ImageI have talked about appreciation, mostly from the giving side. I talked about how it can help in business and personal lives. Customer appreciation is especially important if you want to remain in business. It leads to regular repeat customers.

I also talked about being specific and using thank you cards among other things. Appreciation demonstrates your awareness. People see you noticed and they are grateful. I have also written about how to give an appreciation speech, for those of you who have to give speeches. But what about from the receiving side?

We all want to be appreciated for who we are and for what we do. It makes us feel good to know others appreciate us. Although it would not be so good to become dependant on appreciation, we all could use some from time to time.

So how do you get others to give you appreciation?

If you want respect then you need to respect yourself first. If you want to be appreciated then appreciate yourself first. Believe in yourself, you are capable and you have something to offer. If you do not see yourself as having anything to contribute, then your beliefs will hold you back. So you first have to change your thinking.

Remember your past does not equal your future. If you made mistakes in the past, let them go and focus on doing things right from now on. Don't judge yourself, just let it go and get on with making a difference.

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You also have to accept that no matter what you may do, some people will not appreciate you. Wayne Dyer talks about not being attached to the outcome. You need to let go of the need for appreciation. It is nice if you get it, but just don't set yourself up for sadness when you don't get it. In Buddhism, we learn that suffering comes from attachment, such as a need to be appreciated. If you free yourself from the need, you free yourself from the suffering. So, learn to appreciate yourself, and know it is enough. Anything more you get is a bonus!

Matching Values

You have to do something that others would appreciate, which means your behavior matches something they value or see as worthwhile. So your values have to match the other person. If the other person was a criminal, and you turned them in to the authorities, you would not get appreciation from the criminal since their values and yours do not match. But perhaps the authorities and other groups in the community would appreciate your efforts,since their values and your values are a better match.

What You Give Out Comes Back

Use what is known as the "law of reciprocity" (or the "law of sowing and reaping") to your advantage. When you appreciate others, they stop and take more notice of you, and you get more back of what you sent out. You also model the behavior you seek from others. With consistent appreciation of others, you will receive the same in return.

You may also find it is better to give than receive appreciation. Some people I talked to said they enjoy appreciating others, and that in itself was its own reward. They enjoy giving as much if not more than receiving.

ImageBut what if you need appreciation? Do you feel you are not getting the appreciation that you believe you deserve? That could be an issue. First, understand that there are three types of people:

  1. Those who always appreciate you no matter what.
  2. Those who sometimes appreciate you.
  3. Those who never appreciate you.

Perhaps you have a type 3 person. You just have to either accept they are that way, or you move on in search of types 1 and 2. In time, you will find them.

Next, try not to need appreciation, like it is some addiction. That is the attachment I mentioned above, that only leads to suffering. Whatever you do, assume that the task is its own reward. Anything else is a bonus, and not expected or guaranteed.

Accepting Appreciation / Praise

If you have trouble with accepting positive feedback and appreciation, that could be more a self-esteem issue. And if that applies to you, you may want to work on that. If you come from the position that you are lovable and capable, and worthy of appreciation, then when appreciation comes your way, you can gracefully accept it.


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