Know Your People

#MondayWithAimée

It’s not because someone functions differently that it means they’re doing it wrong. There are various ways of achieving your goals or getting the success you wanted, and you shouldn’t be prime to judge other people’s ways. Not only is it different in the way we act productively, but there is also a lot of variations of personalities and reactions.

One of my closest friends and I react very differently to events. For example, when we get upset, we couldn’t react more differently. Personally, I need to talk it out on the spot. I need to cry and vent and verbalize what I feel as soon as it happens. I don’t mind talking through my tears, because I just need to get it out of my system, the words and the tears. It’s how I process my emotions and my thoughts. I think while talking and it helps me understand myself better. I like to think that I had it in my brain all along, but I just needed to talk the junk out, clear the fog off, and I will find what I think or how I feel. That’s me. My friend, on the other side, needs time. She needs to think it over on her own, in her head, and when she will be ready, she will talk…well, she might, but if she doesn’t, it’s because in her head and in her heart, she has gotten over the issue. The point is that she needs time. I’m a bomb, you step on it and it goes off. She’s a time bomb, she takes a well to get to it, but she will.

We work differently, but I don’t think one of us is wrong and the other is right, no. It’s just two systems, two different ways of functioning, our brains are wired differently and we just need to learn how to adapt around the other. She knows when I need to vent (she’s a great listener so that’s a plus) and I know when to give her space. We adapt to each other and we learn not to get hurt by the ways the other protect and heals themselves. It’s a process, we are still not the best, but we learn.

Before knowing how to adapt, you have to be aware of how others function. We are often way too focused on our own little belly buttons that we don’t see how others are. To be able to adapt, you need to observe and try to understand how the minds of people around you work. I promise, it’s a fascinating exercise and it really smoothens your relationships, because instead of wanting and needing and demanding, you start wanting to give, to offer and to adapt to the other’s needs. Don’t worry, when you start loving people, really loving people, it doesn’t go unnoticed and people really love you right back. You will have more love than you did before, I promise you.

A good place to start is to know how you like to receive love and how you give it, and how your close friends or family need love and give it. You probably have heard of the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It’s a theory that there are five different ways of receiving love and that we all have one dominant. There is a test online you can do, (https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/) but I think it’s fairly easy to understand on your own. The five languages are words of affirmation, act of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. Think of how you feel loved and appreciated. Is it when someone hugs you, when people help you out with a task, give you a gift for no apparent reason, or when someone compliments you. Chances are you probably love the same way you receive it.

Now that you know how you perceive love, take a look around. How does your mom feel appreciated? How is she asking for love, even if it’s subtle?  Does she ask for help, hugs, or just enjoys sipping a coffee by your side? Because we ask for it, even unconsciously. Some people might want to hang out with you often, others might look of words of reassurance, others will ask you to help them out. They will ask for it, and they will give you love the way they know how to do it. You just have to be more aware of how they give love, even if it’s not the way it would affect you more. How does everyone around you love to be loved? Once you start opening your eyes to this, it will be a whole new world. Yes, you have to know the person well to understand that, but once you have it figured out, it will be much easier for you to love them the way they feel it.

Let’s create a scenario. Let’s say your love language is receiving gifts and you love to give them as well. Your first reaction would be to send gifts for the people you love to show them what they mean to you. Now, let’s say your significant other’s love language is physical touch. They probably initiate a lot of it too, because this is how they give and want to receive, so they will often be close to you. You might want to bury them under gifts, they won’t feel as loved as if you touched them, even the slightest of physical attention. They just won’t see it, because that’s not how they function, and you might start to feel annoyed because your love goes unnoticed. It just that the love you have to offer isn’t how they need to receive it, how they best perceive it, and you both have to adapt. If you know how that other person feels loved, you might start to hug them more, play in their hair, kiss their cheek more often, for no apparent reason. They will feel loved a whole lot more, and they will try to appreciate it more when you love the way you love, and they will try to love you the way they know you are loved. Once you know how the other person functions, you instantly try to adapt to them, both of you, because that’s what you do when you care about someone, right? You compromise and make a move towards them, you don’t just wait for the other to make all the changes. Both of you have to evolve together and towards each other, if you want this relationship, whatever it is, to work out.

The Love Languages are a good way to understand how we need to know each other to cooperate. We need to observe and look at each other and talk to be able to make them feel the best they can. It works for everything. If you have a company, know how your employees feel great about themselves. They will feel so much better about the work they do if they feel appreciated and seen.

I remember when I played soccer and my coach, even from far away, told me “that was a good one!” or any kind of positive comment. It made my heart glow and it fueled me for the rest of the game. I was thriving on it and it pushed me to get better, to work harder and better. That’s what good, healthy love should do to people. It should make you feel seen and appreciated and make you want to be better than you are. It’s by knowing how other people function that you will help them go higher and thrive better.

And you, my sweethearts, what is your dominant love language? Do you already know or did you take the test? Observe around you and try to understand how your surroundings function.

I hope you have found ways to adapt and you feel less anxious and find ways to comfort yourself, and I hope my words bring you a bit of warmth because as you know now, it is my love language. You can also check out our Facebook or Instagram page for other words of affection and send it back to us in any way you love.

Sunkissed hugs,

-Aimée.

Photo by Nadi Lindsay

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