When are you most grateful? How do you show it?
When you feel appreciated, it often sends a signal to your brain to keep doing what creates the appreciation.
Feeling unappreciated, folks may seemingly “out of the blue” stop doing what they have been doing or leave the relationship or job.
It may seem like a surprise, yet there may be a few subtle clues beforehand. Increasing your own awareness helps.
Appreciation is not just about saying, “thank you.” It involves an acknowledgement for the contribution someone makes.
In healthy relationships, everyone may be contributing on some level, and yet no one feels appreciated.
On the flipside, sometimes folks “do” things that no one asks them to do, or even wants them to do.
I sometimes hear, “why aren’t they more grateful?”
These words may come from a parent or spouse in a family mediation. It may be an employee or organizational leader in a coaching, mediation, or training session.
There are a few things you might do when you feel unappreciated, or underappreciated.
- Check-in with yourself ~ Know what appreciation looks like to you. Be willing to say, “I feel really appreciated when…” Notice whether you show appreciation for yourself. Pay attention to how and when you demonstrate gratitude for the people around you.
- Clarify your wishes ~ Say clearly (and gently) what is on your mind. “When I ____(the thing you thought would be appreciated), I noticed you did not say anything. I’m wondering if you prefer I not do this in the future, or you want me to do this differently next time. Maybe you are seeking gratitude for something no one wants you to do. Perhaps the person meant to mention how grateful they are. You get to clear the air and find out either way.
- Consider other options ~ Ask folks what makes them feel appreciated. Listen to and follow to their wishes as much as you can and still aligns with your own values. Notice their response when you give thanks. This tells you whether your way of showing gratitude meets their need for receiving it.
Showing authentic gratitude and appreciation improves relationships in homes, organizations, and communities.
To learn more about creating connective communications, attend an upcoming training.
What is your gratitude practice?