Question: I have worked for years with a particular client and he never shows me one single sign of appreciation. The results I have produced for this client have been terrific by any standard. Why won’t he recognize my efforts?
Answer: I’ve certainly experienced the same thing over the course of my career. And I’ve learned several things that may be helpful in understanding this sort of situation. First, some people are just not wired to show appreciation to others. Second, there may be the belief that we are being paid for the services we provide and that is enough of a demonstration of appreciation. Third, if the business arrangement is recurring and requires the renewal of a contract the client may feel that the continuation of the relationship is sufficient proof of appreciation. Fourth, some people may believe that showing appreciation is reserved for personal relationships and not business situations. And finally, it’s possible that a client doesn’t express appreciation because he isn’t satisfied with the product or service being provided.
I’ve come to realize that none of these reasons is necessarily right or wrong. What’s more important is how we feel and react. We have no control over how others act but we do make a choice as to how we respond. Do we allow ourselves to feel hurt and victimized? Do we choose to become resentful and irritated?
Feeling unappreciated can actually be turned into a positive experience. We can make the choice not to allow how we are treated by others to affect the way we see ourselves. This is akin to developing a suit of armor that enables us not to even give a second thought to what may be perceived or real sleights on the part of others. But the bigger win is to observe what we consider to be the less desirable traits and tendencies of others and do just the opposite. If someone is not showing appreciation, rather than allowing this to upset us we can make an extra effort to show appreciation to others.
Life is full of opportunity. Almost every situation that we might consider negative has a positive side. The choices we make will determine whether or not we live a happy and vibrant life. How others act toward us need not have any bearing on this truth.
This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.
What a great message to ponder during Thanksgiving week. You’ve given some really helpful advice. The bottom line for me is “Don’t take it personally.”