I was reminded recently by one of my regular clients that there are times where we as women, feel unappreciated.
Times when we feel frustrated that those in our family, husband, children, are not appreciating the efforts we have put in. All that hard work…. The conscious effort of planning, organising, making meals, you know, doing all those other things that we, as women, do. Whether we’re home with the children or working, we are usually on top of these things.
But in the moments where I feel myself get frustrated and have emotions like anger or resentment come up, I’ve learnt to notice what is truly happening within me. To stop and remind myself that instead of yelling at my child and saying “why are you doing all these things? How selfish of you!”, that instead I can turn inward, to look inside and ask myself:
“why am I feeling unappreciated right now??”
There is so much power to pause and take a moment to contemplate these questions and really get to the root of the explosive reactionary feelings that are bubbling up.
To ask “Why am I needing gratitude or approval from another right now?? Why am I needing something from my husband or child or another family member?” Because the truth is, when we’re seeking those things from other sources, there’s something in us = emotionally – that we are missing.
This can be a long-running emotional pattern (a longer discussion for other blog) but for now to think about moments where you are lacking, missing or begrudging what you would like to hear from others, and how instead you can find ways to give that emotional reinforcement to yourself.
What? – I hear you say. You want ME to give it TO ME?
Why would l want to do that?
Because you can live your life expecting and waiting for other people to tell you those things, pat you on the back, approve and reinforce for you. BUT at the end of the day, that most often builds feelings of resentment when the reinforcement isn’t forthcoming whenever we want or expect it.
If other people don’t live up to our expectations of what we want them to say or do, then we’re constantly living in a waiting game, or being upset at them that they’re not delivering. And often they are blissfully aware of the inner battle or seething resentment that we are building up inside ourselves.
What if instead, you could redirect your thoughts to ask:
What can I give myself to balance these needs I’m currently lacking? (and I don’t mean go shopping or eat chocolate)
- If I’m feeling unimportant – how do I make myself priority
- If I’m feeling not cared for or loved – how to I practice more self-care, or self-acknowledgement
- If your feeling un-valued – how can you show yourself through your actions and thoughts, that you are valuable, and what you do is important.
The most reliable, consistent solution for such negative emotions is to STOP EXPECTING OTHERS TO DO IT and instead provide it for yourself.
It’s a novel idea, I know, and it’s challenging, too. But if you can learn to acknowledge within yourself “I’m feeling un-valued, I’m feeling unappreciated right now”, then you can say to yourself, ok, great. What do I need instead? What do I need to do to feel like I’m important?
Is it I need some self-care time for me? Is it that I need to withdraw and do some yoga, go for a walk, spend time with a friend?
Is it that I need to go and say to my husband, “I think I’ve been doing too much lately. I’ve taken too much on a plate, because I’m getting resentful and I don’t want to be that person”.
Is it that we need to regularly reinforce for our children, the things we appreciate about them, in order to consistently teach them what gratitude looks like and sounds like, BUT not expect them to to it all back at us yet, because that is putting expectations and pressure on them to be a certain way. And because they will do it in their own good time.
I guess the most important thing is for you to learn to notice when you’re having a reaction / a strong, emotional reaction instead of a level headed response. Parenting by reaction is rarely every useful, and such an over-response also leave clues. For when we REACT there is part of us that is SCREAMING FOR ATTENTION that it is feeling un-met, unsatisfied, unloved, unimportant – that something is lacking that we are not ok about.
So if you begin to observe, notice and stop that reaction before it fully takes hold, you are more likely to be able to clear your head, ask a useful question, and find ways to give those emotional needs to yourself.
And this approach is yet another key that provides lifelong contentment and deep inner satisfaction. A sense of wholeness and fullness of life.
When we are living in a way where we don’t need everybody else to pat us on the back all the time, and tell us how amazing we are.
With practice you can even be proactive. As you learn the things you can do to prevent that reactionary moments, and instead put in place enough positive self-talk, self-care, positive rituals or daily habits that you build in your own sense of worth and resilience as part of your day.
It could be doing small simple like going for a walk every day, that keeps you in check so you don’t get the resentment.
Consider now; what are the things you do that help keep your emotional balance?
That when you do them, you feel important valued, love and want to look after you even more.
It helps to be aware of those things, so that next time you feel yourself building any negative emotions up in and want to take them out on somebody else you know what to do instead. To look inside and connect with your true experience of self.
And that’s what being an amazing, aware, open-hearted mama really is.
About the author
Bree Taylor Molyneaux is a Brisbane based happiness coach, clinical hypnotherapist, HypnoBirthing® practitioner, self-care and personal renewal facilitator, mother and wife. She founded Aspire Hypnotherapy, coaches women in a wide range of areas, runs restorative + self-care retreats, and has a range of and hypnosis downloads available. Read more about Bree here.