Social Question

talljasperman's avatar

Why does it feel good to be appreciated by others?

Asked by talljasperman (21744points) December 18th, 2011

What do you do if you don’t feel appreciated, in your job, family and society?

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19 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Well, in some cases because you should be appreciated…in other cases, it feels good because you’re narcissistic yet have nothing to show for it…that’s for people who like to show up to all the office parties (god, those are awful) so that they live it all up, the fake praise…

If I don’t feel appreciated for my accomplishments (of which I’m proud), I let people know, I voice my disapproval and I sneer at the un-genuine ‘nice job’ when it comes my way…I just finished my job with the American Cancer Society and they praised me left and right for my work yet never bothered to do so when I was doing the work, nor do they actually know what my job entailed…so I let them know, I made fun of them at the parties, I made jokes that went over their heads but made me feel satisfied, I let it all out in my exit interview, etc.

marinelife's avatar

I think it feels good because it bolsters our self-esteem. I went to a party last night, and I was greeted very positively by several people. It really made me feel good.

It confirms our actions. It confirms our self-image as a good person.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Because it validates our need to feel loved, wanted and valued.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I will speculate and say it is because we evolved from pack animals. Feeling pleasure upon giving and receiving praise would be helpful evolutionary traits.

What I have done in the past upon not being recognized is to start feeling resentment towards the people I think “Owe” it to me. Lately I have been thinking about that feeling I get when I lack validation, and wondering how much praise would be enough. Am I letting other people be responsible for my moods? Once I started thinking about it like that, the resentment when I don’t get it went away.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Although the approval and appreciation of others is great, it is not necessary. Learn to become your own greatest fan. Self-appreciation can go a long way, especially when you have to swim against the current. There are going to be times when you have to stand alone. That is when self-validation can be a life-saver.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

For each of us, we have some idea of what acceptance, respect and comfort is and having some of that feels safe at a core level, like it builds safety and security.

When I’ve not had it in my work then I lower my expectations there and look elsewhere. It’s important I have that in my closest relationships and I kind of build out from there and remind myself now and then it’s really most important closest, the rest is gravy.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“What do you do if you don’t feel appreciated, in your job, family and society?”

Then I show appreciation for my job, family, and society.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies: Yes, you can show appreciation outwards, yourself but if particular people don’t look to you for that, if they don’t pay it much attention, want it from someone else instead of you then you still might feel disconnected.

SmashTheState's avatar

Erich Fromm, a student of Freud’s, was a proponent of what he called dynamism. He believed that Karl Marx’s theory of labour and Sigmund Freud’s theory of the mind were actually the same model looked at from the perspective of the group and the individual respectively. The link between them is dynamism, the term Fromm used to describe the driving human need to feel useful, which in turn creates a social for the sole purpose of allowing people to perform functions which make them feel useful.

It feels good to be appreciated because we instinctively desire to be useful to the tribe. When the tribe appreciates our actions, we know that we have fulfilled our instinctive need to contribute to the general weal of the tribe.

talljasperman's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies GA. I appreciated your answer thank you.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

the way to happiness is so very clear… it’s practically invisible

comity's avatar

Appreciation even when it comes to animals? I have 3 little cats and 3 little dogs who respond when I feed them, show affection, play with them, etc. They lick me, snuggle next to me, and I feel genuinely loved. I recently rescued a semi feral cat who was about 10 mos old, pregnant, tape worm, earmites, fleas, boney, starving, and brought her to the vet for shots, to be spayed, de fleaed, etc., etc. She has a beautiful bachlorette pad in a lovely fifth wheel, that she goes in and out of during the day( locked in for safety at sundown) with toys, radio on, good food, warm bedding, heat, the works. She hardly lets me pet her, but she purrs when she eats her food. She doesn’t let me near her but she purrs when I put catnip on her toys and rolls on them in sheer delight. My other animals thank me, she doesn’t. Once in awhile she lets me pet her. The thanks I get is that she’s doing well. But, sometimes, I would like a little snuggling, just a little! : )

CaptainHarley's avatar


Feral cats are notoriously stand-offish. I wouldn’t be too concerned about whether she likes you or not, but if you want to get her closer, try holding some kitty treats in your hand and letting her curiosity get the best of her. : )

comity's avatar

Thank you @CaptainHarley What this does bring out though, I guess, is that the thanks you get is contributing towards making another’s life better.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Which certainly ain’t a bad thing! : )

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think everyone likes to feel appreciated, simply because many things we do on a daily basis go unnoticed and are taken for granted. So it’s nice when someone takes notice and gives you a “pat on the back”.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir So… basically what your comment is saying, is that when people don’t satisfy your narcissistic desires, you make fun of them and patronize them? Wow…

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I like being acknowledged and appreciated for the work I do because it makes me feel like my work counts. If I feel unappreciated, my attitude towards work I need to get done may become poorer in quality. I need to stop letting other people’s lack of acknowledgement and/or negative opinions about me get me down. It’s not healthy to give other people that much control, whether they know it or not.

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