Acknowledgment: Why We Need to Express More Recognition and Gratitude

We were all raised to say thank you, and teach our children to do the same, but often we are so busy, we miss the big picture.

Gratitude towards others is more than saying thank you.  It’s about acknowledgment.  It’s easy to say thank you, but acknowledgment is about doing more.  It’s about recognizing someone for their efforts, their generosity, their friendship, their talents, etc.

I don’t know many people who don’t want to be acknowledged in some way.

Acknowledgement and a daily gratitude practice improves our relationships and our mental health. Learn more about why many don't acknowledge others and how you can be more thankful and show others your appreciation.

Why Acknowledgement?

  1. Acknowledgment improves our self-esteem
  2. It making us feel more confident
  3. Recognition makes us feel valuable.
  4. Acknowledgment improves our connections and relationships
  5. It gives us a sense of acceptance and approval

A busy stay-at-home mom wants her partner to recognize how exhausted and overwhelmed she is, just as a working mom wants to be acknowledged for her ability to juggle a career and a family.  And every mom needs to be acknowledged for the overwhelming, emotional rollercoaster that she experiences every day.

Dad need recognition too!  They may carry the stress of being the sole provider for the family or they may be struggling with the kids at home while mom is at work.  The list goes on and on.

It’s no secret that a company will have better employee retention and results if they acknowledge employees for their time and efforts.  The importance of acknowledgment at work is more important than ever as unemployment rates decrease and more people are finding alternative solutions to 8-5 jobs.

A child is more likely to show kindness and respect when they are acknowledged for their positive behaviors rather than the negative ones, just as they are able to do well in school when they feel encouraged, praised and understood.

Being acknowledged simply makes us feel good.  It starts as children when we seek our parent’s approval and assurance to help us feel secure, and continues as adults as we seek acknowledgment in the workplace and in our relationships.

This is a great quote form William James on the need to be appreciated. Acknowledgment is an important part of our health and well being.

What is the difference between gratitude and Acknowledgement?

While I was putting my thoughts together on this post I began to ponder the difference between gratitude and acknowledgment.  They both have the same benefits, however, gratitude is about being thankful and appreciating your blessings, while acknowledgment is about showing others you are grateful for them and what they bring to your life.

Gratitude and acknowledgment go hand-in-hand and both have amazing health benefits which can greatly improve your mindset and your relationships.  Check out my post on 10 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude to learn more about the benefits and how you can incorporate a daily gratitude practice into your life.

Why people don’t show Acknowledgement

I hate to be negative when talking about such a positive subject, but if I’m being honest, it’s likely that more often than not, you will not receive the acknowledgment you seek and deserve.

But, why?

Consider the following:

  • Some people were not raised with parents who acknowledged them, therefore offering acknowledgment and praise may make them feel uncomfortable or bring back difficult memories.
  • They may think your accomplishments are to be expected and do not deserve recognition.
  • Some people are competitive and may feel like they’re admitting inferiority or defeat by recognizing another person’s accomplishments.
  • There is a small percentage of people who are just too self-absorbed and/or have narcissistic personalities, therefore they just plain don’t think of the need to recognize others.
  • Frequently, it’s because people get busy or distracted and simply forget to express the recognition you deserve.

All of these reasons are about the other person, and not about you.  But, too often we think we may have done or said something wrong.  Or we may tell ourselves we’re not good enough.  I tackle these negative thoughts by practicing daily affirmations which help to improve my mindset and my self-confidence.

Life Well Designed Gratitude Journal

How you can acknowledge more:

I challenge you to smile as people walk by you, tell your partner how much you enjoyed the dinner they made and put down your phone to recognize how hard your child worked on their school project.

Write a note to a friend or family member to tell them how much they mean to you or thank them for their help.  Give a compliment to someone at the grocery store.  Recognize your co-worker for hitting a goal or show them empathy and understanding when they don’t.

Join The Gratitude Project and show your appreciation through the art of paper crafting with a paper crane.  This is a fun activity to do with children and teach them about gratitude and acknowledgment at an early age.

Acknowledgment is really very simple – be kind, grateful, appreciative and respectful.  Be a friend. 

Don’t forget to check out The Gratitude Project and 10 Benefits of Practicing Gratitude to learn more about the benefits of acknowledgment and gratitude and how you can incorporate gratitude into your everyday life.

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