It’s a familiar feeling–you put effort into your job or relationships, but don’t get much in return. You’re frustrated and need to find an outlet for the feeling. Bottling it up inside won’t do any good. It’s time to get rid of that negative energy in your life. Here are some things to do or say when you’re feeling undervalued:
When you’re at work
In a professional environment, asserting yourself can be tricky. It’s best to be strategic. But before planning your strategy, reflect on yourself. According to Kathy Caprino, a women’s career coach, the first step is to give yourself appreciation: “The more you can give yourself the recognition and appreciation you’re looking for, the more you stop needing it from the outside.” She suggests setting an intention for the day as soon as you wake up. This gives you direction for the next 24 hours and takes your mind off what you may not be getting in the moment. Showing kindness to your colleagues is empowering as well. Compliment them for their good work, face to face, or through an email.
Working on yourself doesn’t mean ignoring someone who is taking advantage or undervaluing you. For example, if you are feeling that way about your boss, it’s important to say something. Plan for it and be prepared. Try suggesting a weekly or monthly meeting to discuss your projects if that’s not happening currently. At the meeting, be sure to interject your accomplishments into the conversation. See how it goes (analyze what’s working and what isn’t working), and you will better handle the next one.
When you’re in a relationship
In personal relationships, acknowledging yourself for all you do is important as well. However, if you feel your partner is undervaluing you or taking advantage of you, deal with that as soon as possible, and be upfront. Dr. Gary Neuman, a renowned psychotherapist and family counselor, discusses why feeling valued is essential in a relationship: “We deserve and need appreciation for the things that we’re expected to do and depend on our loved ones to recognize our effort. Every ounce of appreciation fills us with great inspiration to carry on.” He says kisses and hugs, when paired with compliments, go a long way. When you are communicating your needs to your partner, talk about what you want but also what you don’t want. A huge part of feeling appreciated is just feeling like you’re being heard.