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. Continue reading “How To Love: Apology Languages”

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.

Friendships During Hardships and Crisis

Friends are the family we choose. We pick them, we stand by them, and when needful, we change them. Challenges can make or break any friendship or relationship. The general assumption being that it was never meant to be. But what of situations where both parties were not ready to let go?

I have lost friends because of crisis happening in either our lives. I have pushed people away and people have pushed me away. It’s a normal human reaction during stress. I’ve had cases where I felt relieved talking to a stranger and the familiarity of my friends brought fear of judgement and criticism. I also happen to be someone afraid of criticism even though I still take it. As comforting as the idea is to push everyone away and try to “solve it on your own’, I’m here to remind you that it is not the best approach. Being in college can be difficult especially if you have to juggle all your responsibilities with any kind of struggle outside of your academics. Friends tend to be a good support for anyone in stress. The worst kind of situation to be in is when you and all your friends happen to be in the same dilemma at the same time.

There was a time I and my girlfriend were going through a breakup,emotional crisis at the exact same time. We would come to school and sit on the bench, stare into the nothingness and just sigh all day. The silence was painful but comfortable at the same time. On some days, when we felt like talking or we reached a new low, we would speak, usually with the other doing only listening with no contribution whatsoever. Why this system worked for us was that we had come to a very good understanding of each other. We knew each other’s reaction to such situations so it was relatively easy. It only took three years and a lot of awkward silences.Now that I think of it I’m very grateful to God that I met her. She’s one person but she’s all the trouble and support I need at the same time.IT became even funnier when we both had money issues, emotional stress and spiritual breakdown at the same time. I guess not only your cycles align when you hang around someone too much.

My other friend who reads a lot of psychology says you should not expect anyone to behave rationally when going through stress or grief but somewhere deep down, beneath the chaos that we  might be experiencing, we still know what we’re doing wrong and why our behavior is unacceptable. We expect that our friends, if not anyone else should be understanding and patient as we feel we would do the same for them. Truth is, it gets tiring and exhausting and some days, even you would want to throw in the towel. pexels-photo-167921

COMMUNICATION is all that is necessary. A second just to say “I know I must be difficult to deal with but thank you for hanging in there” could save a friendship from unnecessary death. A friend once said to me when he was having really difficult times “My priorities are right here”, he said, gesturing to the level of his chin, “and you’re right here”, he said pointing to the level  of his knee. “If I ever get to you, then we can talk, but for now I have too many things on my mind”. Words cannot describe how much pain I felt in my heart then. Even in the pain I  managed to understand that he had his whole world falling apart and there was nothing he could do to help it so he  was feeling very frustrated and helpless but those were harsh words for someone who was quite close to him.

Needless to say, he never got to me, we don’t speak anymore despite my failed attempts at starting conversations and that friendship came to an abrupt end. It took months to gain closure because somehow I believed my approach warranted the response I got. I felt like it was my fault but it wasn’t. We have mutual friends and he still talks to all of them but me. I guess because I cared too much he decided to blame me for everything and I received his wrath which again is quite normal from a psychological perspective, it still hurt.

I realize that talking about issues is probably not a guy thing and I also realize that not talking doesn’t help the situation. I’ve read books that say guys need to go into hibernation to come up with a solution to the problem but none said what happens when for you, they never come out from that cave. As much as I respect how the human mind works, with a little practice and conscious effort, almost anything can be learned. TO my guys out there, while we ladies learn to understand your thought process, a one-liner summarizing the problem could save you a lot of drama and this is in a platonic relationship. “I feel overwhelmed right now but I’ll be okay, I just need a little time to myself” would save you drama from your mother, sister and even your girlfriend.

Pushing away is easy,coming back is not, especially if the other party concluded that you needed time and decided to give you space. They’d probably be waiting for you to show signs that you’re back from your retreat and then you realize that a rift exists and you’d be too scared to make the first move. While ideally a “good” friend should understand you  and ‘be there’ for you, the reality of life is when you abandon people, they won’t be standing in the spot waiting for you. Life happens and time still exists.

Whatever hardships and crises you may be going through, don’t put friends through more than they have to go through. Even if they want to be there, life may not let them. When life gets hard hold onto friends tight, they might be hurting almost as much as you are and just want you to feel better.Value your friends and go easy on them.

I hope reading this helps save a friendship. Have you lost any friends because of hardship or crisis, personal or otherwise? Sound off in the comments.