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  • Writer's pictureDr. CK Bray

The Power of Recognition: Satisfying Our Craving for Appreciation


I had a good friend in college who was successful at everything he touched; I swear he had the Midas touch. One weekend we decided to get away from the dorm and spend the weekend with his parents at their cabin. As the weekend progressed, I quickly noticed my friend's mother never gave him any recognition for all he was accomplishing. He would mention he earned one of the highest grades on a midterm exam. “But how are you doing in your other classes?” she would respond. The more he shared his successes and wanted recognition, the more his mother didn’t give him any.

In our fast-paced world, where our efforts often go unnoticed, the desire for recognition and appreciation is a universal human need. Jennifer Keluskar, in her enlightening Psychology Today article, "Getting the Recognition You Crave," delves into the profound impact recognition can have on our psychological well-being. She explores the psychological mechanisms behind our craving for recognition and offers valuable insights into satisfying this innate desire.

One, the craving for recognition: We have an inherent human need for recognition that stems from our deep-seated desire for validation. Being recognized and appreciated not only boosts our self-esteem but also reinforces our sense of belonging and purpose. Our craving for recognition arises from the basic human need to feel seen, acknowledged, and valued by others.

Two, the psychological mechanisms: Psychological mechanisms underlie our desire for recognition. Recognition triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, which reinforces positive behaviors. Moreover, receiving recognition activates the brain's reward system, increasing self-confidence and motivation. Understanding these mechanisms allows us to appreciate the power of recognition in shaping our psychological well-being.

Third, satisfying the craving: We must employ practical strategies to satisfy our craving for recognition. We can cultivate self-awareness, identify our strengths, and seek opportunities that align with our skills and passions. Furthermore, expressing gratitude and recognizing the efforts of others contributes to a positive and supportive environment that nurtures our need for recognition.

This week identify areas where you may need more recognition and identify ways to alleviate this need. Ensure you are finding ways to celebrate your wins!

 

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