Feeling under-appreciated lately?

I worked recently with a couple of business owners who were also husband and wife.  They were not getting along well, not communicating, and generally in a state of dislike.  I talked to each individually about what was going on.  You know what I discovered??? 

As I talked with each 0f them,  they summed up their discontent with 4 very similar words.  “He/She doesn’t appreciate me.”  Each told different stories about how much he or she did for the business and the home, how hard he/she worked, how tirelessly he/she tried to take care of things, and the other didn’t even seem to notice.  Isn’t that interesting?

The issue had become a viscious cycle.  She didn’t feel appreciated, so she certainly wasn’t going to pour out her appreciation for the things he did.  He didn’t feel appreciated, so he certainly wasn’t going to tell her that he appreciated her.  Both readily volunteered that the other person did contribute greatly to the family’s and the business’s success — and then they would go on to say…”but so do I!”

How sad.  They were each feeling the same pain.  They both knew what it felt like to give and give and give and not be acknowledged for all that giving. 

I think this is often the case in relationships, both at home and at work.  Human beings need to know that they matter, that they are noticed, and that they are appreciated.  Sometimes, we don’t think to say “thank you” for little things.  Sometimes, we get stubborn and decide no “thank you” is warranted because we work hard, too.  Here’s the thing — there is no rationing on “thank you.”  There are plenty of “thank you’s” to go around.  In fact, they seem to multiply with use.  They spread as others pick up the thread and begin to say “thank you” back and to pass it on to others.

So look at the people in your life (at home and at work).  Think of the little things and the big things they do to make your life better.  Now, go tell some of them “thank you.”  Say “I really appreciate that you take the time to…”  You’ll likely find that it will come back to you over and over — in time.


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