What to Do When You’re Feeling Unappreciated

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Feeling unappreciated can take a toll on your mental health, especially when you’re going above and beyond to accommodate others and getting nothing in return.

When you feel unappreciated, you can also start having negative thought patterns, leading to depression, anxiety, and mood swings. However, there are ways to remind those around you how great you are!

What Is Appreciation?

Appreciation can be seen as a form of love that someone shows to us because of how we embody ourselves. Appreciation can be shown in many different ways through gift-giving, touch, and verbal affirmations.

Feeling appreciated makes us feel happy, which then positively influences our well-being. It’s no wonder so many people crave this feeling. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. However, sometimes we don’t do an excellent job of respecting others.

Give Out What You Seek

giving a helping hand in pa
By helping others, we help ourselves.

If you struggle with feeling unloved and unappreciated, this can be very tough. Luckily, there are ways you can positively impact yourself and those around you.

The phrase ” I just wanna be appreciated” always comes up, but you should also be giving out what you seek! For example, you can begin by giving positive affirmations to those around you.

One way is to start congratulating your coworkers if they do an excellent job on a presentation, or maybe buy them a coffee if they helped you with something! You can also buy a loved one flowers or send them a positive message to start their day.

All of these are great examples of how to start a domino effect of appreciation and gratitude. These positive affirmations have a way of making a full circle, so before you know it, you’ll be receiving instead of just giving.

Love and Gratitude

Relationships can be a whirlwind of ups and downs. Many times, we can begin feeling unappreciated in a relationship. This can take a considerable toll and sometimes even lead to a divorce or separation.

Fortunately, this can be easily prevented by simply communicating your wants and needs to your partner. This can be done by knowing your love language. If you’re not too familiar, the five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and psychical touch.

Appreciation can be shown in various forms and love languages, so figure out which one is yours. Often, partners are unaware of these needs, so it’s essential to express your boundaries and needs to your partner. Even so, in busy moments, your partner may forget to show their love and appreciation for you.

This doesn’t mean you are not loved and appreciated. It just means your partner is not as aware of how much appreciation and words of affirmation mean to you.

Don’t be afraid to sit down with your partner and share with them what you’re feeling. Many times these issues can be fixed by opening up a healthy and open discussion.

Healthy Ways of Communication

As stated previously, opening up a healthy discussion can lead to appreciation and gratitude with your partner. However, many couples are not aware of their harmful communication styles.

feeling unappreciated

If you’re feeling unappreciated in a relationship, tell your partner immediately. Do not hold these feelings in. This will only build resentment. Instead, you can begin by telling your partner your preferred love language and how they should express appreciation.

Appreciation Through Words of Affirmation

Start by showing your partner these words of affirmation and appreciation and how they benefit you. Showing your partner examples may help to paint a better picture in their head!

  • “Thank you for everything you do.”
  • “I appreciate you taking the kids to school today.”
  • “I love your hair today.”
  • “Thank you for dinner.”
  • ” I enjoyed our date today.”

Appreciation can be shown with these simple words. Remember to communicate with your partner so that these examples can be applied to the relationships every day!

Appreciation Through Gift Giving

Gift-giving is a great way to show appreciation! Here are some examples of how your partner can begin to show more appreciation towards you.

  • “I bought you some flowers.”
  • “I’ll pay this time since you paid last time.”
  • “I got you coffee before work since you’re tired.”
  • “I got you a present for your birthday.”

Gift-giving doesn’t have to be over the top and expensive. Gift-giving can be as simple as a small gesture and can still make you feel appreciated and loved by your partner.

Appreciation Through Acts of Service

Acts of service are also a great way to show appreciation. If your partner lacks this form of love, here are some great examples to begin with:

  • Filling up the gas tank for you  
  • Doing the dishes so you can relax
  • Asking if you need anything from the store  
  • Making your dinner so you can focus on other things

Appreciation can be shown in many different ways, like psychical touch and quality time. However, words of affirmation, gift-giving, and acts of service are the most popular. Once you know which category you fall under, explain to your partner how these help you feel appreciated.

Ask your partner what love language they prefer, and begin to reciprocate it to them. This way, your partner is also appreciated, which will make him/her want to express their appreciation more outwardly as well!  

love languages for appreciation

Healthy Work Place

Sometimes our work environments can cause us to feel stress and worry. For example, when you feel unappreciated, this can add to the pressure. First, however, it would help if you weren’t afraid to talk to a team leader, manager, or HR.

Your boss might not even be aware of their lack of appreciation and should be open to change if they are a good team leader. But, unfortunately, there are instances where managers don’t possess high emotional intelligence.

In other words, your boss may be unable to express gratitude, appreciation, and other emotions outwardly. In this case, remind yourself that your value as a human is not determined by what you produce at work.

Furthermore, appreciation is all about taking a step back and admiring someone else’s qualities. Unfortunately, people get caught up in their own lives even to notice others, leading to feeling unappreciated.

Nevertheless, building a confident team with high morale should be a top priority for any manager. Therefore, if your manager seems uninterested in showing appreciation, consider changing work environments.

Healthy Families

Parents usually report having a high sense of appreciation and meaningfulness when they have young children. However, most parents can relate to feeling unappreciated by family at specific points in their life. This is especially true for the mothers and fathers of pre-teen and teenage children,

Usually, when a child is younger, they regularly need their parents to help. However, once a child gets older, you might feel unappreciated, which can significantly change some parents.

If you’re a parent and feel like your home-making skills are unappreciated, start taking action now! The great thing about kids and teenagers is that they are more open to change.

If you have a teenager who never shows appreciation, start implementing different forms of positive affirmations. This can look like saying please and thank you after you do something for them. Or you have a weekly family meeting where everyone voices their opinions on things they like and dislike.

Children want to be heard and seen as much as they do. Therefore, giving them a chance to voice their opinion can lead to better forms of communication. And in turn, it will lead to higher rates of appreciation and gratitude towards you, the parent!

Self Love and Care

Self-love is the highest form of appreciation that you will ever receive. Knowing how to walk in self-love will bring you a more heightened sense of accomplishment within yourself.

self love can help fight feeling unappreciated
Love yourself like your life depends on it, because it does!

Many times people who struggle with self-love seek out external validation and appreciation. However, appreciating your own goals and accomplishment can be very beneficial!

An excellent exercise for boosting self-love could start by journaling every day! You can journal about your day and include two fantastic things you accomplished and two great things you wish to accomplish tomorrow.

Regularly look back at these journals to track how much you’ve accomplished in a day, week, month, or even a year. This exercise can help you feel more accomplished in your day-to-day life, leading to a higher appreciation for yourself. Another great activity is to thank yourself every day, even if your accomplishments were small!

If you got up and finished that paper that you have been dreading, congratulate yourself! Unfortunately, not many people can do this! Or if you had a productive day at work, make sure to congratulate yourself, even if no one else noticed! What matters is that your practicing self-love!

Ten daily reminders for when you’re feeling unappreciated:

  1. Remember that you are worthy of love and happiness  
  2. Feel and think through all your emotions, positive or negative
  3. Not everyone will recognize all of your great values  
  4. Do what you can, with what you have  
  5. Make time for what you love
  6. Stop and think about where you’re at in life
  7. Thank yourself for getting this far
  8. Admire your strengths as a person
  9. Acknowledge your weaknesses and try and do better  
  10. Love yourself unconditionally  

It’s easy to get lost and forget self-care and love. However, the key to feeling appreciated and satisfied owns who you are, flaws and all!

Feeling Unappreciated: How Do I Stop It?

Appreciation from your boss, partner, kids, mom can feel tremendous but accept that not everyone is willing to give you this. Once you get this, you can move forward without looking back. Accepting yourself is the first step.

As stated previously, walking in self-love is vital. Once you’ve mastered this, receiving other people’s appreciation won’t be as significant. Nevertheless, as humans, we all seek this form of love.

However, some people are incapable of showing this to others. Therefore you need to accept others as well as yourself! If you struggle with these concepts, try and see different perspectives.

For example, not everyone has the same needs and wants as you. Therefore, they might not show appreciation in the amount or from that you wish. Accepting this can take a huge stress of your mental wellbeing!

Therapy and Healing

therapy in pennsylvania

Constantly feeling unappreciated could also signify a much larger issue that hasn’t been dealt with yet. Talking to a therapist can help open up new forms of communication and ideas. A therapist can also give you informative tools and information for healthier coping mechanisms to deconstruct these negative narratives.

If you are interested in speaking with a therapist, don’t be shy or feel ashamed. So many people suffer in silence because of negative stereotypes about mental health and therapy. Begin your journey by choosing an accredited therapist with years of experience

Don’t be afraid to try out different therapists and therapy styles. For example, family therapy, group therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy are all different forms of therapy.

Some therapists specialize in one form of these therapies. Based on your needs, a therapy style might benefit fit you more than another one. That’s why it’s essential to research the different therapist and their types and chose which one suits you best.

Many times it takes a couple of tries to find the right therapist, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel comfortable at your first session! However, once you feel comfortable, you can begin your process of healing!

Appreciation and Love

You don’t have to feel unappreciated constantly. By following some of these tips, you can drastically improve your day today!

If you have any more questions about mental health and wellness, check out our services page for more information!

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

All articles are written in conjunction with the Makin Wellness Research Team.

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