How to get over the need to be appreciated

This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

Neagle Code Question

Hi David!

I’m beginning to realize that I have a deep need for appreciation. I go out of my way for others to the point of sacrificing my own desires, and when I get no thanks or appreciation, I can feel the anger welling up inside me. I know this need is spilling over into my business. How do transform this and put a stop to needing others to appreciate me?

Neagle Code Answer

The need for validation from other people is an issue that comes from low self-esteem. This need comes from the perception that you aren’t worthy and it actually started prior to age 7 or 8.

If we don’t truly believe that we are worthy on the inside, we’re always going to be seeking validation or appreciation from others that tells us we are okay.

The problem is that no matter how much others tell us that we did a good job, deep down we don’t believe it.

When a person doesn’t get the appreciation they are looking for it can be extremely painful or even devastating. This causes them to feel resentful and that leads to anger.

A person who is really trying to overcome this in their life has to be aware of the cycle and all the places in their life where this shows up. They have to know how the cycle works.

I’m going to share an integration exercise with you that will help you overcome the need for appreciation if you really want to overcome it.

A) For every person who comes into your life, find one thing you can honestly appreciate about them in that moment.

B) Start journaling what you’re finding to appreciate in other people, and begin to see these qualities in yourself.

C) Start to take a look at how wonderful you really are as a human being and an individual.

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  1. David, I have followed you for years, with help from my sister. This person is so correct, I try to help others every chance I get, I understand that you must life to give. What happens sometimes, is that that person appreciates the gift at the time, then they turn on you and are no nice to you. Then you feel used. I was in a restaurant, and a EMT passed by my table, and said ” she is a giver” I was surprised, I not in my home town an had never seen this man before. I get the secret… An sense your last conference call have been thanking “God” or the universe for my new car… Thank you so much, I know it is right around the corner….

    • Great to finally meet you Brenda and thanks for the post. If a person ‘turns on you’ as you state in your response ask yourself why you are tolerating that in your life. Not knowing much about the entire situation, I’d venture to guess that this is part of a much bigger issue that something inside of you is wanting the appreciation in return. Proverbial strings attached if you will. If you are giving in order to get than you are going about it the wrong way. Start by asking yourself this driving question, ‘How can I help this person?’ That will immediately bring you to a head space of giving with no intent of getting. It’s a start. Also, enjoy your new car when it arrives, it’s already here …

  2. Dear David,

    I having a really hard time to try and be positive in family, business and life in general I have a very negative family, my husband and I are current separated my 3 x 20 yrs old kids are lazy and when I tell them to help tidy up my husband tells me to leave them alone but the house is a pig sty, I my self live between 2 x 20 ft shipping containers as I was kicked out of the house.
    I know I need to make changes to start getting some respect from my family, but I just don’t know how to get there my, husband has also told me I need to change my attitude but he’s very negative and very arrogant and doesn’t like change or anything confronting. Can you help me get past my blind spot?

    Cheers Sandy in Oz

    • Thanks Sandy for your honesty and being transparent in what appears to be a challenging time for you. You may not want to hear this, but your husband is right to some extent specifically around changing your attitude. Truly the only person who can help you in this moment is YOU, since you’re obviously tolerating things in your life that are keeping you stuck. Think of it like this, surrounding yourself with this level of negativity is affecting each and every facet of your life. You are likely repelling all things good because of this current mindset, including in your business. My recommendation is similar to what I went through early on in my transformation from working on the dock to starting and running my own company. You have to start today by living with an attitude of gratitude and know that you cannot change the experiences of those around you; you can only change your experience. Start there and see what comes up for you. Report back with any a-has and I’d be happy to help more.

  3. Hi.
    I understand from your answer that self esteem is something that needs to be taken care of from the inside out by the people themselves. But, isn’t there anything we can do to help somebody raise their self-esteem from the outside? You wrote: When a person doesn’t get the appreciation they are looking for it can be extremely painful or even devastating. So, obviously we can make things worse from the outside. But, can’t we make thngs better also? How would a genuine response look like that raises self-esteem permanently for somebody struggling with low self-esteem? Isn’t there a type of appreciation or communication that would give them what they need and heal their wound of low self-esteem? If it can get destroyed from the outside, why can it not be healed also? Thanks for answering, Joseann

    • Thanks for the many questions Joseann. Sure there are some things that you can do to help in the raising of ones self-esteem, however it does come down to the person actually wanting to make those changes stick. Understand that years and years of programming are at work here, and depending on how deeply this issue runs will determine how difficult the changes will be. Regarding your ‘genuine response’ that raises another persons self-esteem, I’m not sure there is a definitive one other than always speaking the truth. Each person is different and this is definitely not a blue pill/red pill scenario. The only way to heal the wound is for that person to make a conscious decision to do it, period. You can say all you want and build up a person with praise and other words, but inevitably for it to take it needs to be a decision that the person will no longer tolerate being in that place.