Let’s face it, when we don’t feel appreciated, it hurts. How many times have you gave your all to someone you care about, simply to discover that they don’t have the slightest intention of acknowledging your thoughtful actions? They say you get what you give. But what do you do when you give and give, to get in return very little or nothing at all.

It’s very hard not to expect praise or appreciation for good work that we do when helping others. “I aint gon lie,” I LOVE IT! But I had to learn how to give and do for others, without expectations. When I expected particular responses from others—I felt let down the most. Having expectations caused me to feel resentment toward others; and I was quick to have angry outbursts. The major source of my irritability was due to my belief that I deserved to be praised and recognized. And when I didn’t get the type of response I believed I deserved, I felt angry, hurt, ignored, and taken for granted. I would never suggest to completely stop helping or giving to others, however; give up the expectations of praise and recognition! When Jesus performed miracles and healed hundreds of sick people, only several people came back to say ‘Thank you’. Yet he did not throw in the towel and stop giving his love to others.

Instead of seeking outward, I began to seek inward—I needed to begin acknowledging and praising my own self. And I began telling myself, “I want to do this for myself. I want to do this because I genuinely want to help others.” And occasionally, there are situations I needed to stop and ask, “WWJD (What would Jesus Do), I want to do this for God.” St. Therese of Lisieux’s memoir, Story of a Soul, St. Therese wrote, “When one loves, one does not calculate.” When we calculate and keep score, then we will continue to feel upset and cheated.

Act out of love, without calculation. Giving with no expectations is a lesson of, “selfless love.” Selfless giving of your time, effort, and patience is not easy. Also, it is not about anyone else; it is about you and you and your capacity to love. And recognition and praise can never trump the lesson of the capacity to love.

Ok, now that I have gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the reality checks for some people. Sometimes we feel we are taken for granted because the reality is, WE ARE BEING TAKEN FOR GRANTED! And in those cases, saying yes to others needs to stop; and saying NO, needs to start. Sometimes we become enablers for people. And they never learn to become dependent upon themselves—they become lazy and will always need you. Many of us are of good nature and have difficulties saying, no. And we feel bad when we don’t bend over backwards for others. But unfortunately, the more we continue to give, the more they will only use and abuse you.

Evaluate the gift before you give it and evaluate the receiver. In Matthew 7:6 it reads, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” In other words, do not persist in offering your time, efforts, gifts, and wise counsel to those who have no appreciation for it. The “dogs” and “swine” stand for the unappreciative and uncaring people who belittle the value of what is offered to them. The swine have no appreciation for either the beauty nor the value of the pearls under their feet. Our energy and abilities are God’s pearls. We must show discernment as what gifts we share, and who we share them with. Because our gifts can easily be wasted by using them when we shouldn’t, as well as not using them when we should.

Author's Bio: 

Veronica J Burgess, has over 7 years working in the mental health/therapy field. Veronica has a Bachelors of Science in Child Development and Family Relations, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. And, a Masters in Social Worker--Direct Practice, University of Pittsburgh. Veronica is state certified in Functional Behavioral Assessment. And is trained in Trauma Focused Therapy. Veronica currently is a therapist working with children and their families. As a gifted tarot reader, she has had the privilege of working with many clients from various countries and walks of life.