they may find that they start to experience anxiety, fear and even shame. Being seen is then not going to feel comfortable and they will have the need to hide who they are again.

Based on how they feel when they are seen, it could be said that one has a fear of being harmed and/or abandoned. Due to one or both of these fears, they won’t feel safe enough to be seen and to express who they really are.

What’s going on?

What this illustrates is that one believes that they are worthless, bad and unlovable, hence why they believe that they would be abandoned if they were to be seen. The fear and anxiety that they experience can also show that they are carrying trauma.

Taking into account that one’s life has been this way for a very long time, it probably shows that their early years were anything but nurturing. This may have been a time when it wasn’t safe for them to just be and to express who they were.

A Rough Time

They may have been physically, verbally and emotionally abused, and they may have been neglected. Perhaps they had one caregiver who undermined them at every turn, with them having the need to be the centre of attention, lacking empathy, and unable to see them as a separate human being.

Through being brought up in an environment like this, they could have come to believe that there was something inherently wrong with them and they would have had to disconnect from their true-self. They would have come to see that the only way that they could survive was to hide themselves and to make sure that they never stood out.

Hiding is surviving

Hiding is then going to cause them to suffer, but being seen will be seen as something that would cause their life to end. It is then not hard to see why they have had such a strong need to hide themselves.

Nonetheless, irrespective of how long their life has been this way for, it doesn’t have to stay this way forever. Now that they are aware of why their life is the way it is, something can be done about it.


If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or healer.


Source by Oliver JR Cooper