Sometimes other people’s behaviors leave us feeling unappreciated and ignored. It can happen in friendships, romantic relationships, and at work. What can you do to feel valued and appreciated again? As always, change starts with yourself.
What to Do When Feeling Unappreciated at Work?
1. Learn to say no
Being a people pleaser is a one-way road to feeling unappreciated. The more often you say yes to other people’s requests, the less they recognize your effort and help. It’s unfair, but it’s true.
Do you constantly do favors for your co-workers and take on extra responsibilities at your boss’s request? Is the volume of your responsibilities constantly growing while your salary is staying the same?
It could be that you say yes too often and this is what exposes you to being exploited by other people. A single no can sometimes have a more powerful effect than dozens of words.
Of course, it’s understandable that saying a plain no to your co-worker and especially your boss can be difficult. At the same time, you can always use an excuse to not do what they ask you for. The point is to show them that you are not available 24/7 and have a life outside of the workplace.
For example, if your boss asks you to work late to finish a report today, you can say that your daughter has a school performance, and you can’t miss it.
2. Voice your opinion more often
Why would the company give you a raise if you’ve never asked for it? How are your co-workers supposed to know that you want to lead a new project if you never speak up at office meetings? Will your boss ever guess that you struggle to cope with so many responsibilities if you’ve never let him know about it?
I guess you get the point. If you never speak up, then don’t expect to be appreciated. People only respect those who have a sound opinion and are not afraid to stand their ground.
Therefore, if you regularly feel unappreciated at work, you need to find the courage to voice your opinion more often. Whether it’s having a conversation with your boss or suggesting your ideas at meetings, the point is to make sure your voice is heard.
Yes, you may not manage to get your requests fulfilled immediately, but expressing yourself will make other people consider and respect your opinion.
3. Make sure it’s not your fault
Many people tend to blame others for their failures. So, if you ask yourself, Why do I feel unappreciated at work? it could be because you don’t try hard enough.
Perhaps you don’t like leadership roles and always stay quiet when it comes to taking on new projects and tasks. But at the same time, it seems to you that you put much effort and no one appreciates it.
You feel invisible at work, but it’s not other people’s fault. It’s because this is the role you choose for yourself.
Maybe you don’t like your job and sabotage your duties without even realizing it. You are not overloaded with work and waste your time on nonsense day after day, looking forward to the end of working hours.
This type of behavior in the workplace creates an impression of a lazy, uninvolved employee. Therefore, being unappreciated comes as a natural consequence of your approach to work.
4. Don’t take on too many responsibilities
It may be tempting to agree to take on one responsibility to another to please your boss. You think that he will consider you to be a loyal, hard-working employee he can always rely on. And that he will appreciate your effort.
Well, your boss will certainly think that you are a hard-working employee, but undertaking too many responsibilities will hardly give you more appreciation and respect.
In reality, your boss will assign you the most difficult tasks and make you work extra hours. He will know that you won’t say no anyway.
So, if you want to avoid feeling unappreciated while working harder than anyone else, don’t take on more responsibilities than you can handle. It will only lead you to emotional burnout and a persistent feeling of being exploited.
5. Beware of toxic workplaces
When you feel unappreciated at work, it’s not always because of your supervisor. Sometimes the working environment itself is toxic. In a workplace like this, it’s practically impossible to stay productive and focused on your duties.
There are office cliques, unhealthy competition, and favoritism. In such environments, employees and supervisors don’t show appreciation to one another.
Yes, your co-worker may occasionally drop your boss a compliment or congratulate you on taking a new project, but you know that it’s utterly fake. There is no genuine respect in such working environments. You could only feel undervalued and taken advantage of.
So, it’s better to stay away from toxic workplaces. It will save you mental energy and emotional resources.
What to Do When Feeling Unappreciated in a Relationship?
1. Make sure it’s not a made-up situation
When emotions get involved, it can be easy to misinterpret another person’s behaviors and words. We often misunderstand our loved ones because we care about them. Our feelings and expectations toward them distort our realistic perception of things.
So, when you feel unappreciated in a relationship, the first thing to do is to make sure that the situation is real. Maybe it just seems to you that your partner doesn’t appreciate you.
What if they are overloaded with work and have no time or energy to devote to your relationship right now? What if they are dealing with mental health issues? Perhaps they are going through a mid-life crisis?
There can be many different scenarios that could explain a feeling of not being appreciated in a relationship. Sometimes it’s very real, and sometimes it’s not.
For example, if you suffer from an emotional disorder such as anxiety or depression, it’s easy to fall into a trap set by your own mind and see things that don’t exist.
When I feel unappreciated, the first thing I do is ask myself whether it’s me or my anxiety. Most of the time, it turns out to be a made-up situation.
Therefore, before accusing your partner of ignoring you, make sure it’s not just a product of your mind.
2. Talk it through with your partner
When it comes to romantic relationships, expressing your feelings about a situation is the best strategy. Whatever it is that bothers you, you need to have an honest conversation with your special someone.
Yes, it feels easier to just hold grudges and give your partner the silent treatment, but it won’t help them understand what they are doing wrong. Therefore, it won’t change the situation for the better.
That’s why you need to let your partner know that their behavior leaves you feeling unappreciated. Avoid generalizations and overly emotional complaints though. Instead, make sure to stay calm and be specific about the behaviors that make you feel underappreciated.
Maybe your partner will strongly disagree. Or maybe your words will make them think. In either case, they will know about your feelings, and it’s a good start.
3. Stop satisfying your partner’s requests
Sometimes we find ourselves being involved with selfish people. In this unfortunate scenario, you are a giver and your partner is a taker. Everything you do for them is taken for granted, and new requests constantly arise.
So, what to do when you feel unappreciated in your relationship with a selfish person? Stop doing things for your partner and see what happens. Don’t immediately say yes to their new requests and take a break from your usual responsibilities.
If your special someone is a selfish person, then most likely, they are not even aware that they are being ungrateful. They don’t notice everything you do for them. Doing without your help for some time will sober them up.
Yes, most likely, it won’t change who they are, but it will be a good wake-up call to start appreciating your effort.
4. Take a break
Physical absence can be even more effective when your partner ignores you or doesn’t appreciate you.
Maybe they are used to the fact that you are always there for them, ready to fulfill any request and take on any responsibility. The bitter truth is that the more we do for others, the less they appreciate it.
So, leave your partner alone for some time. Try solo traveling, visit your parents, or arrange a road trip with your friends. This way, you will show your partner that you have needs of your own too and won’t always do what they want you to.
5. Beware of one-sided relationships
Sometimes you neglect the fact that your relationship is one-sided because you have feelings for your partner that cloud your judgment.
In this type of relationship, there inevitably comes a time when you feel unappreciated, ignored, and taken advantage of.
That’s why you need to recognize the signs before it’s too late. It can save you from further disappointment.
When feeling unappreciated in a relationship on a regular basis, ask yourself some uncomfortable questions:
- Does your partner prefer to spend most of their free time with their friends?
- Do they only remember about you when they need something?
- Do they show no or little interest in you and your life?
- Do they make excuses to not give you support when you need it?
These are just some of the signs that you are in a one-way relationship. To learn more, check this guide to one-sided friendships. Most of the signs apply to romantic unions, too.
To sum up, remember that feeling unappreciated doesn’t always equal being unappreciated. Before concluding that someone ignores you or takes advantage of you, make sure to consider all facts.
If it’s real, then the next step is to ask yourself whether the workplace or the person that makes you feel undervalued is worth it.