There have been a lot of tragedies and scandals in the last few weeks.
Luckily, with shock, fear and heartbreak the world also comes together to show a little love.
So today, that’s what I want to talk about. Love.
I believe that a good relationship, no matter what it is—coworker, friend, family member, romantic partner— should have a base of good communication and take into consideration how the other person communicates.
Don’t know how you communicate? I recommend taking the Love Languages test, which was based on a book by Gary Chapman.
There are five love languages according to Chapman—words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, receiving gifts and physical touch.
After a series of questions the quiz will tell you which of these things you value most.
None are better than the other. This isn’t a conversation for judgment, rather a time for self reflection.
Personally, I score very high in the Quality Time section and in looking at my life, it is true. There is nothing that will make me question our relationship more than if we make plans and you cancel to hang out with someone else instead.
The idea that “we make time for the things that are important to us” also really resonates with me.
So, the more you don’t respond to messages or avoid making plans with me, the more you say your busy with no attempt to reschedule, the more I feel like you don’t value my friendship.
Of course there are extenuating circumstances that are acceptable. I definitely try hard not to jump to conclusions after one missed hangout or one unanswered message, but it does add up.
Others who score high on the words of affirmation side of things need to be told, out loud, that they are valued, appreciated, beautiful.
What is really the conversation starter in all of this is that communication and compromise is needed to use this information to better your relationships.
If you are not one to say “I love you” regularly, but your in a relationship with someone who needs words of affirmation, you may need to adjust your behaviours a little bit.
There is also an interesting discussion on how you feel loved versus how you express love. For example, I love giving people gifts, however, receiving gifts is not one of my love languages. In fact, I score very low in the category.
So to bring it back to the bigger picture here, I believe that self awareness and communication are important parts of being in happy relationships.
Could we also apply that to the problems of the world at large? Maybe.
All I know is that when I am happy and there is less conflict in my life, I have more time and energy to volunteer, smile at strangers and get informed about upcoming elections.