Feeling Unappreciated? Here’s what made a HUGE difference for me

 In Better Life, Communication, Relationships

There were times when I used to feel unappreciated by my family. Like when I would do the dishes when that’s normally my husband’s chore and he didn’t notice. Or when I packed my daughter’s lunch every school day and she never said thank you. But then I learned an approach that made a HUGE difference for me. I’ve shared this tip before, but it’s one of my favorites so here it again!

Do you ever feel unappreciated? Does this happen at work? At home? When I feel like I’m being taken for granted, it puts me in a bad mood. I get frustrated, impatient, and I’m not much fun to be around.

Then I learned this simple (but not easy) tool. Instead of expecting others to read my mind and to notice the things I’ve done, I simply TELL them. The trick is to tell them BEFORE we’re feeling unappreciated and BEFORE we get upset. Why? If we wait until we’re frustrated, we’ll 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 acknowledgment 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.

What simple situation could you try this approach on this week?

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