To be underappreciated can be discouraging. You work hard to accomplish a particular goal, and very few people even notice. If anyone does at all.
There are many ways a person can be underappreciated. Your spouse might not appreciate what you do around the house. Children, since they are just learning, often do not appreciate their world, or what goes into it.
Your friends may not notice what you do to make life better. At work, a boss may not appreciate what you bring to your job or your team. Society at large can be indifferent to actions that an individual takes, however noble they might be.
You can even be underappreciated by yourself. People are often stronger than they give themselves credit for, or more competent or smarter than they realize.
Even if you don’t do kind or generous acts just to receive recognition or acknowledgement, it can be demoralizing to constantly be ignored or taken for granted. Everything you do shouldn’t need affirmation, but tasks can more easily be borne if you have some occasional words of encouragement.
It isn’t a good idea to always play the victim. On the other hand, it is important to recognize the good things you do, and to make sure others recognize them too. It is important to have healthy relationships, whether those relationships are with family members, co-workers, or your community.
What do you do that others don’t recognize? How are you underappreciated? How can you get others to better recognize things they aren’t currently seeing? Are there ways that you underappreciate others?
Related questions: Why do we put up with unhappiness? What does it mean to be thankful? When do you need inspiration? How can we appreciate life more?
3 thoughts on “How Are You Underappreciated?”
In most areas of my life I feel I get the appreciation I deserve. I’m sure if I dug deep, I’d find something to quibble with. But, by and large, I feel appreciated by my spouse, my family, my friends, and my colleagues.
That said, I feel under-appreciated by my pup, Luca. I play with him. I feed him and give him treats. I scritch his back, which he acts like is doggie bliss. I call him, “My Friend” as a nickname; surely he must appreciate that. But in this household — according to Luca — Rebecca is queen, and I am a slightly elevated worker bee. I don’t blame Rebecca for the love she gets. She plays with him, feeds him, gives him treats, pets him, and calls him “peanut” and “noodle.” She deserves the love she gets.
But he whines and looks for her when she’s gone. He loves to cuddle with her. And, he often follows her around — although he is getting to be somewhat more independent. I get none of this … well, okay, much less of it.
I’ll admit it. I’m jealous of the bond Luca has with Rebecca.
I have two answers to this question.
First, I think I’m underappreciated because I don’t drive. I don’t even have a car. My wife and I live in a two-family home, and we have a two car garage for the two families.
The other family in our building have two cars, and there is just enough space for one car each in the garage, and one car outside in the driveway. The fact that we don’t have a second car makes everything so much simpler. If there were a fourth car, one car would be blocking all the rest in, and we would constantly be playing a game of tag, moving one vehicle to allow the others to get out.
Our neighbors have never, as far as I recall, even mentioned the fact that we have just one car for our family. It makes things so much easier, and yet it has never been acknowledged.
In addition, for our household, it is a tremendous financial advantage to not have a second car. Besides the cost of the car itself (and replacing it whenever it gets older), there are no costs of gasoline, repairs, maintenance, insurance, parking, etc. I save us literally thousands of dollars every year.
It does come at a cost of convenience, of course. I mostly get around by bicycle, which is nice because it keeps me in shape (so I don’t need to pay for a gym membership), but you can’t bike as far, as fast, or carry as much by bicycle as you can by car. But I don’t feel I get enough appreciation for this contribution to the household.
And then society doesn’t really appreciate my contribution either. Every bicycle on the road is a car that is not contributing to backups and traffic jams. It contributes to smoother automotive traffic. Bicycles don’t add nearly so much carbon dioxide to the air from burning gasoline, and bikes cause less wear and tear on the roads. And yet, there is a great animosity between auto drivers and bike riders, which completely confuses me.
The second part of my answer is more about how to deal with underappreciation in general. Whenever it happens that I feel underappreciated, at home at work, or wherever, I try to pause for a moment. If I feel that others don’t properly appreciate what I am doing, I try to remember that other people almost certainly also feel that same sense of frustration.
I try to imagine what it is that they do for me to make my life better, and thank them for that. I hope that through the gratitude that I show them, they will be more likely to appreciate what I do.
I don’t want to be a pushover, but I want to make sure I have empathy for my fellow man. I find that people get defensive when accused of lack of appreciation, so other ways of making my feelings known are required.
To be honest, I don’t feel underappreciated. Sometimes when I do something for someone, they don’t even know about it, and that is fine by me. I get self gratification out of the doing, not appreciation from others, though that is a bonus. Knowing that I have helped or benefited someone else is enough for me.