June 7, 2010

Languages of Love

So my female friends were talking the other day about the many ways people express (and receive) affection - and someone brought up this "theory" from an apparently super famous book about the five languages of love. Then we proceeded to write them on one of the big white boards we normally use for studying drugs and diseases and tried to figure out which were the ways we expressed affection (we're not so big on the whole "love" term at the moment) and which were the ways we enjoyed receiving affection. We decided to each pick 2 for ways we express affection and 2 for ways we like to receive affection. (Can you guess what mine were?)

Here are the 5 languages of love:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Gifts
3. Acts of Service
4. Physical Touch
5. Quality Time

It was fun to see how different we all were and to think about my friends (and past lovers) and the many ways we figure out (nor not) how to show someone -either romantically or not- how much we care about them, as well as how we learn to read someone's gestures of affection.

My parents have this amazing cartoon on our fridge of a man and a woman talking to each other - but neither of the bubbles are actually filled with text. The woman's is filled with these bubbly curvy lines, while the man's is filled with boxes and straight lines. So much frustration and hurt can be caused by not understanding the way other people show emotion. Not just affection, but fear, shame, anger. One of the doctors I worked with before medical school told me that she felt like she had a sort of 6th sense about people because she picked up on unusual signals indicating their state of being. I can definitely see how being able to read the many ways people can signal states of being would be helpful for a physician (or just in life).

A goal of mine for the week (month? year?) is to be more careful about observing the people I love, work with, or just see a lot, and figure out the ways they communicate their states of being.

"Lovers speak is so much different
only they can understand
lets all share this coded secret
let us in, let's all join hands"
-Joni Mitchell, Lovers Speak

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