It comes to us all, men and women alike. One minute you’re still youthful enough to attract the attention if the barrister/waiter/man-or-woman-in-the-street; the next those same people are looking right through you as if you didn’t exist. Whether it’s the granny glasses, grey hair, weight-gain, or wrinkles, you are seriously failing to be seen.
Some people embrace this often disconcerting time of life as an opportunity to kick back and take a break from the relentless need to impress. No longer plagued by a sexual competitiveness, women draw closer together; men plumb greater depths with their male friends. But for others, invisibility is a demoralising unfairness that should be fought at every stage. If you still want to be seen by a younger generation as you age, try these 6 steps to avoiding invisibility.
- Hang out in a lively group
Laughter, banter and fun – the sort that comes with camaraderie, is a great attention-grabber. Nothing says ‘look at me’ more than a lively group enjoying themselves in public. Whether you’re popping into the café with your Saturday morning cycling buddies or holding book club in a bar, you’re going to be noticed – and in a good way, because everyone, younger and older, likes a lively presence.
- Looks count
Like it or not, your appearance counts. After all, if you don’t value yourself enough to dress up a little now and then, you can’t expect others to, either. So get that hair appointment booked and give a younger stylist permission to do what they, not you, think is best with the cut and colour. Got a birthday coming up or have a few extra dollars to spend on yourself? Contact a personal stylist for advice on a clothing and accessories makeover. You might be surprised what a hat and funky spectacle frames can do for you.
- Fighting fit
You cared about weight and fitness when you were younger so why stop now when it counts more than ever? Whether or not you’re winning the war on flab, just getting out and pounding the pavement or hitting the gym will boost your endorphins and confidence. And it’s that confidence that says to the world: “I’m here – take note!”
- Surround yourself with young people
Being around the buzz and energy young people create, makes you feel instantly younger. Invite young people into your home as WWOOFers (Willing Workers on Organic Farms), Helpxers, or Couchsurfers. Take them out to a favourite café or scenic spot as a treat, and you’ll have an instant ‘younger crowd’ to hang out with.
- Take an interest in your kids’ friends
So many young people don’t have parents in their lives who have time for them. When your son or daughter invites friends home, make yourself available for conversation. Invite them to return at any time, regardless of whether they’re with your son or daughter. You may be surprised at how often they show up on your doorstep.
- Social media meet-ups
We meet a lot of young people in our lives, whether it’s through mentoring them, via a club, or as the sons and daughters of family friends. Keep up with these young people through social media, and don’t forget their birthdays, graduations, promotions and engagements. Not only does it make them feel valued, it also keeps you in touch with a younger generation which, in turn, helps you relate to, and make conversation with, other young people you meet in everyday life.