How To Love: Apology Languages

First you love and then you falter. To err is human. If you hang around someone long enough, you must annoy or offend them. Sincerely, if you never have a misunderstanding someone and you’ve known them for a very long time, you may not be as close as you think.

Last time, we talked about the love languages. This time, apology languages. Sincerely, I didn’t know this was a thing until I noticed that even though a particular friend of mine said sorry when he offended me, I always got more annoyed. To me, he wasn’t sorry even though he absolutely was. This was a very confusing concept for me and having taken the love languages test, I knew there had to be something on apology. Thanks again to Dr. Gary Chapman and Google Search I found the apology languages.

Just like love languages, the most common error is usually using our form of apology rather than our partners. Without further ado, here they are:

1  EXPRESSING REGRET

For some people, you have to show regret for what you’ve done. It has nothing to do with words at all. It’s all in the body language. Your gestures must show that you feel regretful. If your body and facial expressions fail to do so, no matter the words you speak, even the tongues of a thousand angels., the person you have offended will still remain offended.

2 ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY

This is very difficult to do. It’s always easier to pint fingers and put the blame on someone else other than ourselves, but sometimes all that is required is for you to accept responsibility for what you did. Three words, “I was wrong” or “It’s my fault”. Magic words. Most people fail to do this. The words have to be said. ” I’m sorry” is never a substitute.

3  GENUINE REPENTANCE

This must also be spoken. While, after your offence, you may have planned and come up with all sorts of methods to avoid repetition of the scenario, you still have to say it. No one can hear the voices in your head or the intentions of your heart. For the person to feel like you have truly repented, they have to hear you say the words. Something along the lines of “It won’t happen again” after saying you’re sorry

4  ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS

By now, you must have realized that saying sorry is not enough. A person with this language needs you to ask for forgiveness. Whether or not they forgive, is entirely up to them. The main point is for you to give them an opportunity to say yes or no.

5 RESTITUTION

Sincerely, if you offend me and you try this, I will blow it out of proportion. Trying to restitute immediately, to me is like running away from the responsibility and consequences of your actions. However, people here require you to make up in some type of way for your wrong doing. Gifts or offering to fix the havoc you wreaked is usually enough as long as it is relevant to the situation in some way.

pexels-photo-347995

There you go, the five ways most people in the world accept apologies. So save yourself the stress and take the test! See that rhymed. Make sure to take the test with your S/O. It will strengthen your bonds and make settling of arguments much easier.

If you loved this, share with a friend and tell me what yours is/are in the comment section.

 

How To Love: Love Languages

Love is the language the heart speaks. Since it is not a verbal language that is expressed just in words, it makes communication quite difficult. Conflicts arise despite the love you have for each other. Imagine learning a new language as an adult, especially native English speakers who are almost always monolingual. It’s difficult. I’ve been learning French since my high school years and i still can’t speak it.

As though, to make things even more difficult, love has not one but five different languages. Dr Gary Chapman discovered this after studying and doing years of research. Thanks to him, it is easy to navigate the mystery of love itself which goes against the very selfish nature of humans. As said above, there are five love languages which are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time,
  • Receiving Gifts,
  • Acts of Service, and
  • Physical Touch.

Just like the 16 personalities I spoke about in Discovering Yourself, each individual has two main love languages that apply to them. Love languages here means that it is only when these gestures are made, they are interpreted as acts of love, everything else could be interpreted as just normal gestures or just being nice.

The tricky thing however is that we show people love the way we want to be shown love i.e If the guy, for example in the relationship prefers when his partner spends time with him, he’ll begin to spend lots of time with her. To him, he is showing her love, which in all good intentions, he is, if she interprets spending time as an act of love. However, which is more often than not, she may prefer something very different, like Acts of service.

In this scenario now, she’ll begin to do things for him, such as cook, clean, iron, handle whatever he asks her to and just literally anything because that’s how she wants to be shown love. This would then result in her being to busy or too exhausted to spend time with the guy and he’ll get frustrated. While her annoyance would stem from his ‘ungratefulness’ as she has been doing everything to please him, when the fact is he doesn’t care about that.

This whole scenario is a complete misunderstanding. It’s not that he doesn’t love her or she doesn’t love him, but that they are both expressing it wrongly. What needs to happen is that she should now what makes him feel loved and vice versa and there would never arise another problem again.SAMSUNG CSC

Now, to define the different love languages:

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

Just like the title says, people who like this, love being told words that re-affirm their spouse’s love for them. These should not be words of flattery but sincere compliments or words of gratitude. For example: ‘ You look beautiful in that dress’. ‘I love the way you smile’, ‘I’m grateful to have you in my life’ etc Simple words everyday or every other day could go a really long way.

QUALITY TIME

In this day and age, spending quality time with anyone has to be deliberate and conscious. Mark me, it does not involve sitting beside each other while on your laptops or in front of the TV. It entails full undivided attention while talking or doing something that involves you two. A board game, a meal, a walk. Just put the electronics down and get creative

RECEIVING GIFTS

Our lovely friends whom you can apologize to with flowers and chocolates or a surprise puppy. i tell you it won’t work on me, but if you’re lucky to be with someone who loves gifts, it shouldn’t be that hard unless they’re very high maintenance. Be careful though not to overuse this to the point where you look insincere.

ACTS OF SERVICE

I think in this category, there are more women than men. Simple tasks like taking out the trash, remembering to pick up something she forgot, locking the doors, doing the dishes and sometimes your own laundry can be interpreted as heaven on earth to someone you love. A word of caution, if you must do an act , make sure you do it exactly as they will otherwise you’d spark anger and some other emotions you were never prepared for. It’ not about you it’s about them.

PHYSICAL TOUCH

Of all, this should be the easiest. I have seen a hug solve arguments that had lasted hours. A kiss, a hug, a stroke on the arm can mean the whole world to the one you love. If you happen to master this art, you’ll discover a whole new side of your spouse.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it.

If you got this far, you may have realized that one or two of the languages describe you but just to make sure, here’s the quiz to find out. Take it with your spouse and be sure. Then, you can begin to practice fluency in your partner’s language. Trust me, you won’t regret.

I’d love to hear your results in the comment section, if you took the test or if you know them already. Share with a friend so they can find out. Have a lovely week!

How To Love

I’m starting off this series with Love because without love, you wouldn’t and shouldn’t even be in a relationship. That being said, you would be surprised to know how many people don’t know how to love and I wouldn’t even blame them. We mimic whatever definitions of love we were brought up with and that causes to act the same way when in ‘love’ and seek those definitions of love. To start of, first of all,

Love is a choice, not just a feeling

If you think it’s all goo-goos and ga-gas, then think again. Now our first model of love is how we were brought up as children. But this is wrong. That love was selfish on our parts and selfless from our parents. It was a one-sided relationship which if it existed in our adult lives would be toxic.  Our parents probably didn’t tell us all they had to go through. Adults wouldn’t do that. Not even Jack from the Titanic.  It has to go both ways ALL the time. The way I see it, if both parties are selfless ALL the time, then no-one has to bother about feeling like they’re giving too much but that’s just fantasy to some extent. Life is less straightforward than that.

You can’t be loved the same way you were loved as a child.

When you realize that it’s so not about you. It’s about that person. Loving them means thinking about their well-being over yours. Putting them first, how they feel and how everything affects them. Even times when you want to be selfish, you first think of them and the consequences of your selfishness. Love requires sacrifice. The kind that you don’t mention every other day. It’s the kind that when they look at you, they know they don’t deserve to even be with you but you chose to be there.

For a relationship to work, you must be ready to love and not just be loved.

Loving someone means giving them time and space to grow. Most of the time, we want ready-made men and women. While, this would make such a splendid concept, most people don’t come that way. You’d think their past relationships have been moulding them. Rather it’s been breaking them into pieces. In the end, you may have to pick them up and build them again. This is the ‘work’ part if it. It requires patience, kindness and readiness to forgive. Growth takes time and if you push too hard, it may seem like you have an idea of them in your head you want them to be and this may cause negative results.

Growth takes time, trees take years to bear fruit.

If you want results, you must be ready to wait. Did you know that psychologically, we don’t want happiness, we just want what we’re used to. So we either find people who mimic those characteristics or we become those people, however bad or good. In our eyes, we’re showing ‘love’ .

Love Valentine Together Happy Affection Concept

To love a person right, perfectly and selflessly, you need a model to look at. Society and the family have portrayed such broken and flawed versions of love that it’s hard to discern which is right. The best model to look at would be JESUS. He came down and died for people who didn’t even care for him one bit. This is the kind of love we should portray in our everyday lives. In the light of Easter, which has become about eggs and bunnies, I hope you remember the real reason for the season.

Loving someone perfectly takes time. You grow into it.

Loving perfectly does not mean suffering in silence. If you’re in a relationship where you’ve loved with all your heart and you are being abused or you’re being hurt. Please find the courage to leave but every chance you get to show love to someone, I hope you do it right. That way, even when you leave, the other party know that you cannot be blamed for what happened, not that their opinion matters anyway.

Small Changes for a New Life

I’m Old. Not like dinosaur old, but I’m far from a spring chicken. The fact that I use the term ‘spring chicken’ just goes to show how old I am.

Ugh.

They say you’re as old as you feel, and for me, I do feel dinosaur old. Well, I did until recently.  As a freelance writer and social media consultant, I spend a lot of time on my ever-growing backside. Sometimes, in life, you get to a point where just have to look at yourself and wonder what the hell went wrong.dinosaur-1430240_1920

For me, that point came when I realized that I was over 250 pounds of all fat, and I’m pretty sure the only thing holding my body together was the tub of ice cream I downed every week. Yeah, things were bad. That was the first small change I made in my life. Actually, it’s a pretty big change and the one that really kick-starts everything else. I had decided enough was enough. I was sick of being fat and the only way to fix it is to work for it. So I did. With kids, family, dog, and life, finding time to sit down and work PLUS do something to stop becoming the Blob was becoming difficult. At least, that was my excuse.

I just don’t have the time.’ Like everyone else had a crap load of time except me.

So, the next thing I did was find a schedule that worked for all (albeit a bit wonky). Unfortunately, this new schedule has me up around midnight, so ouch there. I tend to get up between 12:00 am and 3:00 am to start my day, so it’s still a work in progress to get up and get going.

The biggest part about my change is the addition of a 3 mile walk first thing in the morning. Doing this before I eat help raise and maintain higher metabolism rates in my body, allowing my body to burn off food more efficiently throughout the day. More than that, this early morning walk helps my mind focus and when I unplug during the walk, my mind actually clears and seems to just see things more clearly.

For this walk, I’m not out there trying to run and kill myself, but I am walking brisk enough to sweat and be out of breath at times. That’s very important. If you simply take a leisurely stroll in the morning, your body won’t improve. You need to get your blood flowing and your muscles working to get the true effects of a workout, even if it is only walking. It’s hard. It will be hard. This is where the want comes in to say ‘Get up and get out there, fatty!’ And so I do.pexels-photo-221210 

Do not get down if things seem to slow or be tough. That’s my final little change. I am constantly getting down on myself about everything. To me, it’s as if the entire world rest on my every decision and action – of course, we all know it doesn’t. So, I would tell anyone trying to improve themselves, stop beating yourself up all the time.

Slips happen. Get over it and keep on going. Nobody is perfect. Remember that.

It’s about a month later. I’m getting used to the screwy early schedule and walking first thing in the morning, even before I eat anything, is helping my metabolism stay up and actually increasing my focus throughout the day. When I can, I try to throw a second walk in, but as long as I get my good walk in, I’m a happy camper. My weight has even dropped about fifteen pounds, which makes me want to continue to work.

If you think it’s time for a change in your life, chances are it is. Nobody knows you and your life better than you, and nobody can change your life but you. In the end, it comes down to how much do you really want to change? If you truly want it, anything is possible… Even change.

This is a guest post by Joshua Cook. Please feel free to visit his site below.

289243_139832792776500_2530248_oBIO

Joshua Cook is a father, blogger, and social media consultant enjoying the beautiful weather in the Pacific Northwest. Recently starting the Cook Consulting and Content Creation firm, Josh is happy to be able to bring his life changing experiences and ideas out to help others.

YEAR REVIEW: 25%

I can’t believe it’s April already. I was going to write a review of each month as I went by to track my progress and see how well I was doing but February messed everything up. That month was so stressful. March just stressed me even more. Anyways I’m grateful for all of it. Here’s all I’ve achieved so far:

1 BLOG

I’m very proud of my achievements this quarter. I started this blog on Dec 13th, 2016 and I started with 12 days of Christmas. I did so because I had put off starting for too long and I’m very happy I did. But I like to count my beginning from January. I didn’t know you could promote blogs in Facebook groups. I just posted and hoped for the best. I discovered you could, last month and I got a whooping 2000 views. I had set a goal for 1000 and I beat it twice over. I feel so proud. I met genuine people I instantly felt connected with. I’ve made new friends in my niche and outside it. I also met ladies that have inspired me and I was finally able to define my niche and target audience. I picked College, Life and Inspiration, as my categories show. There definitely will be personal posts here and there but mainly, these.

2 SOCIAL MEDIA

I couldn’t work on social media s much as I would have loved to. I was doing a lot of trial and error deciding which social media I wanted to focus on and how to do it. Since I started with Instagram, it’s always at the top. However, I had to make some tough choices. I decided that I didn’t just want a random set of followers there, who probably wouldn’t like what i have to offer. Now, I’m trying to find my ideal reader and Lord, it couldn’t be any more difficult. I started using Twitter but I’m looking for good accounts to follow so if you follow me, I’ll follow back. I’m yet to use Pinterest but I am using StumbleUpon and it brings quite some traffic here. I’m also using Bloglovin though I haven’t paid much attention to it. I’d appreciate any tips or ideas to improve my social media.

3 VIRTUAL ASSISTANCE

In an attempt to get some extra cash so I can invest in my blog, I decide to pick up virtual assistance. For years, I’ve been looking at the possibilities of picking it up and now I’m in the world of blogging, I finally got the hang of it. I even got my first client after putting up a post on a Facebook Group asking for VA resources. Isn’t God great? I really like the job because I help people grow something they love and being a part of that is amazing to me. I do mainly social media, but I want to expand to email management, blog management and administrative support and I need clients for that. If you are interested or know anyone who is, feel free to contact me. My services are affordable.

4 ACADEMICS

For someone who loves education, academics never comes first in these lists. Anyway, I’m happy that I’ll complete my basic medical sciences on Friday as I write my NBME exams. Medical school is tough and I’m happy to be halfway through. After which I’ll start my clinicals hopefully and after approximately two years of rotations and some exams, I should be certified as a doctor. I’m keeping n open mind and my fingers crossed. I know God has great plans for me.

5 HEALTH

I completely stopped exercising and checking what I eat because I’ve had so much on my plate. Once this exam is done, first thing Monday morning after prayers is exercise. I added a lot and my tummy is a small pouch now. I really have to burn everything off. By next quarter, I should be a brand new person. I really miss the feeling of exercise and the near-death feeling that comes with it. Spiritually, I’m glad I was able to deal with some really pressing personal issues, never to come up again. I feel free and brand new. I know that by the end of next quarter I would be very far up from where I am now and I’m excited for it.

flowers-desk-office-vintage

Phew! That was quite a read. I hope you enjoyed it. II’m planning to start writing posts on relationships very soon. I have some things I’d like to share so be on the lookout. If there is any kind of post you’d like to see, you can comment and I look into it. I read every comment posted and it makes me so so happy ( I never understood this when other bloggers wrote it till now ). I’m also open to suggestions and tips to help me in any of these areas.

Thank you for being part of this amazing journey. God bless you all and keep you. Have a beautiful day and an awesome month!

Letting Go: Setting Yourself Free

People think forgiveness begins and ends with saying ‘ I’m sorry’. When we think of the phrase ‘forgive and forget’, we only see and hear the forgive part, the forget part is well, forgotten. Isn’t that interesting? I’m sure forgiveness exists in every religion in one form or the other. Jesus told Peter to forgive 77 x 7 times which was code for forgive until you can’t anymore translated as a memory wipe whenever we forgive. Ironically, we do everything but that.

Can we really forget? Probably not exactly. You’d need an actual memory wipe for that. lol. But. Do you know that feeling when you think of a situation from your past that used to hurt and now you feel nothing. It’s now a memory of what used to be your reality. That’s as close as you get. If you’re lucky, you might reach that point where it never really comes up in your thoughts or conversation, so its stored in your passive memory and might require some kind of description of the the incident to remind you how and why you were hurt. Wouldn’t you like that?

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Forgiveness is hard. It requires you to accept an apology that was never given and to heal a wound you didn’t inflict. You have to pick yourself up for what seems like no reason. If you have to cry, if you have to think about it, whatever it takes but by the time you get to the end of this, I want you to decide to set yourself free.  You have to move forward to achieve all that you’re meant to. You may not realize it but the chains we use on others bind us too. Like revenge, it always two person package.

There are two easy steps to do this:

  • Forgive
  • Forget

Okay that may not be explanatory.

  • Forgive by trying to remember why and how you got hurt and you started feeling the way you. You just have to do this one time. Think about everything. Pool all the feelings together. Imagine having a conversation with the person, what would they say? what would you have them say? Then. They’ve said it. All you have to do is accept their apology.  Now, let everything go and take a deep breath in and out. It’s over. You may still feel a little but at least today is day one of your recovery.
  • Forget – Don’t think about it anymore. If and when you see them, smile and wave. Resolve the feelings within or express them safely. Write them on paper, throw them away, make a tape and delete it. Whatever works for you. Your peace the most important factor. They may not feel remorse but it’s their burden to carry, not yours.

forgiveness

 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matt 5: 44  NIV

Phew! Look at you. 10 lbs lighter already. Is it just me or did the room just light up? Try not to harbor any more unhealthy feelings. If you have to talk to the person in question, by all means do.

If, you happen to be the reason someone else is hurt, and it haunts you day and night. You should go apologize in person. They don’t have to accept it. All you need do is sincerely apologize. People reject apologies because they sense insincerity or they still feel hurt. Just let them be, in time, they’ll come around. If they never do, it’s not your fault. You’ve done your part and they’re the one with the burden now. You just have to get right with God. You may try to make it up to them,if you or they feel you should.

let go

At the end of the day. The idea is to love. Love and love unconditionally. It will always set you free.

It’s (NOT) Okay

Before you crucify me, hear me out. No it’s not okay. I think we need to put a quota on how many times we get to say that because it’s getting out of hand.  It’s not always okay. ‘Okay’ is not the answer. It’s going to be okay is not the answer to the problem. It’s a construct for when you don’t know what to say and now it has become the norm. It’s no longer okay. Think about it, how has saying that helped anything. It’s just a quick fix. Let me explain myself to you.

When someone is hurting, you hear people say ‘It’s okay to feel hurt’ and then after the hurt what next? Nobody comes back to say “here’s how you can work through this” or “this is how you can feel better”. You know what happens in such cases? They absorb the idea that it’s okay to continuously feel okay and nothing more. Before we fought through situations and circumstances, we always got up, we always fought through everything but now, we just want to be ‘understood’. We want to receive applause for being human beings. Oh! You don’t know what I’ve been through, I was [insert a struggle here] but guess what? Clap for yourself. Now get up and move on. Life happens. Sob stories never paid off unless of course you’re a writer.

Today, I watched a short clip on the life of J.K Rowling. How she started, lost a parent, had a miscarriage, got divorced and then decided to put all her effort into the one thing she knew the most, writing. Today, she is worth almost $1 billion dollars. Imagine if all she was told was ‘It’s okay to feel sad, don’t worry it’ll be alright’. In her case, she may or may have not had people say that to her. I’m worried that this generation will be full of people who are just absolutely content with whatever life throws at them. I was born this way, It’s not my fault, I married the wrong guy, If I had gone to better schools. We should stop patronizing these behaviors.pexels-photo-320007.jpeg

The only thing that’s okay is that you have realized where you are and the drawbacks you may or may not have. Once you do, start working through them. Fight! Don’t just sit there and throw a pity party. Did you know that some doctors don’t recommend telling a child with any kind of say behavioral disorder what the name of the disorder is. Yes, the child realizes he/she is not like any other child around them but their parents are told to avoid as much as possible, labeling them with one difficult-to-pronounce medical term. This prevents the child from dwelling within a box that can be broken down.

We need to start picking people up, not building houses in the pits they’ve fallen into. Sometimes, what your friend needs from you is not ‘support’. There will always be time to grieve, break down and cry and weep but once that time is over, it’s time to give life a try again. Tell people hard truths. Not rudely but politely, with love, not with an air of contempt or pity. When people can sense love in your word, even if they may be hostile at first, they will eventually process your words logically. They’ll be grateful for the tough love in the end. Trust me.