After a long long while, a wrote a little poem and made 4 surprises to celebrate a special family member’s (my sister-in-law) birthday ❤
The 4 surprises were as below:
- A handwritten letter
- A poem I wrote (image below)
- A birthday video
- An email letter
I think it is the little things we do with great love, that counts and makes the bond of relationships special. Never miss an opportunity to tell the people you care about how much you love and care about them. Express your gratitude, affection, and appreciation in little ways. Honestly, I felt so inspired and happy in a while.
I express my affection for the people dear to my heart mainly with 1) Words of Affirmation and 2) Giving gifts. Something I’ve learned over the past year is that we should try to SPEAK the love language (1. quality time, 2. physical touch, 3. gift giving, 4. acts of service, and 5. words of affirmation) of our recipient! What matters to them at that particular time and generally. For instance, my primary love languages are 1) Acts of Service and 2) Receiving Gifts (entailing thoughtfulness and attention to detail – meeting unmet, unarticulated needs – ACTIONS).
THE LANGUAGES BY WHICH WE SPEAK MAY BE DIFFERENT FROM THE ONES THROUGH WHICH WE RECEIVE LOVE.
It is more meaningful for me when someone comes to pick me up from the airport versus allowing hours of time for me in their schedule. When I am really stressed out, what I need is a hug over hours of counseling over the phone. So, it varies as per the situation but there is a general overarching language we all speak and receive.
This may lead to conflict sometimes, unintentionally. Say my parents are expecting me to spend quality time with them like a daily call or visit them for a vacation and I try to give them things they would like and find useful, it wouldn’t be as meaningful expression of love to them. On the contrary, someone who likes receiving gifts would be thrilled to receive a new Mac or an Art kit they can make use of. I’d rather give my best friend a beautiful present and a handmade card over attending their wedding in person. This may backfire if the friend wants and expects my physical presence.
The key here is to:
0) KNOW YOURSELF – the languages you SPEAK and RECEIVE
1) UNDERSTAND your recipient’s language of love (HOW THEY LIKE TO RECEIVE LOVE)
2) ADAPT as per the situation, if it calls for (WHAT THEY NEED)
Understand what people value and how you can meet them at a common ground. If someone needs some help (Acts of service), you can’t please them even if you give them encouragement and motivation (Words of affirmation). We speak and listen to different languages. SOMETIMES THE MESSAGE IS LOST IN THE TRANSLATION! If you can’t speak the language the other person wants and needs, try the next best one. Find the TOP 3 languages they want + need and try speaking one of those closest possible.
LOVE IS OFTEN LOST IN THE TRANSLATION!
Even the same act can be perceived differently by the giver and the recipient. For instance, a friend helping me make a decision, solve a problem or enabling me to achieve my goals by mentoring me is an act of service in my eyes and maybe quality time in theirs.
Personally, I am worst at the quality time language, but with people who want and need it from me, I MAKE AN EFFORT to adapt if I can. I don’t find giving or receiving quality time very meaningful to me. Most people either speak that language or want to receive it, which creates a conflict. When I absolutely can’t give/ receive in that language, I try using the 2nd best alternative.
Before you start thinking of me as a horrible person for not giving quality time to people, I wanted to explain my thoughts on this:
- I prefer deep, intimate and meaningful relationships – I cant have depth with everyone. Hence, I consciously restrict the circle of people where I want to give and receive quality time. Quality over quantity 🙂 Time is our most precious asset and the priceless present we can give to someone…
- Freedom – I like to have unstructured time to myself and schedule it for activities, people and things I find meaningful/ important. Pursue creative goals/ activities/ interests. The same goes for other people. If you hold the sand too tight, it will slip away! Let there be spaces in our togetherness.
- The paradox of Choice – I like having the choice to make. To do things not because I HAVE TO, but because I WANT TO. I don’t want to take people and their time for granted. If they choose to spend their time with me, I feel quite grateful and I thank them for that.
Instead of treating others the way WE want to be treated, why not treat them the way THEY WANT to be treated.
SPEAK THE LANGUAGE they 1) WANT – Find meaningful genrally and 2) NEED – in the given context!