People say that they wish some important person appreciated how much time, heart, and effort they put into something. Sometimes they mean taking care of the kids, exceeding expectations on an important work deadline, keeping the house clean, balancing home and work, making money, staying in shape, etc.
There are also people ranting right now from the frustration of waiting for an apology. This could be a huge list of minor to awful offenses like being late for dinner, ignoring a valuable work contribution, missing their kid’s event, forgetting an anniversary, lying, cheating, abuse, etc.
There is a good quote that comes to mind with this:
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Feeing unappreciated and waiting for an apology are basically the same. We’re hurt and want someone to notice or stop our pain. But what if they don’t? What if they notice, but do nothing? Good luck trying to change other people. Making changes in you is hard enough. However, you can really impact your happiness by focusing on what you do and how you respond to frustrations (and frustrating people).
1. If there’s stuff you’re doing ONLY in the hopes that someone else will notice, just quit doing it. Be intentional with how you spend your time. What you do and where you spend your time should reflect what is important to you. If there are things you do for someone you love, keep doing them because you love that person or you love that activity. Don’t do those things just because you want someone to notice and admire your kind deeds. (See how it can switch from selfless acts to selfish intentions?)
2. If you’re waiting for an apology, you might have to accept that they’re not sorry. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen or your hurt is invalid. It just means you’re not going to get what you want from them. What might make you feel better is how you deal with the parts of the situation you can control, which are basically your expectations. This is different than forgiveness. This is setting a new expectation in yourself that the apology isn’t going to come. And then being at peace with that.
Waiting for an apology or appreciation from someone else is ongoing misery. Acceptance is hard, but final. You have the power to make yourself feel better. Quit drinking the poison.