How many of you have heard the expression "Work smart, not hard"?
I believe we can apply the same principals to those we love.
A friend (who was feeling unloved at the time) asked me the other day. "If you loved someone and you knew that by doing something you would make him happy, would you do it?"
It's tempting to answer with a quick "of course." But let's think about it for a moment. It may be that we assume the other person must know what we want and need. But they may not. Or if they do, they may not appreciate how important it is to us. Similarly we may not appreciate how important another's needs are to them.
On 4th January Lex wrote about emotional bank accounts and how we must protect ourselves from going overdrawn, allowing people to drain us. He mentioned that within the Moodscope community, giving emotionally rather than taking, is the norm.
As if to prove him right, one person immediately commented that they felt as if they were the ones doing the overdrawing. And oh, how I know that feeling.
When I am at the bottom of my cycle (and this time it was from September 8th to December 11th) I can physically do so little and am dependent upon my family and friends. They give so much to me. I can give so little.
But at least the little I can do can be intelligently directed. Because I know how all of them need to be loved. And it's not the way I need to be loved. It's as if our emotional bank accounts operate in different currencies.
We all need to be loved differently. There are five languages of love: Words, touch, deeds, time and gifts. I explained all these in more detail in my blog of July 13th 2013 (It's still on the system – you can look it up; it's what I just did!)
My son and daughters need touch and verbal affirmations. A simple hug and a "well done; thank you," goes a long way.
My husband is more difficult as his languages are deeds and time. When I'm ill I have little energy to do anything for him; but if all I do is make him his packed lunch to take to work, he really appreciates it and feels loved. If I make the effort to sit on the sofa with him and watch a documentary he feels validated. That's a huge thing for me, as I would far, far, far rather be reading/writing/painting/drawing all by myself in my study/sanctuary. But I do it. It's a small thing to do and it means he feels loved.
Most of my friends seem to need me to just listen to them! That's pretty easy – and then I use them in these blogs (I always ask first – don't worry)
And if you don't know what your loved ones need to feel loved by you, then ask! You both might have to think about it, but at least it's something really worth thinking about.
A Moodscope member.