Monday, January 30, 2017

What's Your Love Language

Just a quick note. Almost every opposing view on this blog has been "why don't you give it a chance". Since today's blog is definitely not political as such, I'll simply say this: When it comes to human rights, equality for individuals and American values, it can take five minutes to do damage that it may take five years or more to repair. So I am open to serious thought out change where all parties are included in the discussion (remember those other arms of government?) as opposed to a quick executive action that was not thought out, probably unconstitutional, and in terms of it's implementation a cluster******* of epic proportions.

I am a gifter.  This morning, I spent my time searching through old jelly jars, thinking that for my groups and family like my sister and sisters in law I would maybe make lavender sugar scrubs for Valentine's Day. Now, I know, many of you are shaking your heads. You figure Valentine's day is only for significant others, or you think that gift giving is not frugal, or you are not in favor of gifts....



I'm one of those crazy folks who celebrates all the holidays. My adult kids will happily tell you about the times I made green eggs and ham for Dr Seuss's birthday. It is who I am. I am a person who expresses affection, love, and friendship by gifting. As a part of most of the major holidays I also give presents or goodies or cookies. Usually when I gift it is small or homemade, but not always. Mostly though, I show appreciting by making stuff and giving it away. Again, it is who I am.

I've learned that different people express affection in different ways. According to Gary Chapman, most of us express love and caring in one of five different ways: Gifts, Time, Touch, Acts of Service, or Words of affirmation and affection.  I suspect there is alot of crossover here, and few of us fit one category entirely. The truth is that in addition to being a giver, I am also a toucher.  My husband was not a toucher, and expressed his affection through gifts of time and service to me, primarily (Before we had a housekeeper, my working husband cleaned the house from top to bottom every Sunday, even when I was an at home spouse). 



Somtimes when you have different love "languages" (I think this happens more often than we know, even with couples or families that are otherwise compatible), gifting can be a confusion, or even cause hurt feelings. My husband never gave me flowers on Valentine's Day. He occasionally got me candy, and sometimes we went out to dinner, but his general way of making my Valentines day was allowing me to choose either a project around the house, or take the kids for the day and let me have the house for myself. In my case, this worked fine. I have no problem whatsoever buying my own flowers. 

The confusion, I suspect, arises if one person is absolutely convinced that the only way to show affection is with fifty dollars worth of roses. If that is your relationship then communication would be key. This is also where you come to terms with your own love language as opposed to someone else's. In other words, had flowers been extremely important to me and had I shared it often enough, my husband would have purchased me flowers at the drop of a hat.

It goes without saying, I imagine, that some of your are thinking "please don't give me something else that I have to donate/regift/whatever".  That would defeat my purpose of giving as an expression of love. So, if I have a sister who is allergic to scent (and I do), she most surely is not getting scented sugar rub for her bath or shower.

On the other hand, gifting is about letting go. Since for me the joy is in the gifting/making, once the gift is given, it belongs to that person.  He or she can use it, gift it, whatever works.  If you let the dog sleep on the handmade quilt once I have given it to you, so be it. It was never meant to hang on the wall anyway. By the same token, I feel pretty sure that my handmade sugar cookies and lavender body sugars will be a hit most of the way around. But if someone uses what I give for someone else, or puts it aside, that's mainly okay. On the one hand I want to make something enjoyed or appreciated, but on the other hand, I got enjoyment and more from putting together the gift,  ya know? 



So tomorrow, I am going down to my senator's office (the senator who says that his phones crashed because of outside agitators and "people from California"). I'm also going to be baking and freezing some of those heart shaped cookies, working on a heart quilt (for me) and gatherng together my cute little cloth bags to put things in.

Because not only is making and giving an expression of love, these days it's a stress reliever and uplifting-both of which I definitely, desperately need.

Are you a giver? How do you express affection? Are other family members on the same page??





11 comments:

  1. I like affirmations so I tend to do that with others unless I know what else they prefer.

    My husband is always suspicious with affirmations. When I give him a compliment he thinks I want something!

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  2. I've always been a card person. It's getting more challenging as cards and stamps get more expensive but I enjoy doing it. When I visited my nephew in Chicago, I saw a year's worth of cards I'd sent him displayed on a window sill in his kitchen. Once, I overheard my niece's husband laughing that it was fun to get something in the mail that wasn't a bill.
    Joan, Michigan

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    Replies
    1. very cool. I bet if I bought a bunch of cards and had them around thehouse I might use them more.

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  3. I was into my 40s when I realized that my Dad, who never hugged and seldom praised me, had shown his love when I was a kid by sectioning my grapefruit and giving me and my friends a ride to school each day when we could have ridden the bus. I married a hugger who makes coffee for me every day (grinding the beans, filtering) even though he doesn't drink coffee.

    Sheila

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  4. My husband likes Words, while I am more Touch and Acts. So in order to speak both of our languages, there is a whole lot of talking, touching and acting in our house! He loves cards (Words), so I give them. I love flowers (Acts) and hugs (Touch), so he give them. It works. :-)

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    Replies
    1. You have it down to a science-and there can never be toomuch affection!!

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  5. I'm definitely a gifter. You're right it does give me such joy to get that little something I know someone will really enjoy. For my husband it sounds old fashion but it's really about cooking dinner and planning fun things to do. Both he loves but is clueless about coming up with either. This morning I ordered a lent devotional book for both my son and daughter through amazon. I thought the timing was perfect. I love your heart quilt!
    Kathy

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  6. Key to love language may be knowing what pleases the recipient as you describe. That's usually what I try to do with whatever gift I might give. I send cards the major occasions since all live elsewhere. There have been times and people to whom I've given a book I knew they'd like. Since everything has to be mailed now I approach how I handle gifts differently. When grandchildren small it's fun to create special greeting cards just for them.

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  7. That is some really beautiful article, one should express love but express it timely and agree love can be expressed in different ways and must restrict it on one thing. Thanks for sharing the article.

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  8. It's a gift to all of us for you to go to your senator's office. Each of us who gets involved, no matter on which side of the aisle, is participating in our country's government. I've been calling almost every day, and today I also took the time in a concise couple of sentences to explain who I am, and why I am suddenly politically active at 67 without being a paid agitator. And then I told them my concern of the day.

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