Feeling unappreciated is sticky and tricky to explain in words. Simply saying, it involves feelings of being undervalued, not appreciated, or unnoticed in subtle ways. The person feels low and doesn’t get what they actually deserve in life.
Sometimes, these feelings are surrounded by agonies that you don’t seem to be important to those who matter the most in your life. It happens in all relationships but the good part is, we can turn these feelings into positive ones by altering our perceptions and mental states in such a way that we tend to feel better than ever before.
In this think piece, we will highlight the various ways to combat these negative feelings in all aspects of life.
Feeling Unappreciated – Meaning
Feeling unappreciated means feeling lesser, negligible, and downplayed, in the eyes of others. When you do not feel regarded and respected, or praised for your contributions, you may feel unappreciated. This is a terrible feeling that can make you feel unloved, hated, rejected, ignored, and much more.
Have you ever experienced something deep inside that you’ve poured much more into the relationship than what you have got from the other person? Are you frequently getting a feeling that your value is not the same in the bonding anymore? Do you think you’re unnoticed in subtle ways?
If the answers are yes, then you’re feeling unappreciated in your relationships. The feeling brings in a sense of disrespect for you. When you are feeling unappreciated in your daily life, it’s agonizing and the emotional pains can often lower your self-image. You may start feeling lesser than others in all aspects of life.
In a way, your self-worth is at stake. Sounds true?
Feeling unappreciated may occur when people around you do not appreciate your good words and actions. They neither praise you nor regard your contributions to their life. Sometimes, feeling unappreciated also refers to situations where others try to judge you, complain against you, disrespect you, or undervalue your thoughts, opinions, and efforts.
You may start feeling like a victim and your self-image gets bruised and wounded. When you feel that your efforts and contributions are not recognized, it directly impacts the quality of the relationships that you are in.
At times, feeling unappreciated makes you feel insecure and unsafe in the relationship. You are no longer motivated or driven to do stuff for people who are ungrateful.
In intimate relationships such as with your spouse, children, or family members, this feeling of not being appreciated can cause intense emotional pain. You feel like an abused martyr with no inner strength to fight back and change things the way they should be.
Thus, feeling unappreciated can also lead to feelings of hopelessness and relationship conflicts if not fixed at the right time.
Feeling Unappreciated in a Relationship
Knowing that you are loved, respected, and valued for your contributions and efforts makes you feel secure and safe in the relationship. Sometimes, this basic praise is missing altogether in the relationship. You re-think about your actual position and worth therein.
Feeling unappreciated in relationships is quite common though many of us are silent sufferers. People who lack the ability to appreciate you are nitpicky, critical, and complaining by nature. Sometimes, they will not appreciate it lest it makes them feel insecure and powerless in the relationship.
If your partner takes you for granted and expects a lot more than what they actually contribute to building the relationship, it makes you feel like a lesser being. You may feel ignored and unloved in the connection.
Living in a relationship where feeling unappreciated is a regular thing is not a healthy choice. You should either do something, take the necessary steps to fix the ongoing issues or you can move out of the bonding completely.
Feeling unappreciated can downplay your self-worth but with timely fix policies, you can turn things into a positive side. As relationships are fragile, it needs to be nurtured with praise and appreciation. When you feel unappreciated, you feel like your partner or spouse is taking you for granted.
They are ignoring your good actions as if it is part of daily living. They will never say thank you or try to acknowledge your role in the family.
In such a situation, negativity sets into the relationship, and you will feel resentful and toxic in the relationship. A research study done in 2020 showed that feelings of appreciation and social regard led to more marital happiness and bliss.
Signs of feeling unappreciated in a relationship – in marriage and intimate bonding
There are several signs that hint that your spouse or partner is trying to downplay and undervalue your contributions at family and home.
- Your partner seldom says ‘thank you’ as if they are accustomed to good treatment.
- Never appreciate your opinions and inputs while making important life choices and decisions, as if you are not worthy to be considered for a discussion.
- Make plans without your consent as if they know they will not be nullified.
- You are feeling you’re being taken for granted.
- You are putting more household share in terms of effort.
- Feeling upset that your partner never remembers important dates that matter the most to you.
- Never asks you about your day and other details of your life.
- They never consider your likes and dislikes as important.
- They never notice how you look or act upon specific life situations.
- You are maintaining the relationship and they’re not.
- You are constantly disappointed by their words and actions.
- No romantic gestures.
- No words of affirmation can be intended to be a substitute for feeling undervalued in the relationship.
- Constantly feeling hurt and abused.
What to Do When You Feel Unappreciated in Your Relationship? – 10 Ways to Fix the Issue
Feeling unappreciated in a relationship is
You can deal with feelings of being not appreciated and improve your relationships in the following ways:
1. Express appreciation and praise to your partner
When your relationship is at crossroads, it’s time to shower more appreciation and praise even for the small things in the relationship that go unnoticed due to your busy life. Improving relationships is a two-way process.
Thus, if you appreciate your partner’s efforts in small ways, it could often force them to do the same with you. They will also appreciate you in similar ways and the bonding can see greener shades all over again.
2. Try to think whether you play a role in feeling unappreciated in the relationship
Sometimes, your partner’s cold and indifferent attitude can be because of how your behavior and actions made them feel unappreciated at some point in time. Try to analyze your role in this process.
There could be something that you did it made them feel offended. If this is the reason, look for ways to undo your bad behavior by apologizing. Things could get better.
3. Know the best way to talk to your partner
Never argue or start the process of conversation with an upper hand with your partner. Remember that you are trying to resolve an issue and it’s vital that you keep cool as much as possible.
Having a tone of respect where no blame game resides can solve the issue. You need to communicate the issue directly to your partner but in a calm way.
You can use ‘I’ statements to describe how you felt in specific situations where you were not given due regard. This direct communication can be an eye-opener for your partner.
4. Divide work in the relationship
If you feel that you are tired of contributing much more to the bonding than you had received, then draw a line and divide your household workload with your partner. You can have an honest conversation with them regarding how much you will do at home and how much you expect them to do.
Having this discussion will draw their attention that they are actually taking you for granted and should step in to share the load. In this way, your feelings of being unappreciated will not feel as heavy as they used to be previously.
5. Learn to focus on yourself
It’s a harsh reality for most of us to put forth a lot more to our relationship maintenance than we do for ourselves. This makes us feel unappreciated because we move out of our comfort zone to accommodate the needs of our loved ones.
Instead of waiting for your partner or family member to express their gratitude, it’s time that you think about yourself also. You can treat yourself to a nice dress, or go out for a solo movie show just to indulge yourself in small pleasures that you really deserve.
6. Practice self-care and think of yourself in high esteem as always
If you are feeling unappreciated and your self-image seems to be crippled, then it’s time to take enough self-care.
You can do something that you love, such as starting a new hobby or learning a new skill so that your damaged self-worth gets a boost in newer ways. Practice doing something that can take you close to your goals and ambitions.
7. Keep up your confidence level intact
If you are feeling unappreciated in your relationship, you may feel like a martyr. Your self-confidence and self-esteem may suffer a huge setback. Instead of living a hopeless life, concentrate on your skills and abilities so that you can keep up your confidence levels.
Moreover, you should plan your life, look forward to your goals, and enjoy your success stories with yourself.
8. Never dwell on unappreciated love and bonding that seems hurtful
If you are feeling unappreciated, it’s natural to dwell on your lost and sad feelings. This can make you feel worse in most daily life situations.
You will end up feeling morose all the time. Instead, you can focus on the positive feelings of your life and appreciate the presence of those people in your life who are grateful and love you dearly.
Think about your other family members and friends who have appreciated you or focus on your positive qualities to feel good about yourself.
9. Make considerations for a move-on process
Sometimes in a committed bond, it may be difficult for you to stay in the relationship if feelings of being unappreciated are quite obvious all the time. You need to evaluate the entire situation closely before taking the final call.
If discussions with your partners are not working out that great and you are feeling hurt and bruised deep within, it’s time to move on with your life with dignity and self-respect. If your relationship feels stuck and your partner doesn’t seem to bother you much, then it is a sign that your partner no longer needs you.
10. Seek professional help as a last resort
Feeling unappreciated is painstaking and you may feel broken from deep inside. If your inner feelings are too troubling, you may also think of taking professional help for yourself or can think of couples counseling together with your partner.
Your relationships feel awful. At times, resolving the subtle issues between the two of you can bring an attitude change in your partner and they may start appreciating you more than before. Sometimes family therapy from licensed therapists can help you to resolve the issues.
Feeling Unappreciated by Husband/Feeling Unappreciated by Wife
There are many couples who see red flags in their relationships when one or both partners feel unappreciated for their efforts in building the bonding work well.
Sometimes, the husband becomes the culprit and in other cases, it’s the wife who is not grateful for the contribution that her husband makes in the household.
If you are a wife or husband who feels that your better half is taking you for granted and you need to do something to save the failing marriage, you may try out some tips to make things work as per your liking.
1. Open communication
One of the first things you can do is openly communicate those things that you do not like. Treat them well and in a calm manner. Remember the golden rule that you need to treat others the way you want to be treated.
Appreciate your husband’s efforts and opinions as much as you can. Talking to your partner can open the lines of communication. Honest conversation can help you remove feelings of resentment.
2. Make him/her realize your needs and wants
Try to make them realize your needs and help them sort out their irresponsible behavior. If you’re feeling unappreciated by your husband, it’s you who can help them resolve their daily issues, or work-related problems so that they can get time to notice you and your actions.
3. Help him/her resolve inner battles thoroughly
Your husband/wife may be battling their inner battles of insecurity and low self-esteem and that is the main reason that stops them from appreciating you. If this is the case, try professional couples’ counseling.
4. Setting emotional boundaries
If your husband is cold and affectless or seems to be emotionally less sensitive, you can set emotional boundaries in the relationship that clearly defines your priorities in the relationship. Sometimes, you should tell him clearly what is allowed in the bonding and you would love to be appreciated and cared for in the bonding.
5. Think about yourself
If your husband never asks you about your day or seems to be less interested to know about your efforts in building a happy home, it’s time for you to focus on yourself. You should learn to let go of the negative thoughts and feelings and concentrate on your goals in life.
6. Stop the people-pleasing process
Stop pleasing him and consider your negative feelings as real and authentic. There is no point in undermining your negative feelings. It’s real and troubling. So, learn to get rid of the hidden resentments and annoyances for your good mental health.
Feeling Unappreciated by Family and Friends – 10 Ways to Fix the Issues
There are some family members and friends who will always ask for favors but will surely not utter a ‘thank you’ at the end. These individuals will take you for granted. Your efforts will always be seen as a usual way of good gesture that is expected from you. In such a case, feeling unappreciated is normal and a regular thing for you.
What can you do?
- Set healthy boundaries with them and let them know what is allowed in the relationship and what is not.
- Learn to say ‘no’ to favors all the time.
- Stop playing the role of an emotionally abused and victimized being in front of your strong opponents. Shout out loud your priorities as well.
- Let the angry air go out of the system if you’re feeling annoyed by their behavior. You can fight for what you deserve.
- Practicing self-love and celebrating your choices and decisions when you feel unappreciated by families and friends.
- Let them know directly that your opinions are dear to you, no matter whether they accept them or not.
- Assertive communication is important to let others know that they can’t be ungrateful.
- You can praise them every now and then. This is led by an example. When your family members and friends will see you praising them quite often, chances are high that they will also show gratitude in similar ways.
- Accept the fact that there are people who will never change. So, you should stop showing favors and say ‘no’ whenever needed.
- Never please those who do not deserve your good conduct.
How to Tell Your Partner When You Feel Unappreciated?
Being a couple, it is important that you have sincere gratitude for each other’s opinions and efforts in the relationship. When it doesn’t happen in a free-flowing way, you need to pinpoint where to start.
Sometimes, your partner may ignore you or take you for granted because you were in the relationship for so many years now. So, they may consider it futile to say a ‘thank you’ all over again.
This feeling of being ‘taken for granted’ needs to be stopped and you can do this by directly communicating your likes and dislikes in the relationship.
If you are feeling that your partner or spouse has lost their ability to appreciate you, then try out the following direct ways to let them know that you are feeling unappreciated.
1. Let them know that you feel unappreciated when they don’t listen to you
In healthy relationships, gratitude, respect, and love go hand in hand. All these become a part of the bonding when both partners are ready to listen unconditionally to each other.
If your partner is not listening to your opinions or mental agonies, just let them know directly that you’re feeling unheard and both of you should sit and discuss certain vital issues that cannot be escaped from. Help them develop active listening skills by pointing out their ignorant behavior.
2. Tell them that you like it when they compliment you
Tell your partner that you would love to be complimented for the little things in the relationship. You can remind them how they used to appreciate your dress, your cooking skills, and your communication style in the early days of the relationship.
Let them know about their lack of attention upon you now, so that they become aware of what they’re missing out on. Sometimes you need to pinpoint the subtle issues directly. This can revive the bonding and your feelings of being unappreciated will lessen day by day.
3. Tell them to use ‘thank you because you like it
The golden words like ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ are to be used more often in relationships. They are not out of fashion at all. Make your partner realize that you like to be thanked for your efforts in building a happy home. You will never like to be unnoticed and taken for granted. Help them realize that your graciousness is not free all the time.
4. Let your partner know that respecting your opinions is equally important
You should never allow your partner to assume your sayings and opinions the way they want. You should let them know that your opinions are equally important and need to be noticed and heard.
Don’t allow them to demean what is valuable for you. If you are feeling unappreciated, let your partner know that it hurts when they don’t respect your opinions and views in the matter.
5. Have quality time together
When you’re feeling unappreciated, you should focus on spending time, more quality time than quantity with each other. Tell your partner that you want their time and nothing else. Even watching a movie sitting on the living room sofa can give you the love and happiness that you are looking for.
6. Let them know that they cannot put others before you
Directly communicate to your partner that putting the needs of others before you all the time is not allowed. You are feeling hurt and the feelings are real and need to be sorted out instantly.
Sometimes raising these issues can create tension in the relationship and you may sound selfish but at the end of the day, it is important to tell them directly what is annoying for you. It’s your right to discuss what’s important in the bonding.
7. Remind them of the special dates
When people take you for granted, they tend to forget important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries. You can remind your partner that you would love to spend time with them on these special days so that the bonding becomes strong and important for both of you.
Dangers of Not Being Appreciated
Feeling underappreciated and feeling undervalued for a long time can hamper relationships and put to rest all those vows and commitments that were once important to you. Sometimes, this damage is permanent and causes breakups as well.
The toxic side effects of feeling unappreciated in all walks of life are as follows:
- It lowers your self-esteem and worth.
- Can cause sadness and depression
- Blame game starts to arise in the bonding
- The unappreciated partner suffers from a sense of inferiority
- Deep agony and heartache
- Feelings of helplessness
- Regular mood swings
- Anger and annoyance
- Subtle disappointments
- You’re exhausted mentally
- Care and concern seem to be unworthy
- You may feel that everything you are doing is valueless and unnecessary
- Feelings of being detached and lonely in the relationship
- Feelings of being defeated
- Becoming cynical day by day
- Change in appetite
- Disruption in sleep patterns
- Self-doubt and a deep sense of failure
- You may withdraw from responsibilities as well
Summing Up from ‘ThePleasantMind’
Feeling unappreciated is normal in all walks of life. It is present inside the family and workplaces. Sometimes freeing others from saying a ‘thank you’ can reflect your modest nature. On the contrary, it is important to address the toxic situation of being taken for granted always just to keep your mental health fit and fine.
Thus, it is your call completely. You can handle the situation the way you want to. But if you’re suffering a lot of mental pressure, then you should take professional help as soon as possible.
A Psychologist with a master's degree in Psychology, a former school psychologist, and a teacher by profession Chandrani loves to live life simply and happily. She is an avid reader and a keen observer. Writing has always been a passion for her, since her school days. It helps to de-stress and keeps her mentally agile. Pursuing a career in writing was a chance occurrence when she started to pen down her thoughts and experiences for a few childcare and parenting websites. Her lovable niche includes mental health, parenting, childcare, and self-improvement. She is here to share her thoughts and experiences and enrich the lives of few if not many.