Learn to Request Appreciation

by Karl Smerecnik on October 27, 2011

Do you find yourself wanting to know if your actions are appreciated by others? I could imagine that if everyone shared their appreciations for others more often, we would see a lot more smiles around us. Unfortunately, many of us tend to forget how important and meaningful it can be to offer our appreciation for others. Think about when was the last time you shared your heart-felt genuine appreciation with someone?

Appreciation is a universal human need . We all want to know that our contributions have been meaningful to others, whether it’s the just the contribution of our friendship or something we specifically did. Sometimes people will feel immense appreciation for us but aren’t accustom to sharing it or perhaps don’t even know how to share it with ease and comfort.

This is why we must learn to request appreciation. It may seem like an odd notion to ask someone if and how they appreciate you. Though it may be more common to do this in a romantic relationship, I believe that learning to request appreciation can help better meet our needs and lead to a more fulfilling life.

At first glance this may seem egotistical or self-righteous. But this is not about asking for people to tell us how “great” we are. It’s an act rooted in a desire to see if our contributions have been valuable to someone. This helps us learn about what things we can do to make other people’s lives more wonderful. It may seem vulnerable at first because we may be scared of a response that doesn’t indicate appreciation. The key to this scenario is listening and empathizing with what is alive for the other person. By doing this, we can find a gift in anything they say.

Learn to Request Appreciation

We are the only one’s responsible for meeting our need for appreciation. This means that sometimes we will need to ask to know how others appreciate us. We cannot expect nor demand others to give us appreciation. A simple way of requesting appreciation is by asking others some of the following questions:

  • Would you be willing to telling me how [insert your action] contributed to you?
  • I’m curious to know if [insert action] this was meaningful for you?
  • I’m feeling a little uncertain and doubtful about [insert action], could you share with me some ways that this was valuable to you?
  • I’m really longing to contribute and it can sometimes be a vulnerable experience to express myself in the way I just did. Would you be willing to share with me if there was anythings that you enjoyed or appreciated about [your action]?

You may not always receive the appreciation you would like but I guarantee that the more you are willing to take the risk of asking for appreciation, the more likely you will receive the appreciation you desire.


This will be the last post for our Appreciate Others Month here at Stepping Into Wonder. It’s been a valuable experience for me, and hopefully for you too, to spend time thinking about appreciation and intentionally taking time to share my appreciation with others.

To recap, here are the posts from this month:

  • Appreciate Others Month Declaration
  • How I Appreciate You, the readers.
  • Create an Inner State of Appreciation
  • The Difference Between Compliments and Appreciation
  • How to Receive the Gift of Appreciation

Check-in next week for a more personal post on how I am going to be stepping into wonder in a new way in my own life.

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