Everybody talks about the importance of appreciation – how it’s such a big-time happiness booster. Truth be told, appreciation very much deserves all the attentive, flattering PR it receives!
But today I’d like to discuss with you the dangers of appreciation’s extreme opposite: depreciation. First of all, let me state clearly that “depreciation” is not simply the absence of appreciation. It’s actually the presence of focusing on problems, flaws and disappointments. Some standard definitions of depreciation: to lessen the value of; to belittle; to represent as being of less merit. There are a lot of people out there who are depreciators – walking around, looking for things to complain about – even when they have many reasons to rejoice. They speak in sentences that begin with “but” or “if only” or “what if.” As a result, depreciators wind up devaluing a lot of good stuff they should be feeling quite giddy about! By decreasing the value of what’s around them – they decrease the love, joy and inner calm they feel in their lives. YOU CAN BECOME A DEPRECIATOR FOR 5 REASONS…
1. You can become a depreciator if you’ve experienced great challenges – or a very traumatizing event. I know after I found myself blindsided by a Prince Harming, I became an accidental depreciator in the beginning of my next relationship. I found myself looking at my partner through a magnifying glass, on a hunt to find what might be wrong with him, so I wouldn’t be surprised by another karate kick to my heart. Unfortunately, being a depreciator is a lot like being an emotional hypochondriac. You think every sneeze is a potential death knell. If you’re not careful, this emotional hypochondria can manifest into self-fulfilling problems. Thankfully, I caught myself in depreciation-mode before I did too much damage to my relationship.
Two things are for sure: (1) It’s no fun being a depreciator.
(2) It’s no fun being with one, either!
Basically, when you’re a depreciator, you can get so caught up looking for teeny-tiny flaws, that you miss the big beautiful picture of what’s right in front of you.
2. You can become a depreciator after everything starts to go awesomely well for you – when “amazing” becomes your new normal. Basically, when things start to be too good to be true – you can become a non-believing depreciator – looking for how things might be not-so-good or un-true. You get paranoid about how the expression “this too shall pass” also applies to the happy stuff. You focus on what might go wrong – instead of trusting and honoring what’s going right.
3. You can become a depreciator after you’ve scored a blessing which has been ongoing for many, many years running. For example, that delicious honeymoon glow can begin to wane after a few years of a committed relationship – or a few years of a wished-for job – or a few years after attaining anything which had once been a mere dream-bubble over your head! All of these dreamed-for-blessings you ultimately get, can eventually become “invisible blessings” which you ultimately forget! After you’ve had a blessing for a long time, it can become murkier to see what a blessing it is! As a result, you can depreciate your blessing’s value.
4. You can become a depreciator even after a few hours of scoring a blessing – if you’re of low-self esteem! Basically, if you don’t have high-self worth, you can wind up lowering the worth of what you achieve – reappraising the value of what you’d once praised. It’s the ol’: “I Don’t Want To Belong To a Club Which Will Have Me as a Member Syndrome.’
5. You can become a depreciator when you’re someone who gets turned on by the thrill of the kill – the endorphin high of the hunt. As soon as you snag your desire, your desire is lessened. You see it as a less big thing – because you love the thrill of seeking the next big thing.
I want you to take a moment today to quiz yourself on these 5 ways you can become a depreciator. Do they resonate with you? Are you presently looking at life through a “depreciator’s” eyes? Are you seeking out opportunities to feel bad, sad, disappointed or offended – instead of appreciating the good, the joy, the beauty, the miraculous? Do you have “invisible blessings” which need to be tallied up and accounted for?
If so…here are…. 4 TOOLS TO HELP YOU STOP COMPLAINING – SO YOU CAN ENJOY MORE LOVE, HAPPINESS AND INNER CALM…
1. Be more mindful of purposefully looking for occasions to be happy – to see the beauty in others — to be grateful for what you’ve attracted – to see the magic in life. Make sure your blessings are fully seen by listing them daily in a journal – 10 things each day! Switch ‘em up – so your list is always graced with newly mentioned blessings. (Click here to check out some Gratitude Journals I offer in my shop!)
2. Think of your thoughts as being like a steering wheel. Wherever your thoughts go, this is where you/your life will go! When you think this way, it’s easier to commit to being an appreciator (focusing on what’s working right) instead of a depreciator (focusing on what’s not working).
3. Remember: The energy you emit is the energy you attract! When you think this way, you’re less likely to want to be a depreciator – because you’re more aware of how negativity puts you in a lower energy vibration. Basically, when you are a depreciator it’s like spraying yourself with anti-charisma! Meanwhile, when you’re an appreciator – you raise your energy vibration up higher – thereby becoming more of a love-magnet and happiness-magnet. With this in mind, make a commitment to complain less, and love your life more. You can start by going on a Complaint Cleanse – and vow not to complain for 7 days in a row. Feel how that feels. Also keep in mind the 20/80 rule when it comes to something you truly need to complain about: talk 20% the problem, 80% on the solution.
4. Repeat after me: It’s a hell of a lot more fun to be a grateful appreciator instead of a hateful depreciator!
(Note: If you’re feeling challenged in love, and seeking happy, safe-feeling love, check out the results-proven love advice in Prince Harming Syndrome- a best selling relationship book which merges modern cognitive therapy with timeless happiness tools from Aristotle – all delivered with feisty humor – and my personal story of how I recovered from Prince Harming Syndrome to finally enjoy the happy family life I’d always dreamed about. This OPRAH.com recommended e-book is now 50% off – for a limited time – only $9.99. Read an FAQ, praise and more excerpts by clicking HERE NOW.)
I’d love to hear your insights on the comment section below! What’s something which comes to your mind and heart when you read this essay about why you should stop complaining? Share your personal story or a personal happiness tool! I LOVE it when you share – because I love to find out about my community! Plus, many thousands of peeps read these inspiring essays – so, what you share could be a helpful inspiration for someone else! xo Karen
Jennifer Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Check all retreat listings and workshops here to attend one in a city near you. Next up: Vancouver, NYC, Dallas, Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health, Tuscany.