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Letter #182: My Love Language

March 31, 2011

Dear love languages,

I’ve never taken your test, however, in the past month, I’ve realized something. I’m about 98% sure the way I give love is through one of your methods. It’s words of affirmation. Sure, I give other ways as well such as acts of service and quality time, but I’ve noticed words exceed all else.

There are five of you: words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts and physical touch. If any readers really know me, then you know I’m far from being physical touch. Don’t get me wrong, I need my love pats, but I also have a bubble I prefer not to share! Therefore, I don’t typically ‘touch’ to show my love nor do I want to receive love this way. This might change when there’s a special guy in my life, but I’ll still want my space. Next: receiving gifts…who doesn’t love being surprised every once in awhile?! First of all, this tangibly can’t be the way I show love…I’m too broke! Secondly, I think this one’s bigger than what the gift is. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter how much is spent but really the thought behind it. So, if this is somebody’s you, maybe they’re more thoughtful than anything else. Still, this isn’t my strongest suit.

Then: acts of service. This one’s really fun to be part of…especially when it’s anonymous! Truly listening to people often results in hearing their needs, and meeting a need is priceless. I should do this more, but I don’t, so this one can’t be mine either. Quality time is next. This is definitely a close second of how I give my love. I thrive on time with people. I’d rather have a 60 minute meal and solid conversation than a five minute surface chat any day of the week. I love asking deep questions and really getting to know a person. This is pretty ridiculous, but I tell people all the time I’d rather get ice cream and chat than jump out of a plane with a friend. Great, now I sound boring. I promise I’m not, at least I don’t think I am, but my point is I’m easily entertained by people and conversation.

However, truth of the matter is, time’s a commodity. Therefore, we must wisely choose how we spend it. Often times, I have to find ways to show love besides quality time. This is where words of affirmation come in. I’m a note writer, a find something good in someone and encourage them person. I’m also a realist. This means this affirmation business in my world probably looks a little different than your plan. I believe there’s value in encouraging people in their strengths while challenging their weaknesses, and I long for this in my own life. I want to know how I can be better, and I can’t always see my own faults. So, words of affirmation are my favorite way to show love, but this looks more like me coming alongside a friend, a staff girl, an interviewee, a family member, whoever, loving them well, earning the right to humbly challenge while sandwiching it with sound and truthful encouragement. I need to be better at this. I long for people to leave spending time with me built up while having direction and ways to grow.

So, I’ve self-diagnosed myself with a you of words of affirmation. Truthfully, we all need to be able to give love in every way to meet the needs of those around us. While I’m working on making my personal bubble of physical touch a bit smaller 🙂 , maybe you need to be more encouraging or actually receive a gift or act of service from someone else. We can all be better and more loving.

May love reign down,

Self-diagnosed affirmer

{photo attribution}

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