Feel like everyone takes you for granted? Whether it's working late to prepare a presentation or cooking a special birthday meal for your partner, it's nice to be appreciated when you've made an extra effort. And if it seems as if people don't notice, you might feel as if no one values you.
But if you often feel unappreciated and undervalued, feelings of anger and resentment may develop, and your work and family relationships could suffer. Luckily, there are several strategies to help you feel valued.
Just because people don't say thank you, it doesn't mean that they don't value you. There are other ways to express gratitude apart from words.
Maybe your teenager gives you a high five, or your partner makes you a cup of tea when you come home as a way of showing their appreciation. And at work, if a colleague makes you a coffee or treats you to lunch, it might be their way of showing their appreciation.
So it's worth bearing in mind that your family, friends and colleagues might be showing how much they value you in ways you might not have considered. You might find that they're more appreciative than you've given them credit for.
Sometimes it seems that the more you do for people, the more they take you for granted. And they may forget to value everything you've done for them. So try to say "no" sometimes. Being a bit more assertive reminds people not to take you for granted and that you're not always available willing to pitch in. If you don't feel self-confident enough to do this, Bach Flowers Mix 44 can boost your self-esteem and help you to be more assertive.
It can also be helpful to say no occasionally if you've got into a habit of "people-pleasing". For example, if a friend asks you to go to the pub when you're tired and had been planning a quiet evening in, it's OK to say no. If your friend values you, they'll be happy to catch up with you later. It can be tough to decline a request for a favour or a social invitation, but doing so occasionally reminds people that you are your own person and don't have to do things you don't want to do.
A proven way to boost your sense of well being is to help others. Showing kindness allows you to feel good about yourself, and then it doesn't seem to matter so much whether others show their appreciation of you or not.
Doing something to help the community can bring you unexpected bonuses, such as the chance to learn new skills or practice ones you already have and more time to exercise.
When you consider all the benefits you acquire through being kind and helping others, you may be surprised at how many things you should be grateful for.
When you focus on the way others fail to show how they value you, you might forget to show that you appreciate others. But when you say thank you to your family, friends or colleagues, you will inspire others to value you as well.
So thank those surrounding you for everything they do for you. You could show how much you value others by saying "thank you", or you could write a heartfelt note or send flowers to show your appreciation.
Watch out for patterns of negative thinking. When you're constantly telling yourself that no one appreciates you or say to yourself, "No one but me ever does anything around here", these exaggerated thoughts will make you feel even worse.
Reframe your thoughts and remind yourself of occasions when others have shown how much they appreciate and value you. And remember the times when you've been assertive and set limits on what you are prepared to do.
Tell yourself that your family appreciates everything you do, even though they don't always show it. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones will help you feel more valued.
Sometimes it can help to let others know how you're feeling, so don't be afraid to ask for more appreciation. You could try telling your boss, partner, or kids how much you enjoy it when your hard work is noticed and valued.
You'll probably find that some people will be delighted to show how much they appreciate you when they know that it's important to you. But others may pass it off with a joke or insist that they already show how much they value you.
Bear in mind that people sometimes joke about things that make them uncomfortable. Their joking response may reflect their own lack of self-esteem rather than how they really feel about you.
If you ask people who is the most important person in their life, they will usually say it's their partner, child, parent or friend. But who do you really depend on most? Who gets you out of bed and dressed in the morning, feeds you and gets you to school or work?
That's right... it's you! You are the number one person in your life because you are central to your own existence. So learn to value yourself: without you, your life would not exist.
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