This article was first published on KSL.COM
My biggest complaint about my family and my job is a lack of appreciation. My spouse and children completely take for granted everything I do for them. They just assume I will always do everything for them, and my needs don’t seem to matter. I feel the same way at work too. I do more than anyone else, yet people act like I’m not important. Is it me? What can I do to feel more appreciated for all I do and give? All I want is my sacrifices to be noticed and appreciated.
The real question here is "Do they really not appreciate you, or do you just not feel appreciated?"
If you have insecurities and low self-esteem, no matter what they do or say, it won’t be enough to fill your empty bucket. You will never feel appreciated. The truth is, other people cannot convince you that you have value. When I hear you say “All I want is my sacrifices to be noticed and appreciated,” I think what you are really saying is that you need your value validated. You need someone to fill your bucket, and that means it is probably empty. This tells me you are coming from a place of low self-esteem.
The problem is, the only person who can fill your bucket and keep it full is you. If you continue to make other people responsible for your self-esteem and filling your bucket, which basically has a hole in it because of your negative beliefs about yourself, they will resent it and this will feel a lot like un-appreciation.
If I am wrong and you already have good self-esteem and the people in your life still don’t appreciate you, then one of two things is happening. Either you are surrounded (on all sides) by people who are selfish and focused their needs, which is highly unlikely. Or you are still giving and serving with a (possibly subconscious) sense of neediness, entitlement or obligation behind it, and this is making people ungrateful.
For example, if you feel entitled to gratitude and expect something back from your gifts, this makes your gifts about getting what you need, not giving to them and no one appreciates these kinds of gifts.
Since I’m not sure what is happening in your situation, I’m going to tell you how to solve all these problems. If you will work on these six things, I promise the people in your life will respond with more gratitude.
I promise, the fastest way to change other people is to change yourself. When you change YOU, and choose to live from love instead of fear and lack, they cannot respond to you the way the same way. Give more love to yourself and others, focus less on your fear, and this situation will change.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular speaker on people skills www.speakerkimgiles.com
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.