Despite our varying needs regarding socializing, psychologists say that personal identity matters for everyone. In a study published in the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, researchers refer to feeling important as “a key psychological resource.”While we all enjoy going unnoticed, feeling chronically irrelevant can lead to mental problems. If this belief becomes part of your personal identity, you may have trouble forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
ADVERTISEMENT Canadian researchers say that sometimes feeling invisible isn’t a cause for concern. Instead, it becomes an issue when you suffer from “anti-mattering,” a term they coined. This means that you view yourself as not mattering or feeling important to others.
This personal identity could make you withdraw from others to avoid rejection.In this case, “anti-mattering” means you don’t desire affirmation from others. Being ignored doesn’t phase you since it saves you the stress of a possible negative interaction. However, researchers say that this self-image can cause significant mental harm.
ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT The authors explained that anti-mattering “should be considered a unique and specific vulnerability, unlike any other risk factor. It can become an internalized cognitive preoccupation and results in self-harm tendencies and an inability or unwillingness to engage in self-care.”People often lose a healthy personal identity due to persistent rejection or neglect in relationships. This could happen with romantic partnerships, employers, or even friends who repeatedly ignore messages.
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