Feel like you're doing EVERYTHING and getting nothing back?
Have you ever felt like no matter what you do for someone, they don’t appreciate it?
Maybe you had a great relationship at one point, but things have sort of slid toward the dark side.
Either way, a partner lacking appreciation can absolutely murder a relationship. But sometimes, as we live our busy lives, we stop showing our partners how much we care for them. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of this, you know how terrible it feels.
Here’s how to get your partner to show you more appreciation.
1. Depersonalize It
Work on this from the stance that they’re on your side and actually want to make you happy but — for whatever reason — can’t. That's a much more fixable situation than if you decide they don’t love you or care about your happiness anymore.
Often we experience a lack of appreciation in our relationship not because the other person doesn’t appreciate us but because both people are busy, comfortable and/or aren't great at showing their feelings. We often put the people closest to us through the most grief because we think, They already know how I feel. Not so.
That’s why it’s important to take a step back and think about the other circumstances in your lives. Are you busy? Have you and your partner been using your time and energy to invest in your relationship? All these circumstantial things can result in both of you neglecting to take the time to acknowledge the other person’s efforts.
Obviously, there’s a big difference between they're “so busy their head could spin” and they “don’t care about you anymore”. It’s important not to take it personally when circumstances aren’t ideal.
2. Think About Your Own Behavior
When we want something in our relationships, sometimes it works well to mirror the thing we want to receive. If you want your partner to say thank you, make sure that you’re saying it yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of withholding your own appreciation because the other person has made you feel unappreciated.
Remember that you can’t get what you need by denying someone else what they need. Make sure you’re noticing the things that your partner does for you and going out of your way to mention it and draw attention to how much it means to you. People often rise to your idealized treatment of them, but this cuts both ways. If you expect them to act shabbily toward you, you’ll often find ways to back up your expectations.
I’m not saying to start trying too hard, I’m suggesting you make sure you’re showing them your own appreciation by verbalizing it out loud. Sometimes when we’re lacking in our relationship, we fail to recognize that we aren’t putting out what we want to receive — potentially because we’re clueless, but also sometimes because we’re keeping score.
3. Cut The Bitterness
It’s so easy to get jaded in your relationship when it feels like things aren’t going well. Unfortunately, when you allow it, bitterness creates a spiral where your partner stops doing things for you because you react bitterly, then they pull back more, and more bitterness results from that. Sooner or later, this gets out of hand, and eventually both people feel disheartened about the future.
Recognize when you’re hurt and angry because when you ignore those feelings, the resulting bitterness will drive the other person even further away.
4. Discuss It, But Gently
Sometimes we get ideas about our relationship and don’t actually tell our partner, hoping they can read our mind. After all, you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, right? So if you’re upset and you don’t address it — unless they’re a talented psychic — the problem will continue.
When you decide to bring it up, sometimes a simple bid for reassurance can do the trick. Something like, “I’ve noticed that we’re super busy lately, but it would really mean a lot to me if you told me more often that you like things about what I’m doing for us. I don’t always know that you’re happy. I could use a little more attention.”
That sounds raw and honest because it is. It’s also NOT a listing of your partner’s failings or an indictment of their character. It’s a statement about what you need. Remember that it’s easier to get what you want from your partner when you actually tell them what you want.
5. Decide If The Relationship Is Fixable
After doing the other things on this list, give it a little time to see if things improve. If you’re still feeling vastly under-appreciated, consider whether this can continue to go on, or if you’re willing to walk away over it.
Do you see things improving given your efforts?
Is this relatively minor or do you sense that you’ve chosen someone too selfish to acknowledge your needs and give you the kind of relationship you want? If it’s the latter, staying is your choice, but recognize that they probably aren’t going to change.
This article was originally published at Digital Romance Inc.. Reprinted with permission from the author.