Do You Ever Feel Unnoticed and Undervalued?

Recently I got in a funk.

A dark cloud hung over and throughout me. It seemed everything I did was failing, late, or not good enough.

I felt undervalued. Unnoticed.

I also felt my brain power was underused.

I mean, how much brain energy does it take to figure out when to start a load of wash when it needs to be done by X (okay, maybe that’s an algebra word problem, so that could take some brain power). Or what time should I jump in the car to chauffeur students for an after-school event ( another algebra question; they did say algebra would be used in life)? Or answer questions like, “Where are my socks?” Or decide what to make for dinner?

I was feeling the woe-is-me blues, and singing what-is-the-use tunes.

About this time, my teen son asked, “Mom aren’t you looking forward to retiring one day? Because I sure am.” And all I could think was, Retire? Are you kidding? Someone will always be asking, “What’s for dinner?”

I know, pretty pathetic.

But I think many of us have been here. Maybe we are hearing more complaining than appreciation. More what-were-you-thinking than thank-yous. Maybe we are going through a rough time. Maybe we are comparing ourselves to someone else who has a more exciting life (or at least seems to). Maybe our life is full of more slow zones and speed bumps than straight-aways and race tracks. Or maybe we are just tired or doing the same tasks day after day. After day. And we see no end in sight.

A young mother once confided. “I think my whole day revolves around food. I make breakfast. Cleanup breakfast, and then it is time to make lunch. I make lunch. Cleanup lunch, and it is time to make dinner. I make dinner. Cleanup dinner, and it is time to go to bed. Then get up and repeat. This happens day after day.”

Yup. Anyone relating? Excitement for our life has jumped out the window.

Our commitment for our current job of service to our current tribe is growing lukewarm.

Maybe it is not cooking and cleaning and the endless cycle of doing it again and again that’s got you down, maybe it is not being noticed at work. Maybe it is doing work that seems not even related to your degree. Maybe it is cleaning up your co-worker’s messes. Maybe it is watching others get credit and you get none. Maybe it is having a boss who undermines you. Maybe it’s working late without compensation.

Whatever the reason, there will be times we feel undervalued, invisible, and unappreciated.

There will be times we get tired of doing the same thing over and over. Tired of our current lot in life. Tired of being good old us.

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

So, what’s a woman to do?

I wish I could just demand, okay maybe decree, a bigger fuss be made over my efforts and the tasks I do all day. Flowers, chocolate, a two-week vacation, a thank you card, and a surprise party with flashing lights and dancing would be a good start.

But that isn’t happening.

I could whine, complain, and guilt those around me by reminding them of my worth and my priceless value to them. I could tell them to thank me, quit taking me for granted, and expect a lot less from me.

But that won’t make them or me happy. (Who wants a gift when you have to guilt someone into giving it to you.)

I could play the martyr role and remind everyone loudly through sighs and flippant or sarcastic comments that I deserve better and they are using me.

But goodness, that isn’t a win-win for all parties.

I could just do my own thing on my own time schedule and say hell to the rest.

But throwing a big fit doesn’t end well or make me or them feel good.

I could focus on everything that I perceive as wrong, on all the injustices and slights and circumstances I wish were changed, on how I wish reality really was, and on how discontented I was.

But that will only make me more miserable than before and send me into a fast-downward spiral. Guaranteed.

I suppose I could just go on strike, but that’s not fair. And what if they went on strike? What a mess we would have.

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

Remember you are in control.

I can’t say I didn’t do a little bit of some of the above, because I am human and I did, but then reality set in. I realized I could only change myself, not them. I could only change my attitude, not the situation.

In other words, I had a lot more control than I originally thought. I was not a victim, like I was making myself out to be in my mind. I had more control over the situation than I was thinking I had. And I had more control over myself and my choices than I was thinking I had.

I had to stop the downward spiral of a pity party. Yes, it seems silly to even admit I was feeling sorry for myself when I am so blessed, and lead an easy life compared to lots of other people (why do we never compare our self to someone less fortunate to us during a pity party?).

I realized I needed to change my thinking.

There wasn’t only one ahh moment. Or a 10-minute call-to-clarity moment. It happened over a time period.

First, I tried to Identify why I was discontent and in a bad, terrible, pity-me mood. Anybody heard of selfishness? Well, so had I. And I was smack deep in a knee-high pile of wanting to do my own thing on my own timeframe and a who-cares-about-some-other-people kind of attitude.

Unpretty things were in my mind. And they were coming out in my attitude and feelings.

I thought about my attitude. What was wrong with it? How was it unrealistic?

I thought about how I wanted it to be. How God wanted it to be.

As I put on my thinking cap in the car one day, while out doing errands, I remembered that Jesus came to live a life of service to others. He did what his parents wanted him to do. What his teacher wanted him to do. And always, what his father wanted to do. I am sure he didn’t always want to do what his parent’s asked. I am sure he didn’t always want to heal another person. Give another sermon. Stop the bickering of the disciples. Deal with the daily grind of living. Yet he cheerfully did.

We know he certainly didn’t want to do his last and biggest task, if at all possible. Yet he willingly did. Because he didn’t come to live for himself and do what he wanted to do. He didn’t come to gather accalades and praise. No, he came to fulfill the plan that had been set in motion before we were even created. He came to serve us and his father.

Wasn’t I called to imitate Jesus?

Well that train of thoughts put some things in perspective.

Then I talked to a trusted friend. Admitted my not so pure thoughts and attitude and she empathized with me. Encouraged me to keep up the good work. And pointed out ways I was appreciated and valued.

A few days later I was at church.

The text was about Jesus turning the water into wine at the wedding feast. His first miracle. And as the pastor was talking about how Jesus quietly and behind the scenes changed the water into wine, I realized he was not drawing attention to himself. He was not Instagraming the moment to let everyone know about his first miracle. He wasn’t having a disciple call the newspaper to do a write up. He didn’t even announce to the guests that this delicious and better wine was the result of his doing. No, he quietly and humbly served the guests, fulfilled his mother’s request, and saved the wedding feast.

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

Change what can be changed.

We may not be able to change our circumstances or situation, but we can always change our attitude.

Changing our attitude, will help us look at our circumstances and situation with new eyes. Changing our attitude will change our feelings and ultimately our life.

Others can’t fix you. You have to fix yourself. Your attitude.

There are a number of ways to change your attitude. Here are a few

1. Share your heart, feelings, and attitude with a trusted friend. Let them encourage you. Remind you of God’s truth. Pray for you. Listen to you.

2. Know that God always sees you, notices you, and calls you beloved. He appreciates and makes note of your hard work. And loves you fiercely, bad attitude and all.

3. Whether you realize it or not, your faithful example is spurring others to good works. It may feel like others don’t notice, but they do. And without your service, the world would be a dimmer place.

4. Tattoo on your heart that your value is not in what you do or don’t do, but in whose you are.

5. Imitate Christ, who came not be served, but to serve. He did it quietly without fanfare and with no expectations in return.

6. Take charge. People cannot read you mind. We need to tell them what we need and take steps to meet our needs. This may mean scheduling some fun things in life that recharge your soul. Saying no. Focusing on a fewer priorities. Readjusting your schedule and self-expectations. Giving yourself grace.

7. Ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

8. Change your perspective by counting your blessings. Instead of complaining about washing the dishes, realize you have dishes to wash. Instead of thinking you “have to” make dinner, realize you “get to” make dinner.

9. Pray. Ask to see your situation through God’s perspective, instead of your perspective. This transforms us and our attitude.

10. Get in community with others. Our enemy wants to isolate us and make us think no one understands us, loves us, or knows what we are feeling and experiencing. But this is false; you are only feeling the normal human range of emotions and others will understand. Find some community that does.

11. Learn from the experience and give yourself grace. Then next time it happens, it won’t take so long to identify your downward spiral and start rocketing up and back to balance again.

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


Having trouble enjoying life? Reconciling your current reality with how you wish life really was? Get a free PDF with 12 tips to help you enjoy your life right now. Subscribe and join the journey. You will also receive weekly encouragement and hope tied up with some humor. Because life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: How have you changed your attitude to change your life?

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.May link up at Kelly Balarie (#purposeful faitht), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), and Kristin Hill Taylor (#porchstories).

It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.It's not uncommon to sometimes feel undervalued and unappreciated in a relationship. Quit waiting for things to change. Take control and try these 11 tips to banish your blues.

You Are Not Responsible For the Emotions of Everyone Around You

I’m a fixer.

I’m a doer.

Perhaps you are too.

I see the bed unmade and I make it.

The toilet is running. I reach in, push the flapper down, and stop the waste of running water (yes, I have even been known to do this in public bathrooms! I know!).

I see someone next to me and their shirt tag is waving their size and brand, and without thinking I reach over and tuck it back in.

A child looks lost and is frantically looking about for a familiar face, I stop and talk to them. Make sure they are alright.

And if someone looks unhappy, my first instinct is to go make them happy.

I know that sounds silly. Make someone happy. Because we can’t make someone happy. They have to decide they want to be happy, but still I try.

And often I can cheer them up. Make them giggle. Get them to smile.

Which I consider success.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

Do you have my problem?

 

See the problem is that somewhere in my life, and yes it probably stems back to my family of origin, I decided (or thought) I was responsible for the people around me being happy. Emotionally stable. In a good mood. What ever you want to call it.

Maybe it was because being in a “good” mood and being happy was the main emotion we were allowed, or were supposed to exhibit growing up.

I am sure having a teen friend who was highly insecure didn’t help. She would come over to our house for youth groups and at the last minute decide she could not attend. She would recite reason after reason why she could not attend, and my sister and I would deny and topple each reason. Then my sister would get tired of her nonsense and leave her to me. 20 or 30 minutes later I would finally talk her into attending. And then the next week, it would happen again.

So early on I became a fixer of others.

Eventually I had children. And while they were young I was responsible for doing practically everything for them. And that meant helping them learn to control their emotions. Divert their tantrums. Get them to smile on cue for photos.

It didn’t take much to change their moods when they were young.

My son is now a teenager, and he can be unhappy. My husband can have a hard day at work and come home grumpy. My friend loses her baby. My neighbor is moving. All these people are a little unhappy. Grieving or processing their emotions.

My natural instinct is to jump up and sing and dance and try to make them happy.

Only it is not my job.

And it is not always what they need. Or want.

I have been hopping around trying to make people happy for so many years, diverting tantrums, smiling and making faces until the kids smile, trying to cheer up the sad hearted, that I think I am responsible for making everyone around me happy.

But I am not.

And neither are you.

We are all responsible for our own feelings.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

Are emotions good or bad?

 

Here is one thing I am unlearning from my youth. Emotions are NOT divided into 2 categories. Good emotions and bad emotions.

No. All emotions are necessary. Yes, we are more comfortable with some emotions, like happiness, and less comfortable with other emotions, like sorrow.

The emotions themselves ae not good or bad, desirable or undesirable, it is how we process or deal with our emotions that can healthy or unhealthy and cause problems for others.

Pain is not a bad emotion. But if we drink, shop, or retreat from life to mask our emotional pain, then we can get in trouble and cause more problems.

Happiness is not a bad emotion. But if we pretend we are happy when we are not, then that can get us in trouble and cause more problems.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

We can’t always fix them, and that is alright.

 

My daughter and I got all dressed up and drove to attend a play that she really wanted to see. The problem was, we showed up a day late. I felt horrible. Yes, mommy guilt was cursing through my veins. My daughter was sad. Upset. Disappointed. And Angry. And it was all my fault.

We had missed the last show, so there was no buying new tickets. Our chance had come and gone.

Well, I tried to cheer my daughter up. I told her I was sorry. Made a joke about being all dressed up with no where to go. Tried to find the positive. Told her things could be worse. And who knows what else.

But my daughter was still sad. Disappointed. Upset. Angry.

It was one of those times I realized that I could not dance and sing her happy. And it hurt. And it was uncomfortable. Because it was my fault.

And that was alright. Only it didn’t feel alright.

I wanted her to get over her emotions right away, but she couldn’t.

We went out to donuts, I think, but donuts just don’t compare to a Broadway play.

It is hard as parents seeing our children trying to work through their emotions. It is hard as spouses when we see our mates working through difficult time. It is hard when we see our friends grappling with big changes and emotions. It is hard when we can’t solve things. Make things better. Wave a magic wand.

We can watch them wade through the emotions, but we can’t do it for them.

I know sometimes their emotions make me uncomfortable, and so I want to fix them. But only they can fix them.

Or maybe I feel responsible for their emotions, like I did with my daughter and missing the play, so I want to fix them.

But I can’t fix them. And that is hard. But it is alright.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

What you can do to help the other person deal with their emotions?

 

I am leaning that sometimes the best thing to do is just be there. Be available for the person.

Let them sit and process their emotions, and not try and hurry them to happy.

Instead of talking, listen to them. Then asking a few questions that lets them tell you where they are coming from. And why. Then listening some more.

This technique requires us to let them come to some of their own conclusions. To bite back some of our wonderful insights and conclusions. To not do most of the talking and telling.

But it works.

They process through their emotions and return to their usual self easier if they can talk about how they are feeling, and why they feel that way.

Isn’t this what we all want? To be understood and heard?

This may mean letting them be sad for a while. Not hurrying or short changing the grieving process. Or the healing process.

It’s hard, because we often want to fix them on our terms and time.

But that will not work for them.

 

Resisting the urge to fix. 

 

Let’s stop feeling responsible for fixing everyone’s attitude or emotions.

Because we are not responsible for fixing them.

Instead, let’s help them process their emotions. Listen. Ask questions. And listen some more.

We won’t do it perfectly.

And it will feel strange. All new things do. But as we try, we will be learning. And progress will be made.

Both for them. And for us.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: Do you feel this need to fix the emotions of those nearest you?

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

The emotions of others can make us uncomfortable, so we try to fix them and make them happy. But dealing with the emotions of others is not our responsibility. Learn what to do instead.

Why We Want to Be There for Others

I am about to slide into bed, when I hear my son wandering the house.

The clock says he should have been asleep awhile ago.

I find him in the living room.

“I can’t get to sleep,” he moans. “I have been trying to for an hour and a half.”

“Did you try and lie still? Quiet your mind? Relax with . . .?”

“I’ve tried everything,” he moans.

I inwardly groan. I am tired myself. I know I would be asleep the moment my head sinks into the pillow, but . . . life calls.

“Come on,” I say, “I’ll help you.”

I follow his lanky body, taller than me now, back into his bedroom. I tuck him back into bed and sit on the edge of his bed, my hand resting on his leg.

“Breathe slowly,” I say, trying to calm my voice to soothing. “Release the stress with each exhale. Feel your body sink into your mattress.”

I drone on. My voice becoming a little softer. A little quieter.

His breath become longer. Slower. His body begins to let go.

Slowly I raise my hand until it is hovering in the air barely above his body. I used to do this when he was an infant. Ever so slowly raise my hand off his body and then hover it there to make sure he didn’t stir awake.

He remains asleep. I tiptoe out of the room. Mission accomplished.

As my head sinks into my pillow, I instantly relax.

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.We like being needed and being there for others.

 

I know you are like me. You want to help those around you. Love them well. Solve their problems.

Often it is not convenient. But you do it. Because you are concerned about the small and large stuff that concerns those we love.

You see your daughter’s sad face and ask her what’s wrong.

Your son asks you to tie his shoes, and you do.

You dog seems lethargic, and you wonder what is wrong.

You are in the middle of making dinner and your sister needs to talk. You pause to be there for her.

Your husband needs a favor, and you come through for him.

A friend loses a parent, and you hug her and take her dinner.

Your child has a hard time falling asleep, and you talk him to sleep. Or hum him into dream land.

All these things communicate you love them. Are concerned about them and their life. Care about them and their life direction.

Big and small, you want to be there for them. And what you do for them is important.

You encourage them. Cheer them on. Listen. Hand out advice. Squeeze hugs on their bodies.

You want to be involved in their lives. Know their problems. Be asked to help.

Yes, we sometimes get tired of being there. Of helping. Of sacrificing to do the right thing. Of caring so much. Of trying to solve problems and find solutions.

The last thing I wanted to do the night I found my son wandering around sleepless in our house, was help him. I was tired myself. Craving the covers over my tired body. But then as I am helping him, soothing him to sleep, I felt honored to be asked. Trusted to help. And that was a good feeling.

Let’s think about the opposite?

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.What if we were not needed?

 

Imagine if those we loved did not include us? Involve us?

Your husband tells us that he lost his job three months ago, but no worries, he has since found a new one. Sure, it was a stressful time and a lot of worry, but that is now past. He did not want to worry you.

Your son tells you that he asked someone else to teach him to tie his shoes because he didn’t want to bother you.

Your daughter tells her that she lost the spelling competition at school. She was sad for a while, but a friend helped her with her sadness. She knew you had other more pressing problems to deal with.

Your pet visits the neighbor’s when sick, so you don’t expend extra energy on them.

Your neighbor doesn’t tell you that her mother died until a year later. This way she can say she is past the grieving stage and doesn’t need to hamper your schedule.

Your sister lets you know she had a problem, but only after she has thought of a solution. Better yet, even implemented the solution and found success. She knew you were busy and wanted to conserve your energy for more important things.

Would we want to find out that those around us didn’t need our help? Our encouragement. Our listening ear and love? Our problem-solving abilities?

Our soothing voice to put them to sleep?

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.We were made to be there for others, by someone who is there for us.

 

We want to be needed. To be called on. To be informed and kept in the loop.

We don’t want to know after the fact.

Yet sometimes we do this to God.

We think he is to busy to be concerned with our life. Our situation. Our problems.

We think he has more important things to do, than listen to us. Or help us.

And yet, he wants to concern himself with us. To keep those lines of communication open between us. To know what is going on in our life and heart.

As a friend, parent, sibling, and co-worker we want to be needed. To be involved.

We were made in God’s image. And just like him, we want to help. Be needed. Solve problems. Come along side.

God, as our heavenly father, doesn’t want us solving the problem, getting over our hurt, and getting support elsewhere and then coming to him whole and unneedy. No, just like we delight in helping those around us, he delights in helping us.

And unlike us, he never runs out of energy, solutions, patience, love, and all those other things. We can only help so much, but he can help forever.

Remember:

1. No concern, problem, issue, hurt, worry, triumph, blessing, or thought is to little or big to share with him.

2. He cares about us more than we can imagine. His heart breaks for us and explodes in pride for us.

3. He is besides us every step of the way, just waiting for us to put our hand in his. Waiting for us to include him in our life.

4. He is not intimidated by our messes, and ultimately uses them to our advantage and his glory.

5. He sees us and what we are becoming. He knows us better than we know our self and nothing we do or say surprises him.

6. He wants only the best for; works all things ultimately for our good.

So, share the good, bad, and ugly with him. Trust him. Make him your best friend. Keep him in the loop.

And next time you can’t sleep, ask him to talk you to sleep. Because he will.

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: Tell about a time you were there for someone or they were there for you.

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Alt text: Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed.Being there for others feels good. Learn why we want to be there for others. And what would happen if we were not needed. #relationships #kindness to others