The Value of Recognition

Receiving recognition from other people is of great importance for our Self. An example of this is when we're born: our process of culturalization begins based on the relational dynamic that we build with the “other”. Have you realized the value of recognition?
The Value of Recognition

Last update: 18 July, 2020

Recognition is a very important part of our make-up, especially because of the contribution it makes to our well-being. By living as part of society, we expect recognition from other people in terms of reference (source of information) and the reinforcement of our way of acting, thinking, or proposing options (attitudes) in any given situation. Read on to discover the value of recognition!

In a person’s constitution (or make-up), the other conditions the image that the person forms of themselves, especially during the first years of life. As well as encouragement, the child needs to feel protected from negative situations regarding love, affection, and respect.

Thus, their psyche is shaped in a healthy way, both in the short and long term. The surroundings will be an essential regulator of their desires and needs – an ecosystem they’ll have to adapt to in order to survive in society.

As we can see, the other plays an essential role in the different stages of life. At birth, parents play a fundamental role. When we get older, the circle of influence expands, and we never cease to be sensitive to the actions of others.

Within all these aspects, other people can give or take away, and we find recognition. In many cases, this acts as a reinforcement of our behavior and of the idea we have of our own self.

A family.

What’s the value of recognition?

What’s the value of recognition? Here’s what it can do for you!

Encourages healthy development of self-esteem

Recognition, to the extent that it mediates our self-concept, influences how we feel about ourselves (self-esteem). This self-esteem goes everywhere with us and is our constant point of reference.

Let’s remember that emotions are energy. Therefore, the condition of this faithful companion called self-esteem will govern the choice of projects and the attitude we carry them out with.

Reinforces social relationships

Recognition strengthens social relationships. This can be on both a personal or professional level, and the person who gets recognition will feel strengthened.

Improves the level of personal satisfaction

The level of personal satisfaction improves substantially when there’s recognition, especially regarding work and attitude.

Decreases destructive self-criticism

Demanding people can find their own critical thinking to be a hindrance if their work isn’t acknowledged. Therefore, recognition is essential in order to avoid a negative dialogue involving the abuse of one’s own self.

Four hands and a heart.

Increases self-confidence

When a person has external recognition, it’s far easier for them to build up their self-esteem and self-confidence when facing each day’s new situations.

What happens when a person doesn’t get recognition?

Getting recognition from other people is of great importance for the constitution of our self. Right from birth, an individual begins their process of culturalization based on the relational dynamic that’s built with the other.

In this sense, the bond they generate and maintain, with the help of those who look after them, will be essential for good healthy development. Using these desires and needs, the individual begins the dynamic relationship that exists between their self and the outside.

This way, they’ll begin to regulate themselves and will manage to create what Sigmund Freud established as the reality principle in Beyond the Pleasure Principle in 1920.

Freud’s paper refers to the fact that psychic processes are automatically regulated by the pleasure principle. Then, an unpleasant tension is set in motion which then decreases in order to avoid the displeasure (here, we can understand the displeasure as the lack of recognition).

“A commonplace then unchallenged in psychoanalytic theory: ‘The course of mental events is automatically regulated by the pleasure principle.”

-Sigmund Freud-


In short, to live in society in an adapted way, a person needs good control over their impulses. This way, the individual doesn’t renounce their desires but postpones them until the time is right to satisfy them.

When people don’t get recognition from others, their self-esteem can be dented, creating discomfort in the individual. In addition to this, the influence of reinforcement on others is especially powerful in childhood. We can use this as a very powerful tool for training without punishment.

Thus, knowing that there’s an other which can recognize our existence or our work in a negative way, reinforces the most positive parts of a person’s self. Furthermore, it increases the probability that they’ll repeat the behavior patterns that strengthen them.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.