No matter where, and no matter what, I don't believe there isn't one person who didn't feel unappreciated at one time or another, whether it's a work, at home, with friends, family, or whatever. One's feeling of self value diminishes when one feels unappreciated and leaves one feeling unfulfilled in response to an action taken or gesture made outward. I think I can claim myself an expert in being unappreciated, how many times have I done something for someone, or gone out of my way to do something for someone, only to have that person fail to acknowledge me? How many people have I been there for, only to find myself alone when I need someone? Oh I am so good with this one, it's bad. Now I just shrug it off as bad timing on my part, that something occupies their mind and I don't feel safe enough to burden them with things. I used to get mad at the people involved, and then ask myself why? why me? why do people ignore me or take advantage of me? Resentment was my middle name and sometimes still is. But if my mind was working right and sometimes it slowly is working right, I found the answer to those useless questions. "What I give to others I give to myself". Translation: If I appreciate what I do for others their response should be of little or no consequence to me. It sure took me a long long time to really feel this way, and some situations are easier than others to apply this to.
I know now that I had hidden agendas, unresolved issues, unhealed wounds or an inferiority complex. I always thought I was just fine and set out to prove how fine I was by to me not obvious people pleasing. If I do this, they must like me, if I be there for them, they'll be there for me, etc, that was my thought process. Boy was I wrong, and was it wrong. In reality, I gave so much to others, because I wanted something back, I wanted a thank you, I wanted acknowledgement, I wanted people to make me feel good about me, I wanted others to see the things in me that I couldn't see in myself. When they failed to do so, I felt unappreciated. I wanted so much to be ok and wanted others to see me as ok, and when people didn't do what I thought they would, I felt crushed and defeated. It took me a very long time to realize, and I still do it at times, that I did things for others for recognition, it wasn't the act of doing it that made me feel good, it was the reaction I would get out of it at times, that made me feel good. Nobody is indebted to me to make me feel good about me, no matter what I do. Yes it would be nice to be acknowledged at times, but it shouldn't be the reason why one does things. It's a hard truth to face that if one expect someone to make us feel good about ourselves, chances are we have done it for the wrong reasons and that is why we feel unappreciated.
When one is giving and one's doing for others leaves one feeling depleted and unappreciated , it is a sign of dysfunction, and boy do I know dysfunction. There must be a hidden agenda lurking somewhere in the back of my mind. I ask myself now a lot of times, why do I want to be recognized for my action and mostly how do I want to be recognized. Now I do things because I want to do them, no unstated intent of making me feel good, it makes me feel good about me for the simple fact that I am doing it. Things I don't want to do, I don't do anymore, I don't expect anything in return anymore. Someone doesn't want to be there for me, no problem, doesn't mean that I won't be there for them anymore. And so far I realized I got so much more back at times than I ever thought. And it is so much easier to give from the heart and mean it,than to give with expectations and then be disappointed by the lack of reaction from others. In that I have come a long way, but I do admit I still fall into this trap at times. It isn't easy, because we all thrive on acknowledgement and good feelings, but the good feelings have to come from within and not the outside world.
"All that I give I give to myself. All that I do, I do for myself, when I serve others I serve the Divine, when I serve myself, I serve the Divine, there is nothing I give that depletes me, there is nothing I do that depletes me. The universe is an abundant envrionment with enough of everything to spare. I am a universal being connected to all contained therein." Iyanla Vanzant.