What to do when you don’t feel valued
Do you feel like you’re not valued or appreciated enough by your boss, colleagues, friends or even family?
Do you feel like people are just not taking you seriously or taking you for granted?
First of all, you’d be surprised how many people feel the same way. That’s not to say it’s ok. But there may be several reasons causing this, which I share more about in this article.
Secondly, I encourage you to not ignore this feeling because feeling like this for a long time can do a lot of damage to your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Every time you’re facing a problem, ask yourself first:
What is really going on here?
It’s so easy to get caught up in emotions and upset which will skew our perception.
There can be a big difference between NOT FEELING valued and NOT BEING valued.
NOT FEELING VALUED situation
When something is not working in your life, or you’re upset over something, always check with yourself first, because the best news you can find is that the problem is (at least partially) you.
Well, because if it’s something about you, then you can actually do something about it.
If it’s a problem with the world, people, or the weather, it’s going to be harder to change it because it less within your control.
So ask yourself:
What’s really happening here that makes me feel undervalued?
First: look at the facts. Sometimes we create whole stories in our own head about what’s happening.
It is a natural thing for our brain to fill in the blanks.
Recognise the parts of the narrative that you’re filling in and what the actual facts are.
For example, someone got a coffee for everyone in the office but not for you. You get upset and fill in the story with
“John did it on purpose to upset me because I got time off, and he didn’t.”
Can you be 100% sure?
Are there other possible explanations, such as:
John didn’t get you coffee BECAUSE you were on holidays and he didn’t know you were back today?
It’s a trivial example just to demonstrate my point.
We are master storytellers. But not all the stories we tell ourselves are happy ones.
What is it that others do or don’t do that makes you feel under-appreciated?
Take a moment and separate the very things they do that make you upset and weigh them out against all the other interactions with them.
Is it an isolated event, or do the majority of their actions make you feel that way? We quickly take good things for granted and depreciate them.
Am I being treated differently than anyone else?
When you feel that someone overlooks you, your skills or contribution, check if you’re an exception or is this just the way they are (which is not necessarily an excuse for their behaviour).
Sometimes others get a better treatment simply because the relationship between them is longer or stronger.
You don’t treat everyone equally, either.
The purpose of these questions is to find out what’s really going on.
Do your best not to push your agenda here and be right, but instead, find out the truth.
Wouldn’t it be great to find out that there is really not that much going on and you just got yourself wound up for no good reason?
Another good question to ask yourself is:
Is being valued in this situation even important?
We love to be valued and get recognition. But sometimes we crave it and try to get it in situations where it really doesn’t matter.
We just want to win that person (or a crowd) over.
Don’t let your ego drive you crazy. It will never be satisfied. Ever!
It’s a lost battle, and you’re wasting energy.
NOT BEING VALUED situation
It does happen that people around us don’t appreciate who we are and what we do.
May it be your boss, co-workers, family, or friends.I’ll assume that in this situation, being valued is important.
Are you doing the right thing, though? Are you doing what’s expected from you?
Whether it’s at work or in your personal life, you may be super busy trying to do a million things to please and impress the people around you, but are these the right things? Do the things you do count?
Sometimes we chase the wrong thing and end up being a busy fool, doing things that don’t matter.
Are you clear on what is expected from you? Are you delivering it?
This is especially important at work. You’re paid for a particular role and deliver specific results. It is a great practice to have a regular chat with your boss or team and ask about whether they are happy with your work and what would they want you to focus on and deliver.
Do the work they will value you for.
In your personal life, it can be tricky.
Firstly, ask yourself:
With the people around you, are you just taking, or are you also bringing value to your relationships?
The value can have many different forms. It can be your attention, care, knowledge, support, humour etc.
Don’t be the person who just takes.
If you feel that you’re bringing a lot of value as well, but it’s not being appreciated or recognise, ask yourself:
Can these people actually value or understand what I’m bringing here?
You see, we all appreciate different things. If you’d tried to bring value to me by telling me the latest football news, I’m switching off before you finish the first sentence. There is nothing wrong with you sharing that, but I’m just not the right person.
For example, when we love someone, we show it in a certain way. But it may not be what our partner want’s, appreciates, or even recognise.
Check out the book The 5 Love Languages.
To sum it up
Everyone around us is a bit different, values different things, and has different expectations.
It’s always great to try to be valuable, but don’t bend over backwards to please them to be valued.
Always try to grow and improve, but don’t lose who you are just to be liked.
The best value you can bring to the people around you is to be a good person who is fair and supportive.
That’s an excellent foundation for any relationship.
Sometimes we have to accept the uncomfortable truth that some people will not value us no matter what.
If you need the support of a life coach to help you with making a great first impression or with any other areas of your personal development, you’re always welcome to contact me and let’s find out if we’d be the right match.