On Appreciation

Why is it that many people do not feel appreciated for what they do?  Rather, the more they do for someone or for others, the less appreciated they feel.  A large part of that is due to their not being able to accept appreciation.  So, they don’t “hear” or recognize expressions of it, then feel slighted about the apparent lack of appreciation.

The other side of this story is that most people don’t actually appreciate the entire amount of effort that is made on their behalf.  Lack of full appreciation is due to their hidden feelings of insecurity.  They fear that their insecurity is going to be exposed if others find out how much they have been helped.

Also, consider that if you are emotionally traumatized and “suffering” from being assisted by someone, how hard it would be for you to realize the amount of effort being given to you.  Remember the human mind cannot see, so it concludes whatever it wants that will put it at ease.  For instance, if someone has had a diligent housekeeper for a period of time, they may not recognize, until that housekeeper leaves, how lucky they were.  As in the old adage:  “You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry.”

These are the dynamics that underlie much of the selfishness you see around you. Fortunately, individuals may develop a recognition of what they are receiving over time. For instance, a client of mine had back surgery and I stayed with her for a month.  Because of the pain she was in, I was careful to not let her do anything that would interfere with her healing.  Her condition would usually take a year or more to heal and the first few weeks are critical.  She had little to no appreciation of what it took for me to be on guard day and night so that she wouldn’t do anything to make matters worse.  After I left she went to her doctor who, from the progress of her healing, thought that she’d had the surgery 7 months before.  When she told him it was only a month, he checked her file in disbelief. She wrote me a thank you letter saying, “God sent me an angel.”  Such a development is healing for both the “healer” and the healed.

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