Spending time is such a big value of mine. I prioritise spending time with others over spending time alone… often to my detriment leaving me feeling drained as then I don’t take time to recharge myself or even acknowledge that that’s important.
I realise ‘time’ is such a big value when the people around me choose not to spend time with me. When circumstances dictate we can’t spend time together… and even though I know that in a lot of cases it’s not really their choice, I still find it hard to deal with.
A friend of mine recommended I read ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman, which I did and have since recommended it to numerous other people, who in turn have recommended it to others (sometimes without even reading it themselves!) In his book, Chapman proposes 5 love languages:
- acts of service
- words of affirmation
- physical affection
and that we each have a primary love language we default to in terms of how we want to be shown love and how we show our love to others. Mine, unsurprisingly, is time!
Time for me is an essential as eating, drinking, even breathing –I starve for time, I thirst for time, I gasp for time!
I know that I show my love for others by spending time with them. I often organise events which bring people together; I believe that time is the most valuable thing I can give to my children; and I was once absolutely overcome by emotion at a friend’s mum’s funeral when they talked about her always having time for them… knowing that that is how I wish to be remembered.
I find it very difficult when people around me postpone or cancel time with me or even when they do spend time with me, but aren’t really there… being distracted (by phones, emails, etc.). I find it disappointing and upsetting and it feels like rejection. I notice that if people continually rearrange it affects my relationship with that person. I find it so disappointing when they postpone or cancel I start not to believe them when they say we’ll spend time together so that I’m not so disappointed if it doesn’t happen which means two things:
1) I’m ecstatic if it happens!
2) They’re more likely to cancel (self fulfilling prophecy… I probably give them the impression that I couldn’t care either way if we spend time together or not!)
So what am I learning from tonight’s blog?
When something resonates with me I ought to write about it & not ponder too long on the subject, thus “overthinking”.
Yes time is my love language, but it isn’t everyone’s – focus more on the other person’s love language than mine & use the awareness of both love languages to observe what’s going on rather than taking it so personally!
Have “what works for me…what would work for you?” conversations with people (rather than burying it & feeling as though I always have to fit with what works for them & then resenting it). So surfacing it in a positive way and not a negative “stop doing that” kind of way!
So, what are you learning?
- What is your love language and how does that play out for you?
- Suppose you were going to have a “what works for me…” conversation with someone, what would you say?
- Where you notice a difference in love languages between you & others, what can you do to adapt your style to make them feel ‘loved’?
I’d love to hear your thoughts… either by leaving a comment here or on twitter @ThePensiveCoach