It sucks to be left out.

Last week a wedding professional vented in our Facebook group about how she threw herself into delivering for a client whose wedding was published. The article listed every business associated with the wedding…except for her.

What gives?!?!

We work hard and we want to be recognized for it.

It’s happened to me.

I love going above and beyond with my one-on-one coaching clients. Whether it’s sending them a personalized video tutorial or jumping in to do “extra” work that needs to be done, it just feels good.

But sometimes it backfires because I find myself feeling disappointed when someone doesn’t express what I think is the “appropriate” level of gratitude. I just want a thank you, dammit!

Codependency – excessive emotional or psychological reliance on someone else

Just yesterday I was listening to a Tim Ferriss Q&A podcast with Whitney Cummings. She was asked, “How do I know if I’m codependent?”

She gave a laundry list of traits: people pleasing, needing to take care of others, perfectionism, conflict avoidance.

In short, a list of many of the behavior patterns I’ve struggled with all my life.

Codependency isn’t just present in intimate relationships. It’s a way of being that creates pain, guilt, shame and resentments. Needing someone else to behave in a certain way in order to be okay with ourselves is a recipe for suffering.

The tendency is still there for me (even after a lot of transformational work!) but the awareness is much more powerful.

Here are my thoughts for handling these situations:

#1 – If I’m attached to the response I get, something is out of balance.

I can’t control how other people receive my work or whether they respond. My value, knowledge and recognition of my awesomeness needs to come from ME because that’s the one person I can control.

So ask yourself, “How do I feel when I think, ‘They ought to be grateful for what I’ve done?’”

If it creates a feeling of dis-ease, resentment and disappointment, it’s not working for you.

#2 – If I’m going above and beyond my job description with the expectation of a response, I stop.

This could be a sign that either I didn’t charge enough for the work (in which case I won’t feel good about doing more) or that I’m out of alignment. (See #1.) In either case, it’s setting me up for pain.

Ask yourself, “Am I doing this to get a specific reaction? If I don’t get it, how will I feel?”

#3 – What ELSE could it mean? Choose the most empowering meaning.

We’re always making assumptions about the meaning of someone else’s behavior. If someone doesn’t respond to an email, it means they don’t like us. If they don’t call on our birthday, they must be mad.

We never know for certain why someone doesn’t respond with the expected level of gratitude. Not even if they tell us!

What’s the meaning that works best for you? I prefer thinking that she didn’t say thank you because she got busy and forgot.

We’re making the meaning up anyway; we might as well make it empowering. 🙂

How do you deal with ungrateful clients?