Does being an introvert have anything to do with giving appreciation?  I’m not sure, but I do know as an introvert I think far more than I ever say. And while I haven’t always been forthcoming with appreciation of others, I also know that I have often felt unappreciated or at least underappreciated myself. But those times when I do get a little appreciation definitely makes my day!

I gave a presentation the other day and put my best into preparing for it, but I was still nervous about it.  I gave it and think it went well, but it was a tough crowd to read.  It felt good when someone came up to me immediately after and thanked me for my great presentation.  I headed out of the room quickly and didn’t talk to anyone else about it.  But I also received a text a few minutes later from someone else again thanking me for a well done presentation.  This was great for me to hear.

As human beings, we want to know that we are making a difference, that our hard work is noticed, and that someone cares.  But most often, people only notice the opposite.  I have observed in business that customers are more likely to complain than to give praise. It seems that often people only mention when things go wrong and don’t acknowledge the hundred things that went right.

I have done a couple of things to improve on my own feelings of being unappreciated.  First, I do my best not to rely on what others think.  This is easier said than done. But by recognizing and accepting what’s great about myself I can lessen the feelings of not being appreciated by others. I also try to recognize appreciation coming in other forms.  For example, being given new opportunity could be considered a form of appreciation for past efforts.

Another thing I have going for me is a person in my life, my wife, that does see what I do and gives me praise for my accomplishments and hard work.  We also have an understanding around the house that if we aren’t feeling appreciated for something that we have done, it is fine to ask for it.  I definitely appreciate her listening and praise and do my best to give her appreciation before she asks for it.

I am also working on giving more appreciation even if I never feel like I receive enough.  I try to use the word “thank you” often and use it sincerely. I try to acknowledge people for a job well done. I have discovered that as I make more of an effort to give recognition and appreciate others, I get more appreciation in return.  So next time you are feeling less-than-appreciated, try giving out some appreciation of your own!



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