Keep Your Head Up: Being Unappreciated Doesn’t Mean You’re Broken

This is an increasingly serious issue that I believe needs to be addressed. I would say it is particularly prominent in younger generations but I think it is unfortunately quite widespread.

The problem is this: Intelligent, caring, loving people who become jaded from dating those who don’t appreciate them, and then emotionally close themselves off to others. Needless to say, both men and women experience it.


The reason why this is such a big problem is that it makes perfectly good people begin to doubt themselves. Am I meant to be alone? Is there anyone out there who will ever appreciate me? Will I ever stop being disappointed?

It’s a very difficult situation because all of these feelings and questions are natural. They are a logical result of consistent negative outcomes in relationships. But as hard as it is – we have to fight against them. We have to look around us and take into account the world we are living in. We have to understand that many people are floating through life and are seemingly too busy to discover the depth and value within themselves. How can we possibly expect them to see it in someone else?

To find the ‘right’ person for you is, for some, a long journey. Some find the person they want to spend their lives with early on, but most of us need to go through a longer trial and error process.

We cannot see ended relationships as a failure. We have to condition ourselves to accept them as learning experiences and take from them lessons which teach us what we don’t want in a future partner.

Not all relationships are meant to last, but they will teach and prepare us for the one that does – if we allow them to. But if we let ourselves become defeated, we will never find what we are looking for.


Your self worth does not depend on the approval of other people. It does not depend on whether or not you are in a relationship. It does not change if you are married, single, or divorced. None of these things are a factor – that’s why it’s called self-worth. It depends on you. What you decide for yourself, and the standards you set for your life.

Someone who doesn’t appreciate you and the person you are doesn’t meet your standards anyway – so what are you losing when they walk out of your life, exactly?

Not much.

Yes, you invested emotionally into them. You may have pictured the future together or felt the affection they gave you. They may have been dishonest. They may have changed their mind. Their feelings may have just faded. It probably hurt them to leave you just as much as it hurt you to be left.

We all have to lose in order to win.

In the end, there is no use in longing to be with someone who did not want to be with you in return. We are searching for a needle in a haystack when we consider that “the one” is just that – one person. Out of billions. This would actually make it a little suspicious if you did find them without many stumbles along the way, wouldn’t it?

We have to get hurt, that’s how we grow. But the people with the most beautiful smiles are the ones who have shed the most tears, because those are the people who have decided they will not let life defeat them. Those are the people who have decided that they are going to control their own destiny and not allow the carelessness of others dim the light they shine onto the world. Those are the people whose smiles tell stories of resilience and pride. Honor. Invincibility.


Those are the people who will find happiness in the long run, because they got up just one more time when they fell down. They knew, eventually, they would stay up and never fall again.

Are you one of them?


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20 thoughts on “Keep Your Head Up: Being Unappreciated Doesn’t Mean You’re Broken

  1. This post actually made me cry. It’s EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I’ve been running the “doubt” road for far too long. Really started to think there’s something wrong with me. Thank you for this. I needed it.

  2. I needed all the words o this bog James. It’s a long journey for me learning self – worth. It always goes that I ended up caring so much and then they leave and I’m alone again. I really need to learn not to be scared getting hurt and being alone. Thank you thank you I love and appreciate all your blogs and keep on sharing them to my girlfriends as well. God bless you!

  3. What a relief to know I’m not some busted version of a formerly unbroken self, and that someone else in the big wide world knows it. I always enjoy reading your articles, and have shared a few with (now former) boyfriends, but this is that one, niggly doubt that I always come back to. No matter how attractive, accomplished, gregarious, compassionate–pick a verb here–we think we are, it ALWAYS comes down to that self doubt. What if it’s me? What if I’m the broken one? With every year that passes and every relationship that ends in parted ways, this is the one thing that sends me to bed with a heavy heart. So, thanks James. Thanks for sayin’ it ain’t so. And for providing just enough encouragement to try, just once more.

  4. I really needed this my first boyfriend left me for someone else after waiting for so long to finally get asked out. It still hurts so bad.

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