This I Believe

Jennifer - Eire, Pennsylvania
Entered on January 22, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in appreciation.

Whether it’s with your boyfriend/girlfriend, family, or your best friend, I believe appreciation to be the strongest factor in any functioning relationship. It creates the foundation which commitment, love and trust build off of. Appreciation is the key element that either makes or breaks a relationship.


Think of all the ways you feel appreciated by the important people in your life. It could be from them buying you a gift, complimenting you, or simply telling you thank you for being a part of their life. Appreciation runs parallel to respect. When you allow the other person to realize the significance they have in your life, you are showing them you ultimately respect them as a person. When you feel this appreciation towards the other person, you are willing to do anything for them. This creates a healthy relationship for both of the people involved, and allows both people to feel they can rely on one another. Opening up to each other also becomes easier because you both feel secure. You both begin wanting to make the other person genuinely happy without feeling like you have to.


On the contrary to all of the positive things appreciation can bring to a relationship, it also can do the extreme opposite. As soon as one person feels that they are unimportant or unappreciated to the other, it creates a feeling of inferiority. Like somehow the other person does not value their qualities or needs. Feeling unappreciated can spark the most unwanted emotions (such as unhappiness and resentment). This creates a barrier between the two people blocking all other happy and loving emotions. When there is a lack of respect or appreciation, it is impossible for any other positive feelings to exist.

Some people may have difficulty showing another person how much they mean to them. Everyone feels appreciated in different ways, so it’s not that there is one set rule to follow. Just remember to say ‘thank you’ next time someone does something nice for you. Those two words can make a world of difference to someone. Maybe call your best friend just to see what’s new in their life. Showing someone you care and appreciate them may take a little effort you may not be used to, but it lets the other person know that you value their role in your life. It shows them that you care. With appreciation comes a stable and reliable relationship, in which both people can lean on.