life advice
Surefire Way to Feel Loved and Appreciated
If you're not getting the feeling of love you desire try this.

I have been in many platonic and romantic relationships where all Iíve craved was to feel loved. Where all I wanted was approval of who I was. To feel cared for.

I have been in many work relationships where all Iíve craved was to feel appreciated. Where all I wanted was validation for the work that Iíve done. To feel valued.

These cravings didnít all happen at once. Sometimes Iíd be more focused on my friendships and romantic relationships and then other times work; but what I found was that I had this overall sense that I wasnít getting what I needed. And while I wasnít getting what I needed if you asked me what would satisfy this craving I couldnít tell you. All I knew was that I wanted to feel differently than I did and nobody was making that happen.

Moreover, if a relationship ended or if I started a new contract somewhere maybe this need would subside for a few weeks or a month, but after a while the same desire for love, appreciation and approval would appear. Iíd be back to mumbling under my breath, using passive aggression to show my frustration and fishing for responses. Iíd be extremely vague and wouldnít say what was on my mind.

I wanted to feel loved and appreciated without having to say anything.

What Iíve learned is that to feel this love and approval the only person I actually needed to talk to about it was myself.

See, if I take care of me and if I appreciate meóall of me (the good, bad, the ugly)óthen I donít need it from others.

If I care for me and if I appreciate me then I donít blame others for not showing me love and validating my efforts.

If I care for me then I can say to someoneóI like you and if you donít like me thatís okay. Yes, it will suck for a while, but, Iím okay. Iím okay, because Iím taking care of myself. I donít want to create a relationship with someone who doesnít like me. I want to surround myself with people who like me.

If I appreciate the work that Iím doing and I value the work I do and can see my contribution then I can advocate for myself and take the initiative and ask for a raise or potentially negotiate a better balance of working at home a couple days a week if needed.

I donít think itís possible to feel cared for by others and appreciated for your efforts without having a conversation with yourself first. And that conversation starts with questions like:

* What does caring for myself look like (going to the dentist, being free of debt, allowing myself to feel whatever I feel when I feel it without judgment)?

* What do I appreciate about myself (work ethic, sense of humor, patience, decision maker)?

Before I started to pay attention to the words I used, most of the conversations I was having with myself were focused on what others werenít doing for me; or why I wasnít feeling how I wanted to feel because X or Y wasnít happening.

What was amazing was that when I began to choose a new conversation with myselfófocusing more on how to care and appreciate myselfówas when my desire for love and appreciation was satiated.

Now and again Iíll fall back into this desire for love and appreciation from othersóblaming them for not creating a feeling in me that I crave. When I do, now I know how to feel better. I simply begin a new conversation with myself by asking, "How can I care for you right now? What do you need to feel better?" If the answer is, I want a hug, then I go over to my partner and ask, ďCan I have a hug?" If the answer is I need to leave my job, then I start looking for my next move.

Cynthia Kane ( received her BA from Bard College and her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. She has written for national and international publications including Yoga Journal, VegNews, Bridal Guide, BlackBook Magazine City Guides, Pregnancy, The Jerusalem Post, and more. Online she has written for BBC†Travel, Refinery29, Elite Daily, Role Reboot, Elephant Journal, Bustle, and Everyday Feminism. She practices meditation and mindfulness on a regular basis.

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