Why are you Waiting for Praise?

In Search of Recognition

Q: Ever since I was little, I have been waiting for my parents to be proud of me and now that I am grown up I seem to be repeating this because my boss doesn’t seem to recognize me and even my friends don’t seem to appreciate me. When will people start appreciating me?



A: Jen, what you are describing appears to be a recurring theme in your life. We all crave recognition from others from time to time, and when we go without it, it can make us feel invisible. The reality is that giving praise in any form isn’t an obligation on anyone else’s part. Here are some empowering questions to help create clarity:


1.     Did your parents grow up in an environment where praise was hard to come by? This could have been in a different culture, amongst many siblings, or different social circumstances.


2.     Have you communicated with your boss how important recognition is, including how he or she can get more out of you by giving you recognition? Your boss isn’t a mind reader, and all good leaders are open to hearing how they can be better.


3.     Do you express appreciation of your friends? Even if you do, it’s possible that they aren’t as desiring of it as you are.


4.     Have you asked yourself why you want recognition?


If there is some underlying trauma (i.e. fear of abandonment) , you should speak to a psychologist about that. If not, you may simply be “wired” to want more recognition. This is neither a good nor a bad thing. It is just who you are. You are unique, just as the other people in your life are unique. They may require less recognition (which is possibly why they don’t offer it) while you require more.


We can help the people around us, especially our immediate family and significant other, by telling them what we need and appreciating it when we get it to reinforce the behaviour. This may seem odd at first, but no one was given a handbook on how best to communicate with you. Your opportunity is to tell them what you want so you increase the odds of getting it.



Combining over 30 years in the field of self-development, Rod is the CEO of the Certified Coaches Federation, one of the largest coach education companies in the world, and a speaker, coach and author. For more information on the Certified Coaches Federation, visit www.certifiedcoachesfederation.com and for more information on Rod, visit www.indestructiblehuman.com.


Want to ask Tonic’s Coach a question? Send a brief email to rod@indestructiblehuman.com describing your challenge in 50 words or less, and one question will be selected per issue.

Categories: Emotional Health & Wellness