I’ve reached the final love language—Thank Heaven!
I’m not surprised that Words of Affirmation is at the bottom of my list, now. But, when I was growing up, I used to crave Words of Affirmation. At a young age, they often mirrored the actions that were being delivered my way. Parents, family, and friends were all walking examples of actions and words that actually matched. But as I got older, things began to change. Naturally, discipline from a parent or an older family member, to a rebellious teenager, did not feel like love; so, when I was told I couldn’t do something, followed by an I love you, I called Bull Shit! And it only got worse as I got older.
I was picked-on, as a kid. I was picked-on because of my hair, my glasses, and lack of designer clothing. At first, it used to bother me, but with time, the things that separated me from the crowd began to shine. I had a great voice, I was a good artist, and I was decent in sports. As time passed, I started being accepted for qualities and skills that were undeniable, and the teasing stopped. People stopped looking for reasons to not like me, and learned to accept me for who I was.
When I started dating, the phrase “I love you” was tossed around, like a salad ingredient. The phrase was everywhere; but, like a salad, it lacked sustenance. It was a great side or starter, but it could never fill me up. So, when actions never corresponded with the words, through trial and error, I had to learn that words had no real weight if actions didn’t corroborate them. By the time I graduated high school, I had adapted the concept of ‘love me or hate me’ with the confidence to match. People, more often than not, liked and/or loved me; and once I started to feel the energy that I was sending reciprocated, I no longer needed and/or required words of affirmation.
Don’t get me wrong– it’s always nice to receive a compliment. I couldn’t see myself being, truly happy, with a person that never said one nice thing to me or about me. And, I totally understand that my partner is doing so because they feel it, and they want to profess it. But, the fact remains, it does not impact me the same way; because I’d rather feel than hear.
Another reason why Words of Affirmation doesn’t have such a high rank for me, is because, a part of me struggles with accepting compliments. For example: I’ve finished 5 marathons, 10 half-marathons, and countless other races; I know that it’s no easy feat. However, there are people that run faster, longer, and more frequently than I do; so, with that in the back of my mind, I choose to remain humble in the face of all compliments.
Today, words of affirmation sound nice, but they hold no weight in the grand scheme of my life. Over the years, I’ve become head-strong, resilient, and confident. When I set my mind to do something, nothing can stand in my way. So, as much as it feels good to hear someone say, “good job,” subconsciously, I already know that. I didn’t need to hear it; but, since saying the words made the say-er feel better, I happily accept their support and encouragement.
Writing on the 5 Love Languages has been quite a journey. Writing this series has allowed me to dive deeper into my past to understand my present. I never set out to be a Pulitzer Prize winning writer. I just wanted to vent a little, talk about sex, break some stigmas, and maybe gain a fan or two that could relate to my problems. There were many times, during the love languages posts, that I wanted to just stop and change course; but, by sticking with it, I learned so much more about myself. I opened up memories I was certain didn’t exist, and I was able to process why I felt the way I did about things. I encourage you all to read or audio-book the 5 Love Languages, and to take the quiz. Once you have your results, take the time to process what they mean for you and why they rank as they do.