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Last Updated on December 4, 2020

Feeling Unappreciated? 7 Ways to End This Pain

Feeling Unappreciated? 7 Ways to End This Pain

Do you ever look at the people you love and want to cry because they do not see how much you do to make them okay?

Do you ever want to scream at a loved one saying, “after everything I do or have done for you, you treat me like this?”

Have you ever been in a position to do something for a loved one and you hesitate not because you don’t want to help them but because you know they would not appreciate it?

Do you ever find yourself thinking of detaching yourself from a loved one because it hurts to pour all of yourself into caring for them and get nothing in return?

Do you ever want to stop doing so great at work because while you are mostly covering the asses of people who are defaulting, and adding value to the company, you are unnoticed?

If these questions struck you, then you are feeling unappreciated and that is right, but it is not okay.

It Is Not Okay to Feel Unappreciated

It is right to feel unappreciated when you are unappreciated, but it is not okay to feel that way because that feeling comes with a lot of pain – the pain you would rather do without.

There are a lot of terrible feelings that can plague humans, such as feeling unloved, feeling underestimated, feeling rejected, and many others. However, one of the worst feelings is feeling unappreciated.

Feeling unappreciated is one of the worst feelings because it is never a feeling that stems as a result of being around strange people. It is a feeling that stems from being around people you are familiar with, either family or work.

The hurt never goes away. It just keeps growing and growing until one day, you are overwhelmed by the bad feelings and hurt you cannot shake.

When you start feeling this way, you begin to detach from the people who make you feel this way. This can include a family member, friend, spouse, or child. It can also be your colleagues at work or your boss.

This feeling of not being appreciated enough can only come from putting care, resources, and emotions into something or someone. When you are investing emotions and resources into certain people and they turn around and are not appreciative of your kind gesture, this feels like a stab to the heart.

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You are doing everything possible to make your family and friends comfortable. To make them feel better only for them to be ungrateful – that is one hell of a betrayal.

You should never have to regret things you did for love. Feeling unappreciated can get you to that point. If you ever have to regret the things you did for love, then that love was not worth it, and it does not matter who that love was shown to.

We all want to feel appreciated because we deserve credit for all the good we do for our loved ones. However, when these appreciations do not come, we feel like we did not do things right.

First of all, wipe that feeling from your mind. You did everything right. They are the ones who don’t know what they have and what they stand to lose, should you walk away.

Again, it is right to feel unappreciated. But if you would want to move forward in life, it might be time to let go of that feeling and the pain that comes with it.

7 Ways to Get Rid of Feeling Unappreciated

Here are 7 ways you can get rid of that awful feeling of being unappreciated and be happier in life.

1. Do Things for Yourself

A meme says “One day, you will tell people you did everything for them, and they will tell you they never asked you and they would be right.”

The hard truth is that these people whom you are moving mountains and breaking boundaries for never asked you to do it for them. You did it because deep inside your heart, it felt right.

You may be working super hard and doing all the right things at work but if you are doing them just to get noticed, you are doing it all wrong.

When you do things for yourself, you feel better. You may be wondering why you have to work harder and carry the whole team on your back for yourself at work. You are helping yourself grow and pushing your career further by doing just that.

You may also be wondering why you have to do things for your family members when they do not appreciate it. But you are simply positioning yourself for the universe to be kinder.

There is an unspoken rule about doing things for oneself, and it goes, “If you do not feel right about it, do not do it.”

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2. Appreciate Yourself

There is a funny Nigerian adage about the Lizard. It goes, “The lizard nods every time it takes a huge jump because it says to itself ‘If nobody appreciates me, I will appreciate myself’.”

Whenever you finish that huge task at work, do not wait for someone to tell you, “Hey Katie, you did well” or “Hey, Daniel, that was a great one.” Simply take yourself to KFC, and buy yourself a small bucket of chicken. Eat it all up and celebrate your small wins.

You can also buy a good bottle of wine, play some music, and drink a glass of it. You have done great; give yourself a treat because you deserve it. You cannot keep waiting for people to treat you better. Treat yourself better first.

Someone once said, “You are the first example of what loving you should look like.” Of course! You are the first example of what appreciating you should look like.

When people see that you appreciate yourself to the max, they had better do better when they want to appreciate you. They have seen at this point that you do not care much for their appreciation and that you can do right by yourself.

3. Be Appreciative of Others

It might be easy to want to treat people in the way that you have been treated; it is tempting really. Why should you be appreciative when you are grossly unappreciated?

But there is a rule good people go by, and it is “always do unto others as you would want to be done unto you.” Always live your life by this directive.

The reason people are unappreciative of you is that they do not live their life by this directive. They expect good things, but they do not show forth this good.

Set an example. Be the difference they are too distracted to be. Be the bigger, better person, and say your thank you’s with all the appreciation you can muster.

You are not them, and they are not you. you should never let people who do not know better influence you and make you tilt to their direction. Forget the “If you cannot beat them, join them” rule, and move on to “if you cannot beat them, teach them”.

Children learn to say thank you from their parents, then go on to replicate this good behavior. Gratitude and appreciation are the habits of a decent human. Be a decent human.

4. Keep in Mind That Life Is Not Fair

Darling, life is not fair. You will be taken for granted, and you will be hurt. All of these things are how mother nature balances herself.

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There’s good and bad and sometimes, you might be on the bad side of the balance.

It hurts to think that you are sending out good and not getting that in return. Oh, it hurts. But when you realize that life happens and that it is not always fair, it will create a soft landing.

The song, ‘forever young’ has a line that says “Hoping for the best, yet expecting the worst”. That is how you should see life. Be optimistic that great things will happen, but have it at the back of your mind that crazy things will happen too.

Be optimistic that people will appreciate you, but also keep it at the back of your mind that people may not be appreciative.

When you can do this consistently, you will feel good when you are appreciated, but you also would not feel bad when you aren’t. You came prepared.

5. Focus on the Good Only

The baggage that comes with feeling unappreciated is depression. And this can only happen if you keep brooding in the dark paths that you need to come out from.

If you keep thinking of all you deserve and how you are not getting it, you would get sadder and sadder until you are locked up in your room, snuggled up in bed, hugging your pillow, and hating your life.

Did you get taken for granted? It is life. It is not all peaches and roses. Look on the bright side. Look at all you have achieved when you were doing the things you were not appreciated for.

See all the giant strides that have been taken. Focus on them, they are all you need to keep your mind on. You do not need to keep your mind on anything else.

Someone who is constantly staring at the light will find it hard to notice that there is darkness all around them. Be that person. Focus on the good and the good alone, and let the bad slide right off your shoulder like raindrops on a rock.

Do not dwell on it. No one and nothing is worth your sanity. Focusing on the good will help you retain your sanity and fight to retain it.

6. See the Importance of What You Do and Relish It

So, they do not see the importance of what you do. Well, they need an optician and until they get one, be selfish with your foresight.

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See the importance of what you do, and understand how important you are. your boss may not know it but if you leave the office today, the company will feel it. Your friend may not know it, but if you walk out of their life today, they will be a mess.

See the importance of the fact that for the single reason of your existence in their lives and your workplace, everything is okay. You are the glue that holds it all together – the linchpin.

When you do not get appreciated, simply roll your eyes and say “humans never appreciate the presence of good energy.” A saying goes, “A good person is never respected in his or her village.”

They do not know what they have, but you do. Revel in the knowledge, and never let anything or anyone make you feel lesser.

You are important, very important. They would need to focus to see it. Until then, walk with your shoulders held high.

7. Be Confident

Another thing that feeling unappreciated does to you is make you feel small, which makes you lose confidence.

You may think, “if they can’t see all the work I’m doing to make life easier for everyone, then they do not even know that I exist.” Then, you begin to shrink into your shell and avoid conversations and people.

Hey! That is pitiful and pathetic, and it is not you. Ditch that mentality immediately and begin to walk in confidence.

Who said no one sees what you do? Do you not see what you do? Are you counting yourself as unimportant?

Do not shrink, lose your fire, nor lose your confidence. Stand tall, chin up, and shoulders high. Maintain your confidence. Stay on top of your game.

Final Thoughts

Feeling unappreciated is a horrible thing. No one should ever have to feel that way. But as aforementioned, life happens, and humans will always be humans.

People will take you for granted once or twice, and this is why these I listed these 7 ways for you to get out of the pain that comes with feeling unappreciated.

You are worth more than you think you are. If they do not see it, you should.

More on Dealing With Pain

Featured photo credit: Andrew Le via unsplash.com

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Jacqueline T. Hill

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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