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Love and Apology Languages [Feb. 18th, 2007|08:00 am]
Wade
In which Wade talks about love languages and other fun ways to communicate.

[Warn: This entry talks about love and emotions and other such things, which may be too much for macho types to deal with.]

Some questions to ponder while reading this entry:

  1. What love language(s) do you use to express your love? Which ones do you not use?
  2. What love language(s) do you find most satisfying (which languages, when used by others, make you feel most loved)?.
  3. What language(s) of apology do you use when apologizing? Which ones do you not use?
  4. What language(s) of apology do you "hear"? Which ones do you not hear?
  5. Does my new love language, Cooperation and Loyalty, resonate, or no?
  6. Does my new language of apology, Talking It Out, resonate, or no?
  7. Any suggestions for additional love languages?
  8. Any suggestions for additional languages of apology ?
  9. Are there ways I could have more effectively/accurately summarized the love and apology languages? I'm not entirely confident that my summarizes fully capture the ideas.
  10. Have your read the book(s)? What did you think of them?

Introduction

I was recently reminded, by a variety of sources, of the The Five Love Languages, a book written by Gary Chapman. I have the audio cassettes for this book on my shelf, but have yet to listen to it. I have, however, looked over the website, because the idea that different people can express love in different ways certainly makes a lot of sense. Furthermore, it also makes sense that if a person is expecting demonstrations of love in one way, but a partner expresses love in a different way, miscommunication, resentment and Other Bad ThingsTM could occur.

Chapman has recently released a follow-up book called The Five Languages of Apology, addressing the fact that different people apologize in different ways. Besides the fact that I have doubts that there are only five love languages and apology languages (there are probably more), and some real doubts as to why there happens to be the same number of apology languages as love languages, I once again think this is a completely valid hypothesis - different people do apologize in different ways. Furthermore, understanding these differences and how oneself and one's partner(s) respond to apologizes is a worthwhile thing to consider, in order to avoid miscommunication, resentment and Other Bad ThingsTM.


The Five Love Languages

How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your mate

Below, I just summarize each language in one line, but if you want to really understand the languages, I'd strongly recommend reading the webpage, which provides 3-4 paragraphs for each language instead of one line. Having not read the book, I do not know whether it provides additional material worth reading, or whether the ideas themselves are sufficient. Just a note, for those of you who, like myself, subscribe to FSM and IPU, try to avoid being turned off by the references to God and Jesus; the ideas are of interest regardless of one's religious persuasion.

  1. Words of Affirmation: Verbal appreciation, compliments, encouragement

  2. Quality Time: Sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly uninterrupted context (fully engaged time, not half-focused time).

  3. Receiving Gifts: Physical symbols of love. Treasure gifts as an expression of love and devotion.

  4. Acts of Service: Performing simple chores (laundry, dishes, etc.) or other acts as a means of demonstrating love. Various dialects possible.

  5. Physical Touch: Physical contact with partner (may include everything from touches on the cheek or a hand on the shoulder to full-body massages and sex). Various dialects possible.

I can see there being up to four different love language-related issues to consider in a single two-person relationship:

  • The love language that partner A speaks

  • The love language that partner A wants or assumes others speak (which may or may not be the same as the language they themselves speak).

  • The love language that partner B speaks

  • The love language that partner B wants or assumes others speak (which may or may not be the same as the language they themselves speak).

Naturally, things just get more and more complicated in poly relationships with more than two people (all the more reason to be aware of these differences).

I don't really know how common it is for a person to express love in one way, yet expect it from others in a different way. I suspect that these two are often the same, but I wanted to emphasize the distinction for the sake of completeness, and because I can easily see there being situations where they do differ. Especially when one considers that many people do not have a single love language (they may use multiple, or even all, of them), but "hear" some better than others. When ordering all the languages according to importance I suspect that which languages one uses might differ at least slightly from which languages one hears.

Below, I summarize the ways in which I express love, ordered from most important to least.

  • Quality Time: I love having real conversations with my partner(s) and doing activities together (boardgames, attendance at special events, etc.). It is these actions that make me feel connected.

  • Physical Touch: I like being very affectionate (hugs, kisses, PDA's, etc.). I do not, however, usually think of sex as a demonstration of love. I realize this is in stark contrast to how many people are wired - I'll discuss this in a separate post sometime.

  • Words of Affirmation: I like being able to support and encourage my partner, and compliments are enjoyable to give, as long as my partner knows that they are sincere.

  • Acts of Service: I do not, by default, think of acts of service as demonstrations of love. I can understand why some people do, and I can see myself enjoying such acts more if I do think of them in this light, but I haven't in the past.

  • Receiving Gifts: I do not, by default, usually think of monetary gifts as a demonstration of love, although admittedly this depends on my partner. I do, however, have a very strong positive romantic association with giving and sharing stuffed animals to people I love.

Below, I summarize the ways in which I prefer my partner(s) to demonstrate their love for me. This was a useful exercise, because I'd never really thought of it before.

  • Quality Time: Spending time together talking about opinions and philosophies, reading a book together, playing boardgames, etc.; these are all ways in which I develop that sense of connection that is so important in a loving relationship.

  • Physical Touch: I find physical affection very powerful, and especially like public displays of affection (hugging, holding hands, nibbling of necks, etc.) Whether this is more feeling loved or expressing love is hard to tell - they are synergistic.

  • Words of Affirmation: Although compliments are nice, I don't usually think of them as indications that someone loves me. This, however, probably has a lot to do with the fact that I find accepting compliments difficult. More on this some other time.

  • Receiving Gifts: I am simply not a materialistically inclined person. If someone buys me something that demonstrates an understanding of my interests, it is touching, but I often feel uncomfortable about others spending money on me. Gifts with more sentimental (and permanent) value (stuffed animals, etc.) are more appealing though. I never think to myself "I don't feel loved because I'm not receiving gifts".

  • Acts of Service: I'd prefer that a partner not demonstrate love thru acts of service, but of course this would need to be negotiated if that was how they normally express love.

I feel like there are some other love languages that could be added into this list, and in fact one of them is a more significant language for me than all those discussed by Chapman. It is discussed next.

Cooperation and Loyalty

I really love cooperation. The sense of togetherness that comes from different people working together towards a common goal, adding their own unique collection of skills to form a potential that is greater than the sum of the parts. This is true in any context, but is especially true in a relationship. The mathematics of mainstream relationships are quite offensive to me, with all this implication that individuals are not whole, and that two people add together to form a single "complete" entity. Nonsense. People shouldn't get into relationships until they are already whole. And when you add two people together, the result should be at least 2, hopefully more, not just 1. If you add N people together, you should get much more than N. But I digress - a topic for another entry.

I think of relationships as being about us, not about me and them, but about us. A team that is meshed and works together to deal with the trials and tribulations of life. It isn't that I think of the relationship as "us against the world", because that implies a more antagonistic or competitive flavor than I subscribe to. But it is true that I prioritize my partner(s) above all others, and want to know this is reciprocated.

The language one chooses to use in discussions is a case in point. When talking to someone else about something that I and a partner did, I want to be inclusive, and to use words like we and us. When a partner uses words like I and me in situations were it was us, I feel distanced and less connected.

The above is just an example of what I mean by all this though. I love and feel loved when there is a sense of cooperation and loyalty in the relationship. When I know that we, as a team, will support each other with everything we have. That total trust is given and merited. Of course everyone wants this, but the language part of it stems from the emphasis on us, in the words we speak and the actions we perform.

The 5 Love Languages Quiz

This section is an after-the-fact edit of this entry based on Maria's comment about the "Love Languages" test making its way through the PMM forums.

In general I am very skeptical about the validity of tests (especially tests created by us amateurs, with no clue how to make them scientifically/statistically sound), and this one is no exception. However, it is quite telling that the order that I enumerated above, describing my love languages, is identical to the order suggested by the test (results reordered descending on score):

Score Love Language
10 Quality Time
9 Physical Touch
8 Words of Affirmation
3 Acts of Service
0 Receiving of Gifts

It is always reassuring when one's "intuitive" assessments match up with more "formal" tests. Apparently, I'm basically tri-lingual, with Quality Time, Physical Touch, and Words of Affirmation all being very important to me (the highest score for any given language is 12, btw). I'm surprised that Acts of Service even managed to get 3 points, and not even remotely surprised that Receiving of Gifts got 0. Gifts are nice, but I totally don't think of them as acts of love.


The Five Languages of Apology

How to Experience Healing in All Your Relationships

Chapman's new book hypothesizes the existence of five different ways in which people apologize. Although I provide one-line summaries of each below, you may find the website a useful resource. Note that the website often sounds like it is talking about situations involving Big Apologies (cheating, etc.), but I think that with some "toning down" of the rhetoric, they can also apply to less huge, but still important, areas where apology may be needed.

Here are the 5 languages of apology suggested by Chapman.

  1. Expressing Regret : Adminsion of guilt and shame for one's actions. Saying I'm sorry.

  2. Accept Responsibility : Admit fault, admit when one was wrong, accept responsibility, be sincere.

  3. Make Restitution : Pay for wrongdoing (use partner's preferred love language to establish most effective way to demonstrate sincerity).

  4. Genuinely Repent : Heartfelt repentance (verbalizing desire to change, dedicated plan as to how to change).

  5. Request Forgiveness : Physically ask for forgiveness (difficult for some, as it leaves one vulnerable to fear of rejection).

In some ways, I've always been unconsciously more aware that different people apologize (and expect apologies) in different ways than I have been aware of differences in love languages. I use all of the listed languages of apology, and it is rather difficult assessing which one I use most often, since it depends a great deal on what the partner finds meaningful.

Apologies are only meaningful if they are sincere. I don't apologize to "smooth things over", I apologize if I believe I have wronged someone else in some way. As such, I've found that the most difficult situations to deal with are those in which a partner feels they deserve an apology, but I do not feel this to be the case, or vice-versa. This kind of situation usually arises due to miscommunication or misunderstanding, which is one of the reasons I'm such a fan of conversation and strongly believe that it is better to overcommunicate than to undercommunicate (BTOCTTUC :-)

  • Expressing Regret : I want my partner to know that I am truly sorry, if I do something to hurt them.

  • Accept Responsibility : It is important to me that I acknowledge my responsibility for something going wrong, if indeed it was my responsibility.

  • Make Restitution : I can understand why others would find this language easy to hear, and the discussions wrt it on the website about needing to learn a partners love language(s) and make restitution in a way they will hear is also very valid.

  • Genuinely Repent : When there is no doubt that fault lies with me, repentance is easy. However, in situations where I do not see fault being so onesided, admitting I'm wrong can be very difficult for me.

  • Request Forgiveness : I've never considered this as a way in which someone would want to be apologized to. Although it makes sense intellectually, it isn't a language I would "hear" if I were being apologized to.

Below, I've sorted the languages based on which ones I find most "easy to hear" when someone else is apologizing to me. I must admit that, on the very few occasions where I have felt that my trust has been betrayed, I have not been able to forgive (although I'm not sure how much of that was due to the lack of any apology on their part, and how much was due to other aspects).

One important point is worth mentioning. I suspect that I need apologies in fewer situations than most people; if I understand that the intent behind the offending actions was not to hurt me, I often do not need an apology at all. Just having clarified the misunderstanding is sufficient. More on this in a bit.

  • Accept Responsibility : It is important to me that I accept responsibility for my faults, so when I feel that a partner is not doing the same, it breeds resentment.

  • Expressing Regret : Knowing that someone regrets having hurt me is of course an affirmation of their love. I'm not sure where to place it relative to other languages of apology though.

  • Genuinely Repent : It is difficult for me to admit I'm wrong, but I force myself to do so when I feel I am wrong. If I feel a partner is not doing the same, it once again breeds resentment.

  • Make Restitution : I really can't think of a situation where making restitution is something I need. I suppose it would depend on the thing being apologized for.

  • Request Forgiveness : I'm not really wired for this kind of apology, although I can understand why it would be satisfying/useful for other people. It just feels too subservient for me, in a context where I want equality above all else.

I mentioned at the beginning of this entry that I have real doubts that there are only 5 love languages and 5 languages of apology, and am especially suspicious that there are supposed the same number of both. I suspect that this "fact" has more to do with practical selling-of-books considerations than any belief on the part of Chapman that he's exhausted all the ways people apologize. My wiring is a case in point, because I'd argue that the way that I hear apologizes best isn't any of the above five, but is instead the following:

Talking It Out

For me, the intent of one's actions is very important in determining how I respond to the effects of their actions. If I know that a person wasn't intending to hurt me or do whatever it is that supposedly merits an apology, then it goes a long ways towards alleviating the problem. If the other person understands why I could be hurt by their actions, even though they didn't intend it that way, it goes even further towards alleviating the problem.

Because of the above, I'd say that the language of apology I hear most strongly is Talking It Out TM. Coming to a deeper understanding of each other, and resolving situations thru increased awareness and mutual empathy, makes me feel closer to the other person. On the flip side, if a partner does not want to talk about the situation (for fear of being assigned blame, etc.), then I often feel distanced, and the situation remains unresolved.

Certain languages of apology are more or less easy for me to hear, but this one (talking it out) is definitely the most significant. It isn't necessarily the only language I need to hear, but it is a required language. Without it, all the other languages of apology are less easy to hear.


Conclusion

The writing of this entry is making me realize that I feel that a need to apologize implies a failure in communication. If perfect communication exists, apologizes would rarely be needed because such communication means that individuals will know what their partners will be offended by, and consciously avoid doing those things. In particular, I believe that situations requiring apology occur due to misunderstanding, and more communication means more understanding. In situations where a person knows that a particular act will be hurtful to someone else and still does it, I'm not even sure an apology is useful. Sounds like a relationship ender to me.

In summary, I think Chapman's efforts to identify different ways in which people express love and apology is quite worthy. The most significant thing being that one must realize that a partner can be expressing love or apology without you realizing it, simply because you aren't wired to hear their particular language. Or, even more likely, you may hear the apology but feel it is lacking something, simply because to you it isn't the most "satisfying" language to hear, while for them it is the most significant way they can express their feelings. Anything that helps in communication and interpersonal understanding is good.

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Comments:
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: metawade
2007-02-18 05:11 pm (UTC)

Hello there athena_51! Happy to hear that I could provide some ligher reading for you! ;-)

Yeah, I hadn't conciously articulated that observation before writing the entry, but I too think there is some real merit in it. There are probably exceptions and special cases that aren't about a failure to communicate, but in many situations, it would seem quite valid. Totally agree that it is an excellent motivator for bettering communication skills!

P.S. I realized in skimming thru my post before responding that I hadn't committed the latest proof-reading draft. Various missing bits have been filled in.

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[User Picture]From: metawade
2007-02-24 02:21 pm (UTC)

You, young lady, should respond to this entry by contemplating the love languages you hear best. I found it an interesting experiment to think about it free-form first, and order the languages the way I exhibit and hear them first, then take the handy dandy test to see whether my self-analysis matched the test results. Thankfully, they were identical, so I didn't have to wonder which was more accurate. You, being the busy beaver you are, may not have time for frivolous self-reflection, in which case a quick zip thru the test would still be useful. From my perspective, you've exhibited signs of "Words of Affirmation", "Physical Touch" , "Receiving Gifts", and "Quality Time". So now I'm curious :-)

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[User Picture]From: metawade
2007-02-24 04:20 pm (UTC)

I'm not surprised by some, am surprised by others. Under the mantra "we like to have done that which we do", I was thinking that Receiving of Gifts might be significant to you, so the low score there is at odds with my "model of R" :-) I totally expected "Physical Touch", "Quality Time" and "Words of Affirmation" to be high, but didn't know their relative order. And I had no idea what you felt about "Acts of Service". Fun test!

How did your expectations differ? I'm not particularly convinced that a 30 question test is more accurate than self-reflection in such a case. Note that the test was NOT created by the dude who wrote the book; the test creator could be some joker who also creates (horribly flawed) OkCupid tests :-)

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[User Picture]From: lifeneverboring
2007-02-18 05:29 pm (UTC)
The "Love Languages" test was making its way through the PMM forums this last week. You can take it here:

http://www.greaterquest.com/LoveLanguages.asp

Not to be taken entirely seriously, but we all had fun doing it. It was interesting to see that almost everyone who posted their results scored very high on physical touch, and very low on gifts. Considering how much North American society is geared towards gifts as an expression of love, and is uncomfortable with touch. (I was talking to someone from Kerala a while back, who is currently at university here in Canada. He said he felt like he was living in a bubble, because nobody here touched. He was having quite a hard time with it.)

More later

Maria
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[User Picture]From: metawade
2007-02-18 05:51 pm (UTC)

Hi Maria! This is very interesting - I will definitely have to look at the test. I should also revist PMM sometime; it has been a long time since I've been on, and I haven't really explored the community part of it. The trends on scoring are also very interesting. Always fascinating when we identify traits common to many poly people.

I'll respond more tomorrow; off on a date with R today.

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[User Picture]From: lifeneverboring
2007-02-18 05:58 pm (UTC)
Have fun, you two! (As if you wouldn't...)

Maria
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[User Picture]From: metawade
2007-02-18 05:53 pm (UTC)

Hey Rachel! How goes the vacation? Where are you a-relaxing? Hmmm, do I have Loving More on my bookshelf? I cannot remember if I ordered it or not - will have to look. Neat that they've extended the languages! Something like Settlers of Catan expansion packs :-) I'd appreciate the details if I don't have it here.

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[User Picture]From: _luaineach
2007-02-18 10:16 pm (UTC)
In my relationship with Jim, I most use Words and, by necessity (further on this below), Acts of Service or Touch, although my natural inclination would be to supplement Words with Quality Time. I *respond* most to Words and Quality Time.

When Jim and I first heard about the Five Languages of Love years and years ago (we weren't even married yet, so it had to be 10+) from a friend introduced to it in marriage counselling, it was really eye opening for us because we realized that the way each of us *show* love was actually the bottom of the other person's list of how they *receive* love (or perceive it/respond to it).

Mine number one choice for both showing and responding to love is words. Whereas, that's Jim's area of least interest because in his opinion, anybody can say anything and words are not inherently valuable.

Jim's number one way of showing me love is Acts of Service and/or Gifts. And these are ways *I* have a very hard time recognizing as "love". An example: I'll be craving a salad or something and ask Jim if he would go to the grocery for me to get me what I need. Him doing so to *him* is the ultimate sign of Love -- he would not do it otherwise. To me, it's an act of service that, you know, I could just call the delivery guy for, or whoever. If that makes sense. I mean, I obviously recognized that of course it meant Jim loved me if he was willing to stop what he was doing and schlep on over to the grocery when even *I* wasn't willing to go for my own self, but I did *not* realize that -- to him -- that resounded with the same import as my telling him verbally "I love you." That it was as momentous and as *clear* to me. If *that* makes sense.

My ability to recognize that now, saves no end of trouble. And immediately recent example: Two days ago when I was recovering from stomach flu and I had an absolutely huge craving for a Hershey's Symphony bar. Jim happened to be out, so I txt'd him to bring me one home if he could find one, or a regular hershey's if not. So, he couldn't find the Symphony. Today I mentioned I wasn't going to start my return to straight-edge (as in zero refined sugar) until tomorrow and Jim reached into his bag and brought out a 1/2 pound Symphony bar that he had picked up this morning at the grocery store. Now, my immediate response to that sort of Act of Service/Gift is "well, thanks, but that was two days ago I wanted one" but, now, understanding it via Love Languages I *know* that that Gift is one of Jim's ultimate ways of showing me that he Loves me... that he remembered, that he thought of it, that he acted on it.

Accordingly, I try to incorporate Acts of Service into my expressions of love for his sake. When I fold the laundry, I make sure to sort all his socks into little sock ball pairs, instead of just shoving them in the drawer like I do my own because I know Jim responds to that as something far more valuable than my saving "I Love you" before he leaves for work.

And I had/have more to say about this but am now out of time! (Lack of time is also going to keep me from proof reading this, so forgive missing words and grammatical errors!) :)
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[User Picture]From: metawade
2007-02-19 12:49 pm (UTC)

Wow - each of your love languages is at the bottom of the other persons. It is a damn good thing you encountered this book, or that could definitely have spelled catastrophe. I'm totally wired like you are, both in what I respond to, and what I don't consider acts of love. Your comments all made total sense.

I can see myself having real difficulty being able to "learn to hear" both Service and Gifts. It is very commendable that you were able to appreciate Jim's Symphony.

On the other hand, I think that knowing about Acts of Service could be very useful for me if I have a partner that responds to this language, because the idea of doing dishes knowing that it is a sign of love to a partner is a hell of a lot more fun than doing them because they have to be done. If I can view such tasks in the light of "expression of love", it makes them much more enjoyable.

Thanks for the comments! As for prof-reading, I shall prombtly cut you of from any forther comunicetion whatsoeyer if I find a sngle mising, word or grammitical, error.

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[User Picture]From: crittershay
2007-02-18 11:35 pm (UTC)

Mad ramblings of Shay with the flu.

Ok so I can answer this... won't be in complete sentences or thoughts 'cause I have the freakin' flu!

I use the following one in the five languages of love.
(One I do not use is affirmation, why because well even if I say it T doesn't "believe it" because he is a "Glass half empty kinda guy.)

Quality Time: this is the most important one to me. Time means that I have cleared my schedule and arranged it so that I am open and willing to make time.

With T, time is limited... mainly because of the distance. He lives 45 minutes away and have I mentioned I don't drive? Or that I am legally blind? So I see him Weds. and Friday/Saturday... any other time is rare.

With C work gets in the way... he works nights and I work days... and typically the only time we have is Saturday after I get back from T's and Sundays until he has to go to work. So we try to grab time when we can...

Receiving Gifts: Happys as I call them... I like giving happys but receiving them is not what I expect.

Acts of Service: T would call this Deluxe Nookie Dispenser (Will post the reasoning behind this in a different post) I do little things to show him I care... washing his laundry, cleaning his car... small things... things he doesn't have time for.

C, well C and I split house work with the kids... so there isn't much "Service" there... (That sounded BAD)

Physical Touch: Touch is VERY important to my family sturcture... however with C is seems that even the slighest snuggle MUST lead to sex even if that wasn't the goal.


As far as appology here is what I do:

Expressing Regret: I say I am sorry when I know I started it or did something wrong.

What they do:

T will admit he was wrong and apologize. C will not. He thinks if he ignores the situation it will go away... guess after 8 years of marriage it works for him huh?

I will freely admit that I like to pick fights... (But I bet they would never admit that) I pick fights because I do... just my nature. HOWEVER I rarely pick fights because I don't like the consequences.

Concequences with T are, I can and will be ignored or banned from his home or he will "punish" me from seeing him.

C, well C will ignore the incident... or will niggle with me making the situation worse. Which will cause a HUGE explosion and then no speaking from me.

WOW I hate being sick because I don't think any of this makes any sense... but if I don't answer now I will miss the chance because I will forget.

Someone remind me to post the Valentines Day Talk Time with TRock show... and that will explain the Deluxe Nookie Dispenser.

Shay

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From: lynne_laughs
2007-02-19 12:50 am (UTC)
I give love with all the types except gifts. I rarely know what people would truly want or what would make them happy. Gifts have almost always been a dissapointment to me. If I am VERY specific about what I want and get exactly that, then I see the gift as a loving thing.
Knowing I'm terrible at giving (and recieving) gifts, I've learned how to compensate. I ask for a list of suggestions and do my shopping from that list.

The love language I "hear" are all of the rest. I seem to need all of the others at various times. Sometimes I'm craving an act of service, other times I just want skin on my skin, and some days nothing will do but words. Lately I've been needing quality time where I work to accomplish something with Eric. Today, I feel so loved because we worked for hours together in the garden.

To make my wierd "depends on the day" love language work, I have to be aware of what I need and communicate it. I'm pretty greedy about getting lots of love too. I got tons of it as a child and that feels "normal". I supposed I've screwed up my own kids too by soaking them in massive amounts of love too.

My apology language is best summed up by what I might say in class to a misbehaving student.

Lynne: Tavo, I need you to stop talking and face forward.
Tavo: Oh, sorry
Lynne: Don't be sorry, change your behavior.

About 2 or 3 years ago, Eric booked a dance with me and then forgot and danced with someone else. I was hurt (seems ridiculous now) and had a hard time hearing his apology. I told him he had to keep trying because it wasn't getting through to me. Finally, after 2 days of his apologizing, I suddenly heard it and let him know he could finally stop.
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[User Picture]From: metawade
2007-02-19 02:36 pm (UTC)

Having such a variable love language, it is cool that you know you need to be aware of what you want/need and communicate it. Mind-reading just doesn't work - totally awesome that you know this.

As for apologies, that would put you in Genuinely Repent, if we are going to limit ourselves to his boxes? That does resonate with my feelings, although things are kinda fuzzy for me on this - there are various ways that I can feel an apology is sincere.

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[User Picture]From: metawade
2007-02-21 12:04 pm (UTC)

Indeed. There are a variety of issues related to this philosophy of "I'm not responsible for your feelings" that need a great deal of personal exploration. Interesting response from much_ado. I'm going to ponder this in more detail. An entry on the topic will occur sometime, I suppose.

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[User Picture]From: metawade
2007-02-21 11:50 am (UTC)

Hi Grace! First, it was so nice of you and your sister to come introduce yourselves at the poly social. My apologies for taking so long to clue in - I'm just not used to LJ/IRL cross-overs :-) It was great meeting you in person, and I hope to be able to socialize more sometime in the future.

Second, do you have an ebook version of this book? I'm hoping you didn't type it all in yourself and I'd like to read it. Sounds very interesting! And I've seen lots of stuff in the poly community about "noone can make another feel anything"; is this all based on this book, I wonder? It is an interesting idea, but I haven't fully wrapped my head around it. I was talking about it with a girl at the Toronto poly social on Monday, and although I like the idea, there would seem to be some exceptions. If someone does something to you with intentional malice, this idea that we can "choose" not to be hurt seems ... unrealistic (or cold).

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From: winterlion
2007-02-19 07:13 pm (UTC)
I find doing those little quiz-things handy to focus my mind on a set of concepts or questions.. so after doing that and refining and defining, here is what I've come up with:

Physical touch - probably the most important to me of all. Just simple things (physical contact, the occasional hug). I'm terribly sensitive about boundaries and don't actually enjoy being touched - on any level - by someone I don't care about. I'm still not sure how I feel about sex as ... well... that's just never been part of any relationship I've been in. Not really anyways. (*pheh* at "one night stands". I don't like them so much).

Next is quality time. Both to give and receive... my spending time with someone is both indicative and demonstrative of affection - and I would hope vice versa.

I like words of affirmation. I like to give them as well... my family doesn't at all and for whatever reason they've become important to me.

Acts of service aren't so necessary to me. I do them a lot more than I expect them actually. They're not (really) a sign of love for me - more of a sign of fellowship (and sometimes obligation). I do stuff for people because - it is the right thing.

Gifts? nah. I've been too poor to afford gifts most of the time (except fancy home made food) and don't really know how to receive them. I like them but...

I will toss out that I've had very few relationships of any level beyond strong friendship - and so thus haven't got a strong grasp of an interpersonal "language of love".
There are other complications too...

Next: the other set of questions.
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From: winterlion
2007-02-19 07:48 pm (UTC)
I'll say at the outset - I'm not good at apologies. I'm also not used to receiving them as - to date - not many have ever apologized to me for anything they did. I'm perhaps a little bitter over that but mostly try to let go.

so again, lacking experience, I'll go with what I give, and what I hope to receive:

If someone accepts responsibility, does what they can to fix the original problem - and THEN apologizes - that means something to me. Otherwise ... *shrug*

What I do: Before accepting responsibility I ensure that it WAS my responsibility. I still carry too many debts of other people so I'm not in a rush to add more. If so, acceptance CAN be easy. There's a series of incidents I'm still angry over though - precisely because this issue was never solved.
I do express regret. I also do what I can to give restitution.

so now, rather than in order of preference, just in straight order:

1. Expressing Regret : Doesn't mean much to me - unless from someone genuinely honest.
2. Accept Responsibility : A basic necessity. One doesn't need to explain or anything, just accept one's own responsibility. Sometimes responsibility is shared and in this case - it's only really effective if all parties do. This can take a while.
3. Make Restitution : Too much like danegeld to me. Restitution only matters if it can solve the original problem.
4. Genuinely Repent : Without action, meaningless.
5. Request Forgiveness : This may be part of repentance and restitution. I don't on the whole believe in forgiveness (or sin for that matter)
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From: (Anonymous)
2018-05-06 02:32 pm (UTC)
I'm a heterosexual monogamist female and I love your posts. I just found you this morning looking up a word I heard, "compersion" and have not stopped reading. I can't believe how perfectly you put into words, relationship fundamentals that seem like a given to me but have never been part of my relationship/s.

PS I also enjoy your lengthy posts. But I'm also a communication geek. I completely resonate with your ideologies and language and appreciate so so much! I'm not Poly, I'm not bi either, but I can totally understand it and appreciate it so much. The first post I read on compersion immediately changed me forever around jealousy. It's such good growth for me and something I've been searching for. I:m in awe. Wish I knew more people like you, any people like you.

Thank you
Misty
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