Everyone wants to feel appreciated. It is no fun to go through life feeling like you are unwanted, unnoticed, or unappreciated. This is true of all relationships. People seek approval and love naturally. If you want to have a successful friendship, romantic relationship, family relationship, or even work relationship, showing and feeling appreciation is critical.
Gratitude in relationships is important for success. When someone does something for you, it is unkind to not show gratitude. Courtesy dictates that if you receive a gift, you follow it with a thank you card, etc. However, often in relationships, those acts, sacrifices, and kindnesses are so common, that showing gratitude for them becomes uncommon. If your spouse always fixes dinner, and irons your shirts, you may not think anything of it. However, you can count on the fact that they think something of it, and would greatly enjoy hearing some gratitude. When acts of giving and kindness become common in our relationships, it is critical that we do not let showing of gratitude become uncommon. People need to feel like their efforts are being noticed and that they are appreciated for them. No one likes to feel underappreciated. When someone starts to feel like they are not being appreciated, those feelings can turn to resentments. If harbored long enough, that can turn into some serious relationship problems.
Give to get. If you are feeling underappreciated in an existing relationship, it might be wise to apply the concept of give gratitude to get it. Generally when you show kindness to someone, it inspires kindness in turn. The same goes for gratitude. Make a concerted effort to notice the little things that others are doing for you and to make your life easier, and be sure to comment on, and show gratitude for those things. It may take some time, but as you continue to show gratitude, it will catch on. Eventually, they will wish to do the same with you.
Ask for verbal appreciation. If you are in a relationship and you are not feeling appreciated, you may need to simply let your partner or friend know that you need more verbal appreciation. You can let your partner know that when they don't tell you they appreciate you, you automatically jump to the opposite. Letting them know your needs will make it easier for those needs to be met. People are not mind-readers, so you should verbalize your gratitude, and your need to hear other's appreciation as well.
When we feel appreciated, we often act better and do more in our relationships. If you know that someone enjoys every bite of a meal you make for them, you feel fulfillment and joy in making food for them. When someone appreciates your efforts to chip in on chores, etc. you are more likely to do it with a good attitude. Gratitude can significantly improve any and all relationships. So, make an effort daily to show that you appreciate someone, and you will find you get more appreciation in return.