“Are you taken?” Me: Yes. “Taken for granted.” Ouch. So you did a kindness and not only did she not notice; she never really thanked you. You offered him a ride which was out of your way. He accepted, and then barely mumbled an inaudible “thank you” when you dropped him off. Speaking of which, did you ever mumble the bits of a song you don’t know; then scream the chorus with all you heart. Me, too. Okay, so you wore that brand new outfit to the wedding, but felt completely invisible anyway. “I’m not asking to be admired or even cherished; but can someone at least appreciate what I do around here once in a while?” Sheesh. Do you wonder if what you do for others is even worth the effort?

Let’s have a moment of silence for all those people “dying” for attention. But seriously, sometimes you may feel that if you were not around for some reason, your friend wouldn’t even really miss you. And that stings deeply. You have that friendship, but only because you are the one who calls, texts, and insists on staying in touch. You’re always the one who seems to be doing more at work, and giving more. It sure would be nice to feel recognized or treasured by someone.

What can we do when we feel so darn unappreciated? Demanding acknowledgment doesn’t feel good. But you can try telling your loved one how you feel in a kind, non-threatening way.

The bottom line is that we cannot allow our self-worth to be based on how others feel about us. Your service and the kindnesses you do have intrinsic, spiritual value, no matter how unacknowledged they may be at times. Being considerate, compassionate, and friendly gives expression to who you are. Do you always need a thank you note for that?

So you communicated your feelings, and even went to speak to an objective person about it all, but you still feel truly taken for granted and never recognized or valued for the precious person you are. Perhaps it is time to cut the cord. Maybe this particular relationship has reached its expiration date. It may be time to cancel. Then again, we have all forgotten to show gratitude at times, so perhaps you are assigning malice where there is none, or reading way too much into it.

There is a delicate balance, sweet friends. Sometimes demanding praise or recognition actually displays a tad too much self-interest. The harsh truth is that most get so wrapped up in their own chaotic lives that they often do not show thankfulness for what you do for them. But that is on them – not you. And before you point that manicured finger, make sure you are injecting healthy doses of affection, approval, and appreciation into your relationships, as well. Speaking of which, nails are the one thing you can get into shape without exercise. Hmm…

Are you still keeping score? If you have that insatiable need for recognition, please remember that not all of us verbalize emotions. People who don’t know me think I’m quiet. People who do know me wish I was. Lol. Then again, some people need a speed bump between their brain and their mouth. But I digress…

Think about whether he has show appreciation through actions instead. Has she done anything kind for you lately? Feeling irritated, injured, and resentful most of the time is no way to live. After all, you are the one who feels it, not “them.”

Try finding ways to reward yourself for your kindnesses. Your worth is not determined by how many gold stars or medals you received. Ultimately, you need approval of your choices; not of others. Know your own worth, and then add tax. So go ahead and mentally pat yourself on the back. Honestly, we all want to feel supported and loved. Perhaps it’s time to thank your loved ones for making those ordinary moments in your life extraordinary.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.