Should we hanker after Appreciation all the time?

Ritsika By Ritsika, 1st Apr 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Though appreciation is a motivating factor in the overall growth of a human being relying on it too much can impede progress.Therefore it is better to esteem or respect oneself more and also respect others

Appreciation is a basic need.

Who doesn’t want to be Appreciated? Everyday we come across myriad of incidents /happenings where people indulge in all sorts of ways to catch attention. But there are some of us who silently goes on working without expecting anything in return. Men and women who have bought about revolutionary changes in their society and the world in general are shining examples. Most of us fall in either of the above categories. The general tendency of being liked and praised is inherent in every human even animals. Many of us feel a tinge of jealousy when another is appreciated before our eyes.

APPRECIATION: An important motivating factor

Eminent Psychologist Abraham Marlow in his book” Motivation and personality” has mentioned about Hierarchy of Needs. The hierarchy shows that the fundamental need to be “liked” comes next only after one’s basic physiological needs- food, shelter- & security needs are met.
True, appreciation is a motivating force that accelerates our next actions. In fact it is like nourishment for us to keep striving in our work which has fetched us respect. It could be our character, personality, or a work .So any kind of gesture be it a pat on the back or a gift in recognition of the work boost ones confidence and provides the much needed fodder to march on the path of progress. The basic physiological needs will be of no use then if one feels demoralized.
We are all ordinary mortals and it’s too lofty to adhere to phrases like selfless service, duty etc. Being a structure of flesh and blood we all crave for attention, appreciation, love and care. We feel tortured when our efforts are not valued. Yet most of us are too stingy in bestowing a word of appreciation which could surpass any other expensive gift. The varied reasons could be envy, perfectionist nature, pride, or plain indifference or insensitivity.


While on one hand a gesture of appreciation lifts one’s spirit, on the other hand ever dependence on this otherwise positive gesture gives way to a person stooping low and adopting all kinds of shallow measures to catch other’s attention. There is also the danger of slipping into depression. Sometimes one gets so psychic about being liked that on being denied he takes it as an offence cause havoc in personal life as one dwells on self-pity, ever-complaining nature. Some even become vengeful and indulge in backbiting and counter criticism. In case of celebrities, the dependence on appreciation is so high that they prove destructive in their twilight years as they find it hard to accept that their heydays are over. They wither away in solitude, become chronic alcoholic and die an obscure death or go on carrying a propaganda against the other who might be getting more attention.
Maslow states about two kinds of esteems though both means respect for oneself. Albeit sought in different ways. One is the need or dependence for respect from others, recognition and acceptance and is fragile because of its constant reliance on external source. While the other is inner self esteem or respect for oneself. This is strong because it is laid on the strong foundation of independent, fearless mind, awareness about self and draws sustenance from within.
Self-esteem-self-love or self-respect is an inborn, natural aspect of mind. Shades of certain criteria gives it a tone of artificiality. For, e.g A kid being free of all inhibitions enjoys without caring about the approval of others. But as it grows up and learns to have a reason for every deed, fear, doubts takes shelter in mind and he loses his natural joyfulness. His notion of self-esteem becomes attached with “ My boss criticized me in front of the entire staff , its so embarrassing, How shall I face my friends” .. Or For e.g. ‘ I am the best that’s why I got a promotion, and not my colleague”. Our bruised ego never lets us sleep in peace or the inflated ego never lets others in peace.
The deep rooted notion ‘what people will say’ never gives way to ingenious plan, ideas or ambition to take root. And this is the difference between people who have the courage to overthrow the need for ‘being liked or approved’ and march on alone and others who are entrenched apprehending disapproval.
But in the course of time we might feel that instead of being appreciated we are taken for granted and sometimes used. This realization is stifling. Then it’s time for self introspection “ Why am I striving to please others who really don’t understand the effort, In this way am I not torturing and disrespecting myself only and denying myself much better chances?
Isn’t it better to be liked by oneself then be in the constant need of approval of others?

Esteem others and be esteemed

Developing self esteem and following one’s own principles or dreams independent of others should however be mellowed by a caring sharing , and humble nature. Otherwise there is a risk that at time of urgency no one will be by our side. It like walking your own but along with others by your side . A tactfulness to make a decision while inculcating others view point is the mark of cheerful, strong personality. Because in the words of Carl Rogers ; “Every human being with no exception for the mere fact to be it, is worthy of unconditional respect of everybody else; he deserves to be esteem himself and be esteemed” . That’s why the subject of Human right is so important, because if one doesn’t learn to esteem himself he won’t be able to have respect for others and might infringe upon human right. A person with a shallow behavior deliberately trying to please others eventually fails but the one who sticks to his substance, his code of ethic and a dignified approach to life problems gets a lasting admiration.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
1st Apr 2013 (#)

Well written Ritsika. Everyone will do well if appreciated, but that is not that forthcoming generally. Having worked in few countries with different cultural backgrounds, I can say the general reaction to appreciation is same - people feel motivated. Having said that, I know how the real world works especially in conservative societies where people just do not show much appreciation. The attitude is none shows for me, why should I?

I have reached a stage where I know my worth and also, more important, we are always watched by keen eyes that matter and they know without much ado what and who we are - siva

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author avatar LOVERME
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

Now a day’s feel happy ….ur being read …no one actually appreciates
unless its u scratch my back i shall urs…. i have observed over 6 years …read me twice …i will only once …be happy is the modern philosophy ….i hankered once …now no more …we all have to move on …though a word of appreciation we would love so,…let it come along …we start from you

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author avatar Ritsika
3rd Apr 2013 (#)

Thank you for the critical comment.

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author avatar LOVERME
23rd Jul 2013 (#)

Now a day’s feel happy ….ur being read …no one actually appreciates
unless its u scratch my back i shall urs…. i have observed over 6 years …read me twice …i will only once …be happy is the modern philosophy ….i hankered once …now no more …we all have to move on …though a word of appreciation we would love so,…let it come along …we start from you

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