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Underappreciation: We've All Been There
Being treated poorly or unfairly, giving without receiving anything in return, feeling victimized by the people we love the most—we've all been there.
But if you are feeling underappreciated more often than not, it is time to put your foot down and learn to truly value your life and contributions to society. Learn to be caring in a healthy way, recognize detrimental behavior, and set some ground rules.
How to Appreciate Yourself and Be Appreciated by Others
- Practice Generosity (in Moderation)
- Identify Selfishness
- Set Boundaries
From my experience, I have learned that people will only treat you poorly if you allow them to. But to get the appreciation you deserve, you must learn to appreciate yourself first. So let's get started!
1. Practice Generosity (in Moderation)
A generous person might be inclined to give someone everything they have, but the gesture can mean very little to the wrong recipient. A one-way flow of energy like that is very detrimental to a generous person's health.
Are You TOO Generous?
A generous person is usually underappreciated and taken for granted. It is not that giving is a "bad thing" (far from it), but giving when you receive very little in return is unfair to you. If you are allowing another to take advantage of your niceness, it can lead to a feeling of hopelessness and support the false belief that you don’t deserve respect.
Consider the following to help determine if you might be too generous:
- You find yourself putting the needs of others before your own.
- If you are not able to “give” the way you would like to, you find yourself apologizing excessively.
- It’s possible you might be giving because you want to feel admired, loved, or desired.
- You see yourself as the "provider" in almost every relationship.
- You feel guilty when someone gives something to you.
- You are uncomfortable at the thought of asking for something.
If you are being too generous, it is important to recognize your unhealthy habits. If you continue down this path, it will leave you in a situation that is emotionally draining.
Once you have recognized this, it is time to put your foot down. You might feel guilty for saying "no." You may even find yourself feeling as if you are letting others down. But you must put yourself above all others, and only practice generosity if it is a positive experience for all.
2. Identify Selfishness
Self-centered people do not always understand how important someone is until they are gone. If you want the opportunity to improve yourself, you need to be aware of what it means to be treated with respect.
Read More From Remedygrove
When a selfish person is too busy focusing on themself to appreciate you, your presence is taken for granted. Give them what they deserve: the absence of your presence. You should only associate with people who will maintain an even balance of appreciation. After all, people who are blind to appreciation have not gained the knowledge to see themselves objectively.
Are Your Relationships One-Sided?
It's time for you to stop being an overly forgiving and easy-going friend or partner. Don't be taken for granted by a self-centered person. Take immediate action to recognize an unhealthy relationship if the following resonates with you:
- You never feel like a priority.
- Your emotional needs are never met.
- You are never thanked for doing good deeds.
Life is too short to waste on people who don't know how to value your time, and most of all, your kind heart. If people truly care about you, they’ll value every second of their time spent with you!
If you are simply hoping that the other person will attribute the same value to you as you do to them, you are asking for an unfavorable outcome. Instead of resigning yourself to deal with such a person, let them know how you want to be treated. If they still do not respect your value, it's time to move on.
3. Setting Boundaries
Now that you understand how to practice generosity (in moderation) and identify selfishness, the most valuable thing that you can do for yourself is set boundaries.
Set a boundary by letting others know if they can't offer help, support, or love, that they do not deserve to be in your life. After placing limitations, you may feel scared that you will be abandoned by those who are important to you. But there's no need to feel as if you are in the wrong. Maintain equanimity and know that it's time to start getting something back in return. If the people in your life care about you, they will happily oblige.
It's a Process
If you are a person who doesn't know how to begin the process of setting boundaries, you aren't alone. It's difficult to go cold turkey—after all, being generous and open is a part of what makes you great. Start by thinking more about a situation before you react:
- How does this benefit me?
- What is my reasoning behind my behavior?
- Will my actions affect this person's life in a positive or negative way?
Ask yourself questions such as these to determine what boundaries need setting.
You can’t make anyone appreciate your absence any more than you can make them appreciate your presence. However, you can give them the opportunity to appreciate your absence.
— Jahfree Harp
Value Yourself First
Most people are incredibly caring by nature and have exceptionally kind hearts. This makes it easy for these people to be taken advantage of. That is why practicing compassion in moderation, recognizing selfishness, and setting boundaries is so important. You should be proud of yourself for being kind and compassionate, but you must give yourself the same respect you give others to feel truly happy and fulfilled.
Whether it’s at work, in your community, or with your friends—you need to value yourself first. Only then will you attract the right kind of people to surround yourself with. Remember, if someone doesn’t appreciate your presence, make them appreciate your absence!
Do you agree with this old proverb?
© 2017 Pam Morris
Xavier Ludwig from Wherever I feel like on April 23, 2019:
"When someone doesn't value or respect you, they do not deserve to have the privilege of your presence."
It is unfortunate for many people that they never know what they have...until it is gone.
But so true.
If you cannot appreciate my presence than deal with my absence.
Pam Morris (author) from Atlanta Georgia on July 24, 2018:
Thank you so much for your reply. I am thrilled to read you didn't fall into the category of a person who gives too much. Even more pleased to read you were smart enough to let go of a person who did not appreciate your presence. Sound like you pretty much on track in life, and that's a good thing. I hope to hear more from you.
Christine Mulberry on May 01, 2018:
I don't think I fall into the category of one who gives too much typically, but I've certainly experienced someone who didn't appreciate my presence. It took a little time, but I realized he needed to have the opportunity to appreciate my absence. A decision I will never regret. That lack of appreciation will steal your self worth and your soul.