[Key Word: LOVE]
Before you get all nervous and annoyed about a romance post, allow me to quell your fears. This is not a romance post, or have anything to do with romantic love.
*shudders* Believe me, I am not the person for that.
No, this is actually focusing on something else: The Five Love Languages.
Perhaps you’ve heard of them before? Words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, etc. They five categories of ways people show love and receive love. They’re things that make a person feel special, or needed.
This isn’t simply putting a person in a box and not allowing them out of it. Rather, it’s a tool that those around them can use. People are hard to read and understand sometimes, and little tools like the Love Languages help us know how we can get along better. It also helps explain why certain people act the way they do, then get indignant when you don’t appreciate them.
In this post, I’m just going to briefly describe the Love Languages- But with a twist. Yeah, the five Love Languages are old news, and you probably think I’m old-fashioned. Well, hang on to your tea and hoodies because I’m not just telling you about them.
I want to explain how they’re useful in quarantine.
1. Words of Affirmation
Now while it may seem like this Love Language is simply asking for someone to constantly say things like- I love you, it’s not that simple. People who’s Love Language is Words of Affirmation, simply want to be constantly “affirmed”.
In other words- They want to be assured that they’re doing the right thing, and that they’re doing it well. Forget what you know about “actions speak louder than words”; for Words of Affirmation, one word is worth a thousand acts.
Even the simplest little compliment can make a person’s day. Just saying something about something they’ve done tells the person that A) You noticed and B) You cared enough to mention it.
It really is the little things that count.
But how can one use this knowledge of WoA during quarantine? It’s not like you can run over to your friend’s house and tell them- “Whoa, I love your dress! You look so pretty in it.” or “Way to clean your room! You’re really good at organising.”
However, you still have a phone, email, texting system, social media, and the ability to write letters. So maybe contact your friend virtually with a- “Don’t forget how beautiful you are!” or “I’m so inspired by how you’ve been coping with quarantine.”
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just a little something to remind them that they matter.
But you don’t have to just do virtual communication.
Look around you! Your family, your roommates,
your pets– they all matter, don’t they? Take a couple seconds to compliment after a meal, or to comment about something another person does.
You’ll be surprised at how positively they react.
2. Acts of Service
For this kind of person, actions do indeed speak louder than words. This person can be hard to please, because it’s likely that they’ll never verbally affirm your service, nor will they seem to notice.
A mature and properly healthy Acts of Service person will smile and comment on your work, at the most. But most will just acknowledge your work and move on. . .or so it seems. Keep an eye out, because they’re probably plotting an act of service to throw back at you!
After all, a Love Language isn’t just a way you receive love, it’s also how you give it. This is helpful in deciding how to show love to others, because all you have to do is see what they do to show others they matter. Takes a little bit of silent observation, but once you’ve figured it out you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to boost a person’s mood via Love Language strategies.
For people who are AoS, it might take a little bit more time and effort to show love to them than it would for WoA. After all, you’re taking time out of your day to serve them.
What does this look like?
Perhaps it’s making a meal for someone, helping them clean their room, asking if you can be of assistance, doing chores around the place without being asked- The possibilities are endless.
However, it’s a little harder to do things for others when you’re stuck at home. But you can be creative.
Maybe you can help your friend with an essay via Google Docs. Or maybe you can make a supper and drop it off at your friend’s house (Disclaimer: I’m not supporting going out and about and spreading stuff, this is just something that’s been done for my family and was highly appreciated). Maybe you can sit down and help your friend talk through a problem.
I believe in your creativity.
3. Physical Touch
Okay, this is actually my least favourite Love Language, but several of the people around me are very much PT people.
With physical people, this is really easy to do. Just give a hug or a pat on the back. No joke- It’s that easy. This is probably one of the easiest in theory, but for me personally it’s hard in practice. I’m not a big fan of touch.
But how about with quarantine?
Well, there are probably still people around you who are in dire need of a hug (so stop reading this boring post and go hug them *winks*). It doesn’t take much effort to jump out of the chair once a day and hug a person (yes, I’m kind of talking to myself right now. . .trying to get up and actually do it). Maybe hugs really aren’t your thing though- There’s always a good ol’ pat on the back, or side hug (though this may be awkward, depending on the person).
With people outside the house though. . .I haven’t come up with a solid solution yet. What are your thoughts?
After all, we have that 6′ apart rule (which this introvert has gladly made 12 feet. . .), and we should respect the rules and regulations. Hm. . .
Well, that’s all I’m covering today. Next week/Next post I’ll either cover the last two love languages, or do a fiction post. We’ll see.
What’s your love language? What love language is easiest for you to do for others? What creative ways have you found to show love and appreciation during quarantine?