Feeling unappreciated? Unfortunately, that’s an all too common feeling people have these days. Whether we’re busting our butts at work or slaving away with responsibilities at home, it seems that sometimes that people we want praise, recognition, and love from just aren’t sending us that thank you note. Is there a way to combat the lack of appreciation we get from people? Yup! In this article, we’ll highlight the solutions for feeling unappreciated by sharing ways to get appreciation from everyone around you. So, let’s dive in.
Feeling Unappreciated? 20 Ways to Get Appreciation From Everyone
1. Just Say No to Feeling Unappreciated
Setting boundaries around yourself is a healthy way to minimize being taken advantage of when you’re feeling unappreciated. For instance, do certain people always ask for favors but never say thank you? For example, your children who you drive to their friend’s house. Sometimes kids want to be driven to school, but they don’t want anyone seeing that their parents are driving them because it embarrasses them. Ultimately, that can make you feel unappreciated and unloved. You’ll have to set boundaries with them to let them know that treating you like a driver isn’t acceptable. Consider not helping them every once in a while to learn how to be independent and to develop an attitude of gratitude when you do help out.
2. Change How You Communicate
While no one wants to admit this, often when people don’t feel appreciated, it’s because of how they communicate. Be honest, do you sometimes demand that people compliment you when you’re just doing the job you were hired for? Have you been more frustrated with the people around you and shown that frustration? Or worse – have you wagged your finger in someone’s face and asked them to treat you with a bit of respect? Don’t hide away in shame; we’ve all done that. But that doesn’t work. When you want to start feeling appreciated, communicate positively and lead by example. Give others recognition for their work; it circles back. Trust me, positive attitudes will always get more appreciation than people whose negativity is burning them out.
3. Compliment-Bomb People
A compliment-bomb is when you give specific praise using many specific examples for a long time, like more than a couple minutes to the point where someone laughs at how much you’re complimenting them. The people who get the regular thank yous are the people who are descriptive with their thanks. If you go out of your way to write your favorite messages of praise to people in their birthday cards, in a team meeting, or an employee anniversary card, people will feel appreciated. When you make others feel appreciated, they pass on their appreciation to other people, including you.
4. Show Gratitude to Everyone
We were all raised differently, have a whole different lens through which we look at the world, and behave based on what we think will bring us happiness. It’s important to accept that some people are just entirely different from you. However, you can still feel immense gratitude for every person you interact with. Some people are struggling in life and can’t appreciate you because they’re in the darkness. They need your light. Other people don’t have the social tools to share their appreciation. And some folks feel uncomfortable when praising people because seeing others’ facial expressions makes them feel bad due to past trauma. Consider doing a loving-kindness meditation or a gratitude meditation to help you cope with feeling unappreciated by people who might not be equipped for it.
5. Shift Your Thinking From Feeling Unappreciated to Appreciation
Our negative thoughts are our own worst enemy. Just because we think something doesn’t mean it’s true. People show their appreciation in different ways. For some people, showing up is a way to show you that they value and respect you. For others, they use words to communicate their appreciation. Some folks might show their appreciation for you through touch or by buying you a gift. Take a step back to see if people share their gratitude with you, but maybe they communicate it in a way different from how you showcase your appreciation.
6. Help People In Need
Sometimes we begin feeling unappreciated because we’re helping people who don’t need or want our help. Instead of saying thank you, they genuinely don’t care because they never asked you to do the things you’re doing for them. Instead, consider helping people who specifically ask for your help. That way, you’re supporting the people who need you and will be more likely to appreciate the help they get since they need it. If you take a few minutes to talk to people personally, you’ll find everyone is struggling with something. And that’s where you can come in to fill the gaps. Who wouldn’t appreciate someone that helped them when they needed it? No one.
7. Take A Look At Your Impact
If you’re feeling unappreciated, take a look at your impact instead of what people say or don’t say to you. How have you made someone’s life better today? Did you play a role in the company’s growth at work? Has someone blossomed after following your advice? Take a moment to look at how much you’ve done for others. If you’re constantly sprinkling good deeds around, not only do you feel good, but it always comes back to you in unexpected ways. If you do an act of kindness every single day, you’ll regularly notice that people appreciate what you’ve done for them.
8. Stand Up For Yourself When Feeling Unappreciated
When feeling unappreciated, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself by speaking up. However, this is a bit of a grey zone suggestion. Why? Well, most people aren’t good at communicating when standing up for themselves. Having a condescending tone about how you need to be treated with respect isn’t going to make anyone say, “you’re right, I do appreciate you” it’s going to create resentment. So, when standing up for yourself, do it in the form of a question. You might say something like, “Hey, I’ve been feeling unappreciated lately despite all the work I’ve been doing. Could you clarify if I’m supporting you in the way you need me to?” That turns the frustration into a conversation. The person knows you feel unappreciated but is also willing to learn if you’re giving the support that gets appreciated for that individual.
9. Show Them How It’s Done
When feeling unappreciated, it’s essential to lead by example and show those around us what appreciation looks like. For instance, if your partner went grocery shopping alone, you might say, “Wow, thank you so much for picking up groceries today. It means so much to me that you took the time out of your busy day to help with that. I really appreciate it.” Now, if you express appreciation like that constantly in every interaction you do, people will quickly pick up on that and start doing it back. Without even telling them to, people will emulate you and do it to one another (and you too).
10. Meet People’s Needs When Feeling Unappreciated
To feel appreciated, you’ll need to meet people’s needs. For example, an exhausted mother who just spent the whole day cleaning usually lacks energy for hanging out with the kids. She might tell her kids, “I spent the whole day cleaning; you need to learn how to clean up after yourselves because I’m not your slave.” However, the kids don’t help out because it’s always a lecture, so they tune it out.
Instead, ask what your children’s needs are. For instance, maybe your kids need help with homework and are falling behind in school. Take some time to help them with homework first. Then, say, “After dinner can you load the dirty dishes in the dishwasher for five minutes, I know you’re busy with school, so that’s the only thing I need your help with today. I have to do the laundry before it gets too late.” The tone change will get your results.
11. Look for evidence (of people appreciating you)
There’s a bit of confirmation bias when we think, “I feel unappreciated lately.” We look for clues that no one appreciates us. As a result, all the thoughts and examples of being unappreciated stack up. However, instead, consider looking for evidence of people appreciating you. For the next few weeks, screenshot examples of messages where people thank you or compliment you. Read over cards you’ve gotten from coworkers or friends. Make a list of all the times people show appreciation or vocalize it. And you’ll quickly realize that people do appreciate you.
12. Spend Time With People Who Value You
If you’re selling an antique car, you’ll get the best price from fans of that car model. However, if you try selling your antique car to a car dealership that only wants to profit off the car, you won’t get a good deal. Or, if you try selling the car to a buy-and-sell retailer, they’ll also undercut you. But if you spend some time posting in a vintage vehicle Facebook group or fan group for the specific model you have, you’ll likely sell it for a higher price.
The same goes for people. Some people only want to use you. Other people can’t recognize your value. But there’s always going to be a group of people who are like, “Whoa, all those amazing qualities in one person, I just found my new best friend.” If people don’t appreciate what you offer, you’re hanging out, working with, or dating the wrong person.
13. Give with Love, Not With Ego
When feeling unappreciated, ask yourself if you’re giving with love or with ego? What that means is, are you helping people because you love them or because you want them to love you? You can’t control other people’s reactions to things. However, you can control yourself. And that’s a huge power. When helping others, doing acts of kindness, or trying to make a difference in people’s lives, do it for their sake rather than your own. Do it for others instead of yourself, you’ll never have expectations. When they show appreciation, you’ll be surprised and delighted. Doing things for rewards, praise, or love, will lead to a result that’s usually not what you expect.
14. Be Optimistic
When we’re feeling unappreciated, our energy levels are usually lower. We might be more negative or even a bit of a downer around people. Most people avoid negative people like the plague.People’s minds are filled with negativity all day, so being around negative people drains their energy levels even faster. So, I challenge you to be optimistic, friendly, and delightful when you feel unappreciated, burnt out, and exhausted. No, it’s not easy. But people always appreciate an upbeat attitude and a happy person.
15. Practice Self Care When Feeling Unappreciated
Trying a few self-care ideas is a great way to cope with feeling unappreciated. When we don’t have our need for appreciation met, we might cause mental or physical harm. Taking some time to do right-brain activities, such as drawing or guided meditation, can help silence negative thoughts and make us live more presently.
16. Consider Therapy
If feeling unappreciated for a long time affects your mental health, it may be time to find a therapist to learn coping skills and work to rewire the brain. You might also consider doing family counseling if the lack of appreciation starts at home. Learning to communicate your needs to others can be an excellent first step in therapy to reverse negative thoughts into happy ones.
17. Practice Meditation for Feeling Unappreciated
A guided meditation for appreciativeness can help you learn how to appreciate others and yourself better too. You can practice the guided meditation below in only fifteen minutes whenever you start feeling unappreciated. You can also try meditations for confidence, mental health, negative thinking, and more. Downloading an app like Declutter The Mind, which boasts free meditations for your phone or tablet, can help you manage the anxiety and frustration you experience when you feel unappreciated.
18. Determine Your Self-Worth
When you feel unappreciated, ask yourself if you appreciate the people you want to be appreciated by. We’re desperate to have our self-worth validated by getting praise from people who don’t even impress us most of the time. Is your self-worth determined by you or someone else? Take back that control and value yourself as a person. Instead of suffering from low self-esteem, take some time to appreciate yourself, your impact on the world, and your personality traits. You can judge your true worth better than anyone else on the planet.
Often, when we feel unappreciated, it’s because people don’t realize how much work you do. So, give them the challenge of learning the hard way how impactful your responsibilities are. At home, divide the household chores amongst all family members. Mix it up, so everyone has a chance to see how much work each task is. At the office, challenge other team members to do your work for a week while taking a vacation. People are pretty quick to say, “Thank you so much for being back. It was chaotic without you,” when they realize the hole you leave in your absence.
20. Accept Feeling Unappreciated
And if everything so far isn’t enough, maybe it’s time to accept the feeling that comes when you feel a lack of appreciation. Notice how it feels within you when you don’t feel appreciated. Where in your body does the lack of appreciation hurt? Is there tension in your stomach, throat, or mind? Look for the sensation that comes. And what’s your response emotionally? Do you cry? Or get mad? Watch the feelings arise and leave you when you feel unappreciated and accept that sometimes these feelings come, but they also go.
Feeling unappreciated is a negative experience. However, accepting that this feeling is natural and looking for coping skills, evidence, or even just calming the mind by practicing meditation is beneficial for helping you deal with these feelings. Dig deep and determine if the people you feel unappreciated by are showing appreciation in different ways or if they’re just not meant to be in your inner circle. You have so much to offer and provide so much value to the world, so don’t sell yourself short, instead find your people, praise people regularly, and share responsibilities so that you can get the feeling of appreciation you deserve.