Do You Ever Feel Unappreciated?

 In Communication, Relationships

Do you ever feel unappreciated? Like all the things you do go unnoticed and no one says “Thank you?” Does this happen at work? At home? I have definitely struggled with this in multiple situations. When I feel like I am being taken for granted, it puts me in a bad mood. I get frustrated, impatient, and I’m not much fun to be around. I don’t like how it makes me feel but I didn’t know what to do about it.

Then I learned this simple (but not easy) tool. Instead of expecting others to read my mind and to notice the things I have done, I simply TELL them. The trick is to tell them BEFORE we are feeling unappreciated and BEFORE we get upset. Why? If we wait until we are frustrated, we will be in attack mode, making the other person feel defensive. This is never helpful and just makes matters worse. But if we tell them in a kind and calm voice, “I was really glad I was able to finish cleaning the kitchen this morning. Did you notice how nice it looks?” Or “That project took a lot of work but I was happy with how it turned out. What did you think?”

Pointing out our efforts and asking for appreciation and feedback may feel uncomfortable at first (especially with our boss). I know it still is for me. But when we calmly and gently let people know what we’ve done and prompt them for some recognition, we take back responsibility for the situation instead of just being a victim and feeling upset. When I hesitate at the idea of bringing up some task I have done, I tell myself that if I can’t ask for acknowledgement then it can’t be that important and I shouldn’t feel bad if they don’t notice. After all, I realize there are many things that others do that I just never seem to see.


Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is a professional speaker and consultant for The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations fulfill their true potential using strategies from the science of Positive Psychology.

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