This #FridayFive prompt at Mrs. Disciple is Five Ways to Show Love. On account of Valentine’s Day and all. So I thought, there is one group of people over half of the world doesn’t understand how to love well. I am firmly in that group.
On a day dedicated to showy displays of love, how do you show love to your person for whom showy displays are akin to waterboarding? Here are five ways. They don’t have to be romantic love relationships. They work equally well for spouses, friends, or children. So go crazy—in a subdued sort of way.
Buy us a book
But—only if you really know us. Because, you will be my instant best friend if you give me a nerdy theology or garden book, but I will look at you like you are an alien life form if you offer me your favorite chick lit novel. (Then I will take it anyway and smile, because my mama taught me right.) Amazon cards work in those instances.
Text a sweet message
We love your words. We love thoughtful loving messages. We especially love snarky sarcastic loving messages. We love you. But don’t call us. We don’t do phone calls.
Give us our bubble
Last weekend, we went to Harry Potter World. On a slow day. I haven’t been bumped into by so many people since the train station in China. Afterward, we had planned to go out to dinner, but we ended up riding the shuttle bus back to our hotel room, ordering pizza in, and huddling on our beds for the rest of the evening like prisoners with PTSD. It was a GREAT day. But sensory overload is a thing, people. It’s a big thing for me.
We do love people. We just don’t love lots of you for long periods of time. “Long periods” = over an hour. We need time to decompress away from sensory input. Like, a dark room with soundproofing. It restores our balance. And our sanity. And our ability to interact with humans without wanting to poke our eyes out. Respect that. It’s not you. But it will be if you keep talking.
Take us to a fun spot with just you
We love getting together with friends, but when there is a group of friends, the dynamics for us rarely change. Everyone else talks, and we never feel heard or seen. We crave that time with just one friend, two is tolerable but pushing it, to really talk, listen, and know. It doesn’t matter if it’s a quiet restaurant or a zipline. (I am an adventurous introvert.) Just as long as it’s the two of us. Being heard and seen means a lot to those of us who don’t feel like the world “gets” us very often.
Ask us questions
We rarely volunteer information. That isn’t necessarily because we don’t share personal stuff but usually because we don’t feel comfortable breaking into a conversation or starting one. Or because we need to process before we voice an opinion. But we never feel so loved or known as when someone takes the time to ask, What do you think? How are you feeling? Tell me about . . .
We like deep conversation. We like to talk about our families, our hopes and dreams, our beliefs, and our interests. We won’t be the first to talk, and we will probably need to be asked. Don’t be afraid to ask. Don’t forget to ask. Don’t overlook us because we are quiet and assume we don’t have anything to contribute. We do.
So–How can we return the favor? How do we show love to the extraverts in our midst? I want to love you better, too. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Be sure to check out the link to this Friday Five, because there are some great ideas on loving people well!