Have you ever felt taken for granted? Duh! Have you ever said, “your welcome” to random people that you’ve held the door for, or done some other small favor for, only to have them pass you by without so much as a second glance?
Well you are warranted and you are right. However, are you possibly sometimes guilty of the same offenses with people you encounter in your life? Most likely the answer is yes. This is not because we are all bad people it just means we all spend way too much time in our own heads dealing with our own problems. So how do we remedy this for the good of all humanity?
LOL, too much? I think you know what I mean.
Five ways to get the respect you deserve and give a little in return:
1. Become More Aware
In order to start earning the respect you so rightly deserve, start realizing when you’re giving it away. As you begin to become more aware of all the times you help others thanklessly also think of things you take from others without proper recognition. The more aware you become of how you are treated and how you treat others in return the more you can start to make changes to the behavior. The first step to making changes, in any situation, is awareness. Think about the actions you take throughout the day. If you can, try to journal about your day each night. Try to think of instances where you felt under appreciated. That will probably be easier to do than the next step because it's usually pretty easy to remember when we are hurt or in pain. Next, try to think of times throughout your day where you didn't give your full respect or gratitude to others. Make note and try to make an effort to rectify the situation in the future. You may even want to make a gesture the next time you encounter that person so that they know you see them and appreciate them. Once you make a conscious effort to notice these types of interactions it will be easier to catch them and correct them in the act over time.
2. Allow Thanks To Be Given
How many times have you had someone thank you for something and you’ve replied with, “oh it was no big deal, I’m happy to do it.” Well guess what, you just told that person it's okay for them to stop thanking you. At least for that one particular thing. Not only that, if this has happened more than once, you’ve programmed them to expect it going forward without asking or thanking. Your faux pas may even begin to extend to all acts of kindness on your part toward this particular personal. So often women talk about training their man to take care of them. Well, guess what? The concept extends to all relationships. The more you do without accepting thanks from any particular person, the more your acts of kindness begin to become expected instead of a pleasant surprise. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to stop doing things for other people because they’re all ungrateful. I’m simply saying if you are going to put yourself out there and do nice things for people allow them to thank you properly. All you have to do is say, “your welcome.” It’s that simple. I know you were taught to be humble and you want to be polite but guess what? The proper response to “thank you,” is “your welcome.” Don’t add to it or take away from it. Just let it sit there. Thanks given, thanks acknowledged.
3. Learn To Ask For Thanks and Praise
Sometimes, especially after a long period of giving, the other person may be completely blind to the kindness you’ve been providing them. In that case, you may need to become more assertive to receive thanks for your work. This applies to personal relationships as well as in the workplace. You may need to become more comfortable with asking for the compensation you deserve and stop performing task, on task, on task hoping someone sees you and rewards you, some day. If you do something for someone, even if they ask you to do it, you should wait for your, “thank you.” If it doesn’t come, ask if they are satisfied with what you provided? Assuming they say, “yes.” You can reply with something to the effect of, “oh good, when you didn’t say thank you I thought maybe you were dissatisfied.” Of course each situation may call for a different type of finesse but the point is to get in the habit of asking for thanks or feedback when you do something substantial for someone else. This especially applies to people and situations where you already feel undervalued and under-appreciated.
4. Stop Giving It Away
The more you give yourself away the more some people will take. As much as it is important to become more aware of when you are giving and not receiving thanks, it’s equally necessary to step back from giving when a situation calls for it. If you are a giver by nature this may be the hardest step for you. If giving to others makes you happy you don’t need to stop altogether. I’m only suggesting that you become more discerning about when, how often, and to whom you give to. If there are people or circumstances in your life that make you feel under-appreciated or unworthy, that is when it may be time to pull back. If you have already tried steps one through three and your situation hasn’t improved with the person, or situation, you are working on, that’s another sign it may be time to stop giving. Try it out. See what happens if you stop doing things that bring about the feeling of being taken for granted. Chances are, after some time of giving absence on your part, it will be noticed and possibly even missed. If not, then what you were doing was probably not something that was needed or it was something the other person was able to take over or replace without discomfort to them. Either way, it is lessons learned. If you’re doing something of value you should receive some response from a boycott. If what you were doing wasn’t valued then it will not be noticed. From this you learn that as much as you want to give, sometimes your efforts are really just unnecessary. There is fine line between being helpful and forcing your way of doing things on other people or situations, so keep an open mind. If this is your outcome, try to put your ego aside and remember you haven’t lost anything. You’ve gotten something back from this little experiment (your time and self respect).
5. Share The Love
Tell people they matter to you when you think of it or about them. One amazing way to get some thanks is to give thanks openly and often. Whenever you think of someone you value in your life, for any reason, stop and take a minute to thank them for all they do or how they make you feel. If you’re out and about and you see something that would help someone else, take a picture and send it to them, or if it's small and you’re so inclined pick it up for them. You can save it for a gifting occasion or better yet as a thinking of you gift to brighten their day. With the holidays upon us, it is a great time to start remembering other people as we’re going through our day. Choosing or even making a thoughtful gift is a beautiful way of showing others you care. The meaning behind a gift grossly outweighs the price tag. So, give lovingly and freely this holiday season. Show others that you know them and appreciate them by gifting your gratitude with something that matters to them.
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