How to Make Sure You get Heard and Seen by Other People

Surely, people can be a total pain in the BUTT – especially for us introverts. And especially in bigger social gatherings – we’ll often be wondering how the heck to get heard or seen by them without having to be annoying, loud or aggressive.

Yes, we are quiet in nature. We don’t easily speak our minds but when we do, we want to be visible to other people – maybe even more so because we often feel a bit ignored!

But it’s not easy, is it?

It’s Hard to Get Seen and Heard!

How to be heard and seen by other people can be a challenge: some people are so loud – seen from our perspective – that they simply shut us down. Others are great at throwing all kinds of logical arguments towards us – they overrule us. And at first we might be thinking: ‘ok, what he says makes sense alright…’ So we let the discussion die. But then when we process what just happened, we say to ourselves: ‘wait, what was that all about?! I have the right to speak my mind, too!’ And we are scared to restart the discussion. Because we’re afraid that we’ll be overruled yet AGAIN. It’s like this never ending cycle…

Let alone that a lot of introverts struggle with feelings of social anxiety or shyness.

Recognise any of the things above?

So then, there’s probably two reasons why you might be reading this blog post:

  1. It’s possible that you’re wondering how to get heard and seen by people in your close surroundings, such as family and friends.
  2. It’s also quite possible that you – like me – are an introverted entrepreneur, and it’s hard for you to make yourself visible to the outside world. You might wonder how to get heard and seen professionally. Networking for example might be hard for you as an introvert.

In this post, I will be mainly talking about the first, although of course you can easily use this guide and the extra tips below in your entrepreneurial life as well.

You Can’t Change Other People

Above all: like extroverts, we as introverts obviously feel the need to be heard and seen by other people as well. It’s not like we are some different form of homo sapiens, right ;-)? We just don’t like to push ourselves to the foreground so much. Rather, we subside in the background. And that’s absolutely fine. Problems arise though, as soon as we grow tired of being ignored all the time. It’s superannoying when other people ARE able to speak their minds, be loud and ‘get their way’. And no one listens to us. It’s just not fair!

The thing is… nothing will change. 

Nothing will change, as long as you don’t.

Yes, we live in an extroverted, loud world. 

Yeah – there’s a tonne of annoying, arrogant or phony people.

And yup, it’s totally unfair that no one listens to YOU. 

I fully agree with you, no doubt about it.

But THEY’RE not going to change.

‘Other people won’t change – so you can’t expect them to. Instead, focus all your energy on changing your own behaviour. Is it fair? No. Is it easy? Nope. But it’s totally worth it!’ – Jamila

The Two Paths that you can Follow

So there’s two paths here that you can follow: the first is keep going like this (you know what that’ll bring you). Second path is a bit more unclear and might make you insecure or scared, but it CAN give you what you want and need. 

Now, if you are feeling brave and you do want to try to change things around: let me help you with that. 

Below are some easy steps to begin walking the second path, that’ll lead you to be being heard and seen by others:

The 5 Long-term Steps to Being Heard or Seen:

Step 1: When did this start?

Firstly ask yourself: in what areas of your life are you having difficulties when it comes to being visible or heard? When did this start? By all means, try to trace back as far as you can. It’s important to first be very clear on the issue here. How extensive it is. So that you can move forward with the next step. 

Step 2: What is your Behaviour?

Secondly, what is your OWN behaviour in the social situations that arise regarding your family, friends or at work? (In which you feel unheard or unseen?) Please try to be as honest as possible, I know it’s hard and might be a bit painful, but it’s also very very important. If you don’t know your own behaviour, you cannot change the situation. 

Step 3: What can you Do?

After that, ask yourself: ‘is there anything at all that I could do differently within those situations?‘ I know you probably tried a lot already to get seen or heard – but were you truly consistent with it? Like: did you behave differently? E.g. did you already try to speak your mind for at least 10-20 times? Or for at least three weeks? Because this is the main pitfall for so many people when it comes to behavioural change. We try stuff, and then we give up because we get impatient with others or with ourselves. So again, please be brutally honest with yourself here.

Step 4: Divide into Smaller Steps

Fourthly, if there is something you could do differently in a consistent way for the next couple of weeks: if it’s a big change then try dividing it into smaller steps. For example: if you never speak your mind with your family because they tend to overthrow you with their own opinions and they’re pretty loud when they do so, don’t set yourself a goal such as ‘When I’m with my family I will speak my mind at least 10 times the coming 3 weeks’ but instead, try a smaller goal, for example: ‘I will speak my mind twice this week with someone one on one who’s close to me’. Don’t pick your biggest goal first. Make that your end goal, instead.

Step 5: When are you Doing It?

Step 5: Additionally, do your planning ahead of time WHEN you’re going to talk to that person. So that you can practice beforehand. If you leave it open, the opportunities won’t just ‘come to you’. Don’t trust on that. Take action instead.

Quick Tips to be Heard or Seen:

Obviously, sometimes you just want to be seen NOW. I can imagine that it’s nice to have some quick practical tips as well in certain social- or work situations! So here we go:

Have Faith in Yourself

Tell yourself before you go into a discussion or meeting of some sort, that you as a human being have value because of XYZ. This takes the focus off a little from the fear or negativity, and makes you focus on the things that you’re GOOD at. Do this often, and you’ll start internalising this belief, too (win win)!

Try to Speak Early

In any conversation (whether it’s in a discussion with your partner, or a meeting at work), try to speak early. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be the first to speak, so don’t put the extra pressure on yourself there! But speaking early makes it easier to say stuff, since the convo might not be that ‘heated’ yet. And if you keep on waiting, you might only get more nervous or even anxious…

Learn to Use your Silent Superpowers

As an introvert, you have amazing superpowers that those loud extroverts don’t have! [Click here to read my recent article on these Silent Superpowers.]

Get your ‘Thing’ On the Agenda

Prior to the talk or meeting, let the person (or people) you’re talking to know that you have a thing to talk about. You don’t necessarily have to mention what it’s about: just get it on the agenda! You might still get nervous when it’s ‘time to speak up’, but at least you’re holding yourself accountable this way.

Avoid saying ‘I disagree’

This usually brings up a lot of resistance in people (imagine someone saying it to you…). So rather, say something like: ‘From my perspective…’ or ‘I see it differently’.

Avoid saying ‘I’m sorry, but can I…?’

This kind of makes people not taking you seriously. And that’s quite the opposite of what you want to accomplish, right? Rather, say something like: ‘I’d like to add…’ or ‘Something that came to mind was…’ or ‘Can I just say…?’

Keep Things Short and Clear

In case you forgot: you’re an introvert. And as introverts, we often need a bit more time to formulate our sentences loud and clear. Take your time, don’t forget to breathe, and then formulate your sentences in a short, clean and clear way.

Begin with Your Conclusion

Start talking where you want to end! Begin the conversation with the summary of what you want to say, instead of using a LOT of language to try and make clear what you’re trying to say. It’s not necessary. Obviously, you can always explain more if people have questions.

Speak Up for Others

In particular this can be useful in social settings such as parties, group discussions or work meetings. For a lot of us introverts, it’s easier to speak up for others than to speak up for ourselves. We can push ourselves outside of our comfort zone faster, if it’s for someone we like. If someone in a group setting says something you agree with, simply say: ‘I agree’. Say it loud and clear and without hesitation, so that others can hear you.

Ask (Open) Questions

Surely it can bring up a lot of anxiety when you’re trying to get others to listen to your idea or point of view, especially when you’re an introvert. It might be easier for you to instead ask questions about topics that come up during a conversation or meeting. This will show your level of engagement and interest. In a private conversation or discussion, instead of bringing up your opinion, you can ask questions such as: ‘But what about…?’ or ‘What made you do…?’ or ‘How do you see…?’ This usually opens up the conversation – and oftentimes someone will ask you the same question back. Opening up space for you to say what’s on your mind.

Practice, practice, practice!

Also just remember that a lot of these things take practice. But I promise you (because I’ve been there myself): it does get easier! (Social) Anxiety and shyness is only reduced by getting outside of your comfort zone.

So in general, what steps will you be taking to start getting heard and seen…?

With love, xo,

Jamila – Psychologist, Mindfulness-trainer & ACT-therapist

P.S. Want to work on your visibility and reduce your (social) anxiety? I still have room for some ladies on my calendar! Feel free to plan a FREE 30-minute consultation with me here: so that we can find out what you NEED in your specific situation. (Don’t worry, I won’t be selling you anything <3 If you want to be helped by me, then sure! But you might as well need someone or something else, and I’m always very honest about this.)


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