In other words, this is a serious reflection. Summer has given me so much time to think and ponder about everything under the sun (and over and around and beyond) that I can't control my brain anymore and it runs wild to the corners of the earth. What I'm trying to say is that my brain is overactive these days, and not in the most productive sense. It's more like gas particles in Brownian motion.
First, let's talk about love languages. So I was going to have a friend over for dinner yesterday, except I realized a few hours ahead of time that either I could cook something easy and my dad would have nothing to bring to work the next day, or I could cook something better, except then it would be hard to talk to my friend at the same time. So I called my dad and I had a heart attack when he offered to come home early to cook for us (my mom was out of town). Heart attack as in attacked by <3<3<3. I got so emotional, it's embarrassing. Which got me thinking about how I responded to THIS act of love, as opposed to various other acts of love. Gary Chapman has this book called the Five Love Languages (yes, 妈妈, you have no idea how many of your books I have skimmed). That's where I'm drawing this out of. According to him, the five love languages are acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, and gifts. Let me examine each in turn (in alphabetical order) like a true left-brainer. I should be an engineer.
Acts of Service: This is when people do stuff for you, such as in my little anecdote above. I think this is my thing. For example, one of the moments I felt fuzziest this year was when I came home from Disneyland at 2 AM and found that Nancy had not only taken out, but also FOLDED my laundry. Ah, it makes me so fuzzy to know that people would do such things for me, especially when I don't expect it at all. And when I asked myself a couple of years ago how one loves someone, I remember the first thing that I thought of was to help them when needed. I was thinking about schoolwork, but my mindset is the same for other areas. I try to make it my purpose in life first to love God, and then to love people, because God loves people. And what are/were the two major things I consider(ed) doing with my life? Medicine and teaching. Both careers of service. Why do I like kids? Because their dependence provides so many oppurtunities to serve them. And let's not forget my mass-baking fetishes. I give away probably 90% of what I make, and I love it. Anyway, you get the idea. This clicks with me.
Gifts: This is self-explanatory. Love is shown by the giving of material gifts. Funny, because I seem to like expressing in this way, but I don't respond to it as well. I'm thinking of how I love being consumerist for other people, especially around Christmas. I'm also thinking of all the times I have received gifts and felt gross because I felt materialistic and spoiled. Can't you tell that I already have enough stuff, and I really don't need any more?, I think. For the longest time, whenever anyone asked me what I wanted for Christmas or my birthday, I would seriously not be able to think of one thing without effort. I just simply felt like I have everything I could possibly want/need. Now, it's easier. I think I've become more materialistic, because there are only very specific things I want that I would buy for myself if I let myself. Getting it for free is a bonus. Anyway, I'm also thinking of how I equate outreach with showing people God's love by giving them a small practical gift like a bottle of water: servant evangelism, they call it, except I feel like it falls more under gifts than acts of service. This clicks with me. If there's one thing I would like to do to serve at church, it's organizing this. And I suppose mass-baking and giving away the goods somewhat falls under this.
Physical Touch: Also self-explanatory. It's not at the top of my to-do list, especially the cuddly things you're thinking about. But then... 恥ずかしい, but when I comfort myself, half of it is imagining God patting my head or rubbing my back. And I'm not sure, but I think nudging, swatting, and the like is part of my normal interaction with friends. Yes, and nothing says "you're not alone" like a hug.
Quality Time: Also self-explanatory. Undivided attention is nice, but... not something I think about a lot. In fact, it seems a little intimidating sometimes. Perhaps it's just the way I was raised. But then, I do like hanging out. Is that quality? I'm not sure.
Words of Affirmation: That's when you say nice things to each other. Another one that I get. My favorite part of Christmas? Writing a billion cards that actually say something meaningful. Birthdays? Same. And yes, I like to receive the same back once in a while. Once, many years ago, my mom told me that she loved me. The only time in my living memory. And I cried for a whole night because I was that touched.
Anyhow, enough analysis of myself. If you haven't been, now is the time to think about yourself. How are differences in love languages creating misunderstandings in your relationships?