We can’t seem to get out of tornado warnings, so I figured now was as good a time as any to finally write about this.
I love love languages. Knowing other peoples’ top love languages and your own make loving each other so much easier. For example, it took me years to understand why Haley and Ashley got so excited over gifts. I mean don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good gift every now and then, but I mainly experience and show love through acts of service. However, this is basically at the bottom of most of my friends’ love languages, so it was always somewhat frustrating because we all thought like we were loving each other well, but it didn’t feel that way. I really believe that knowing each others’ top love languages has helped all of our friendships grow deeper, because we can actually give in the way that will be best received.
I wish everybody had a t-shirt or sign above their head like the Sims that stated the order of their love languages. I think we would all be better at treating strangers and our loved ones the way they want to be treated. This is obviously not the case, and if you think this already exists you might want to make an appointment with someone who can help. I like to think the all-encompassing love language is showing up.
I’m just going to go ahead and lay it out there right now that texting someone you’re there for them and actually showing up and being physically there are not the same. Now, texting and phone calls can be awesome for when it’s not possible to actually be there, but it has to be intentional; I have stomach issues and my friend Gabe used to stay up and text me about whatever until they went away so I could go to sleep. That’s showing up. In high school a group of my friends actually took time out of their lives to come listen to a boring orchestra concert and my contest piece instead of just wishing me luck. That’s showing up. I honestly can’t remember a time when my family was not at my sporting events, recitals, and ceremonies. They have held me when I sobbed and given tough love over the phone about school. That’s showing up. A friend I’d only had for about 2 days showed up at a lacrosse game just because. That’s showing up.The girls my children will know as their aunts have bought countless breakup cupcakes, cried together over dumb boys, held each others hands when times were tough, cheered at each others’ half marathons at 7am, and shown up out of the blue because it was what one of us needed. I recently opened up to Haley about something that’s been bothering me for years. I was crying in the middle of a coffee shop (clearly winning at life) and later that night she called to tell me she was bringing me a gift. It was a book filled with positive sayings and a card. THAT IS SHOWING UP.
My personality type is INFJ, which means that I am introverted but tend to come across as an extrovert. Because of this, I used to agree to things all the time to support people or hang out with them, but then I would back out because I would rather stay home. Needless to say, it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to understand the importance of physically getting out and being there, whether it’s at the top of your list or not- it’s at the top of somebody else’s list. Most of the time it’s great to know that other people don’t just care about you as a person, but they also care about what you choose to do with your life. I just want to kick my high school self because I think my relationships with people would have been so much stronger had I known how to sacrifice a little bit of my own time for the support of someone else. Better late than never, I guess.
I am so lucky because I have a family that has always shown up, whether they really wanted to or not. They celebrated my brother and my accomplishments and rubbed our backs when we were upset. I’ve been trying to figure out why my friends have remained so close even though some of us live hundreds of miles apart during the school year, and I really believe it is because we realized the importance of showing up, especially when we rarely get to see each other. I’m not sure whether this makes sense to anybody else, but these occurrences are the things that always stand out when I try to remember what happened in the past.
You’re not appeasing just one or two love languages, because when you show up you’re spending quality time, providing words of affirmation, having physical touch by giving a hug or five, and serving through your support. The only thing really missing is a gift, and that can be easily solved with a cupcake. 🙂
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10