The Maraia Minutes


The "Cure" for Feeling Unappreciated

Volume 12, Issue 3

As the job losses pile up and the value of our retirement portfolios go down, people are being asked to work harder than ever. We are being asked to do more with fewer resources. This can lead to feeling unappreciated by your boss, co-workers, family members, and spouse. If you're feeling down and unappreciated, there is a solution so simple you may question its efficacy: Find someone who you appreciate and tell them! I discovered this amazing tool to enhance self-appreciation and provide much needed regeneration early in my coaching career. Every once in a while, I would get in a funk where I felt totally unappreciated. To make matters worse, the more I struggled to get out of it, the deeper I got. It's not a big leap to move from there to self-pity which is NOT a place you want to be. I discovered a way out that was so simple and effective I couldn't believe it. The first thing I had to do was stop "feeding" the lack of appreciation by trying to make it go away. Trying to make it go away actually gives it more power and makes it worse.

Then I made a conscious decision to identify one or two people who I truly appreciated. It didn't matter why I appreciated them, it could be for a really big reason or some simple reason. More importantly, just because I may have felt unappreciated in my work environment didn't mean I had to find someone at work to express appreciation to. I could express appreciation to anyone, and it didn't matter if that someone was part of my family or social network. Those people could be (and often were) my two wonderful children or a friend or a co-worker.

Once I had those people in mind and the reason I appreciated them, I had to voice the appreciation immediately even though I was not feeling appreciated myself. The sooner I acted the better. The more people to whom I expressed appreciation, the more it helped ME! What amazed me was how well it worked every time!

Several years ago, one of my long time clients conveyed his feeling of being unappreciated at work, and I told him my prescription for moving past it. He tried it that same day by expressing appreciation to two of his children. He found out how well it worked for him. I had totally forgotten the conversation we'd had that day until he reminded me of it during a recent coaching call. He was once again feeling unappreciated at work, and immediately voiced his appreciation for two co-workers who he suspected were also feeling unappreciated. He reported to me the positive impact his gesture made on his co-workers. He also made a point of sharing this cure for feeling unappreciated with one of the people on his team.

Attempting to build relationships when you're feeling unappreciated is usually very ineffective and may do more harm than good. The next time you're feeling unloved, try this solution for yourself. In addition, share this article with someone you truly appreciate, and attach a note of appreciation along with it. Doing so will send a powerful message to the recipient, and give you a boost as well.

Copyright 2009 Mark M. Maraia Associates