Question “I feel I am asking too much looking for appreciation

Is it OK to look for appreciation or is that asking too much?  Sometimes I feel I am asking too much looking for appreciation for the things I do.  That if I was content in myself I would be happy just doing them but yet I still feel that I would like a thank you or other signs that it was appreciated.  I sometimes question should I stay in the situation if I am not appreciated.  Thanks Anonymous

My Response

Hello Mom, first you say you don’t FEEL appreciated, and then you say you ARE NOT appreciated. There is a big difference between the two options, in fact, unless someone told you straight away that you’re not welcome or appreciated somewhere, we can only talk about feelings. So what if you are not feeling appreciated? Is it common for you to find yourself in such situation? I am asking this because usually we tend to repeat certain patterns although they are painful. I am asking myself how is it useful for you to be the “indispensable one”, meaning the one that does everything and does it well! What do you gain? What do you avoid?

My fantasy is that you get to be a pivot (like in basketball), you’re the one without whom the game cannot be played. It might be very tiring as you have to live up to others’ expectations.

I am afraid that you have to decide what you want to do given the situation. To do that you might need to have clarity about the price it takes, so you can decide if you want to pay it or you prefer the present situation. It is not easy to answer your question on these lines and this is what came up to my mind. I think it would need a deeper investigation, given that I believe that such patterns are deeply rooted in our personal history. Much malaise come when we think we are being altruistic instead of seeing our own “bargain” so-to-speak. I myself was use to think that I was doing everything for others and not having anything in return (I’d rather say is common among therapist of all sort to get through this step), when I painfully realized I was in my own “social” pattern and I had to make a quite difficult choice about what I really wanted and what place in the world I felt more comfortable in.

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