This need is something that I have been realizing I have recently. It has always been there, but I haven't been able to put a name to it. Over the past five years, I have become more aware of it, but again, without being able to label it, I wasn't able to appreciate when I was valued as easily. But over the past couple of months--as I have felt valued by a few people, I have begun to realize just how important it is for me to feel like I am of value to people.
As a mom and a wife, that is pretty easy to see. I want to feel valuable to my kids and to my husband. But this is more than knowing I'm valuable, because I do know that I am valuable to them. This is them realizing that I am valuable and letting me know that they know. High maintenance and selfish? Maybe. But it has been so neat to see many of my kids realize that they value me. Also Andy has become fantastic at expressing just how much he values me. This feeling of being valuable calms and relaxes my fight, flight or freeze trigger so much and it makes me feel safe. This also applies to friendships. I don't have hundreds of very close friends because I need, so desperately, to feel valuable to them. I thrive in relationships when I feel like I am valued.
In work I completely shrivel up if I am un or under valued. I have seen this happen so much in the past and it is so detrimental to my productivity and to my attitude. But when I feel like other people acknowledge what an asset I am and what gifts I bring to the team, I will work exponentially harder and I will exceed all expectations. If a boss or a coworker values me then I will give a zillion percent to continue to prove to him or her that I am valuable. I am motivated by feeling valuable. And in the past couple of months Andy and Luke have made me feel extremely valuable at KIVU and some key people (i.e. Mike and Tami) have made me feel so valuable at X. Andy is constantly thanking me for my work doing things that are above my pay grade. And for my birthday Luke sent me one of the sweetest notes I have ever gotten. About six weeks ago, Mike and Tami extended the most thoughtful act of kindness to me and it literally brought me to tears and I couldn't really put a finger on it until I read the thank you note that Andy sent them. In it he expressed how valued that act made me feel and I realized then and there that he hit the nail on the head. To make me feel valued may be the biggest act of kindness or service or whatever that you can do for me.
I also know that I am not alone. Many people need to feel valued. They need to feel important. And I hope that I am able to make them feel that way. I hope my kids know that I value them. I pray my husband knows and believes that I value him, that I need him, that my life is better because of him. I hope the people I work with know that they are valued. I am so blessed and so thankful. But today I am exceedingly grateful for the people in my life who value me and what I bring to the table.