DIFFERENT WAYS TO SHARE LOVE, LIKING, LINKING AND FRIENDSHIP

A good friendship is not one that is free of conflict or disagreement.

 It’s a friendship where, when a problem surfaces, the friends
find ways to resolve the problem, ways that are:

·        comfortable for both

·        work for both

·        balanced

·        fair

·        moderate

How do you express love or a close friendship?

Everyone has an unconscious list of what we think are the best ways to show someone else we "love" them, "like" them, "appreciate" them or just enjoy their friendship and being with them.  The trouble is that these ways are seldom identical for both  people.

In his book "The Five Love Languages" Gary Chapman explains how different people have different expectations of the ways they think are the best for expressing love, liking or friendship. If two people are using different ‘languages' then messages of love and friendship can easily be lost in translation.

I feel Chapman's list of only five such languages is a bit too brief. I'm inclined to add quite a few more ways that people link together in friendship or relationships, and I've included these in my list below. However I acknowledge that it's still based on his five "languages" and what he describes rather well as the primary Friendship/Love Languages:

1.           Sharing words and actions that express friendship/love

2.           Sharing Quality time

3.           Sharing gifts

4.           Sharing Acts of service

5.           Sharing Physical touch

So what happens if whatever you think and feel are the "right" or the “true” ways to express love and friendship are seriously out of line with what the other person thinks or feels is the "right" or the “true” ways for them?  At the very least there are going to be problems with translation between the two friends. At worst one or both people might begin questioning the quality of the linkage and therefore the friendship.

There is no doubt that there are certain things each of us hope (or expect) people will do and say when they are connecting with us. The sad part is if they really do care a great deal about you, but that their way of expressing this just doesn't match up with your expectations.  They are probably just doing what they believe they should be doing, to show you their deepest and most affectionate feelings of friendship. But sadly they are using a "different language" to tell you about their friendship with you or how they like or love you.

Meanwhile you can be mistranslating at your end too. What happens if whatever you expect doesn't occur?  If you, misinterpret what they're saying or doing you may end up feeling that you are less of a friend in the eyes of that other person. But what you think and feel and predict, may or may not be accurate.  Remember, they still think they are expressing friendship in the way that has the most meaning for them.

Unless you tell them about the problem, whatever the other person is saying or doing will continue to be based on their idea of what they think are the most important ways to express love or friendship.

My list of the Friendship languages

Here’s what it seems to me are a few of the things we need to do to communicate positive feelings about how we link with the other person whether it’s our friends or about a deeper relationship.

I like to think and talk about (and look at) these issues in terms of how they help enhance long term ‘friendships’ as well as ‘relationships.’ Obviously only a very special friendship is likely to include all or most of the different kinds of linkages described below. First I should explain that to me, a good relationship is just a friendship that’s moved to a higher and deeper plane. Each time another kind of linkage is added it enriches the friendship as it grows and the level of commitment becomes much more profound but “if it ain’t a good friendship underneath, then it ain’t a good relationship.”

One small drawback is that once you are aware of all these kinds of linkage you may begin to notice that some of your friends are not using as the same languages as you are using.  I hope that this article might make it easier for you to talk to them about this.

On the other hand once you are aware of the range of different linking languages you may find some of your friendships growing, strengthening, and developing in new and deeper ways than in the past.

SUMMARY

Each one of the connections or linkages (listed below) should help develop a deeper and more lasting friendship or relationship.

However each kind of linkage is optional and a matter of personal choice,  You’ll also notice how each type of linkage though different seems to work in combination with other kinds. Each one helps enhance some of the others.

Obviously, it works best when both friends agree that they like using the same kind of linkage language, but it can still help if only one person uses it and the other person doesn't really feel the need for it. Keeping this in mind, it's important that you don't use this list to judge or criticise a partner. There are no right or wrong ways of communicating love and friendship, just ways that differ from person to person.

 

DIFFERENT WAYS TO SHARE LOVE, LIKING, LINKING AND FRIENDSHIP

 
A.      AFFIRMATION, AFFECTION, SUPPORT, APPRECIATION
Sharing words of affirmation, goodwill, appreciation, love, liking or affection
Positive and mutual support, mutual kindness and empathy 

B. TRUST  TRUSTWORTHINESS AND LOYALTY
Expressing and demonstrating mutual trust and trust-worthiness
Communicating and acting in ways that allow both to feel safe and comfortable about being in this friendship/relationship
Mutual loyalty
 

C. PROTECTING AND RESPECTING THE OTHER PERSON’S FREEDOM AND INDIVIDUALITY

D. SHARING QUALITY TIME 

Companionship

Enjoying being together

E. PERSONAL  LINKAGES 

Emotional and feeling linkages
Awareness or integrated linkage
Non-sexual intimacy (both able to be vulnerable together and honest and open with each other in many different areas)
Energetic linkage
Intuitive linkage
Heart to heart (unconditional loving) linkages
 

F. PHYSICAL LINKING

Shared activities (the active, doing things together linkages)
Physical connecting, touching, hugs 

G. THE MIND CONNECTION.

Shared interests (the “interested together” linkages)
Both enjoy sharing ideas, thoughts, information and opinions
Positive support , kindness and empathy, loyalty
Both are committed to maintaining the friendship (may be some hard work involved)
Supporting, honouring and aiding each other's personal growth  

H. PROBLEM SOLVING AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION (a very special linkage)
When a problem surfaces, the friends find ways to resolve the problem  that are
comfortable for both, work for both, are fair and balanced, and moderate.
Little or no conflict over power and control issues.

Shared problem solving and decision making with open and honest discussion

I. SEXUALITY and INTIMACY
Non-ph
ysical intimacy (sharing private or personal sexual information but not acting it out)
Intimate sexual linkage (if part of deeper relationships)

Intellectual sexual linkage (if part of deeper relationship) the “erotic mind” connection

J.  SHARING GIFTS
Exchanging gifts (the kind you buy or make)

Exchanging deeper gifts (what you bring into a relationship that helps it grow. There are some interesting notes about this at the foot of this page)

Unconditional financial assistance (no strings attached)

K. SHARING AND CARING ACTS OF SERVICE

Caring, supporting and nurturing each other (but not caretaking)
Co
-operation and compromise when resolving problems

L. SPIRITUAL LINKAGE
Shared spiritual beliefs
Shared spiritual experiences
Shared spiritual activities

M.  SHARED LIFESTYLE 

N. COMMITMENT TO MAINTAINING THE FRIENDSHIP/ RELATIONSHIP
Commitment to work on strengthening the friendship/relationship
Commitment by both not to “pull the pin” on the friendship/relationship without talking about it first

These are only the headings. For more detailed notes on each heading  go to  More about the love languages - detailed notes  including notes on How a relationship is enhanced by the gifts we bring  ....

People tell me the list above is often used as a way to make it easier for people who are feeling 'not linked' or  ‘not loved’ (in the particular ways they would like) to talk about this with their partner, but I hope that it may also serve as a way for those in love to affirm their joy about just how many ways they feel linked and loved. 

You might also like to read also other notes about relationships on the pages More about love and linking. Topics include "Why you need to love yourself first;  The Love ratio...."Measuring"  a relationship; The 90/5/5 rule;

For  each connection for each kind of linkage, there can be varying levels of personal or impersonal connections, which adds to the complexity. Go to  Choosing personal and impersonal channels and  Personal and impersonal styles in a relationship

There are many more pages on relationships if you go to Making relationships work

DIFFERENT WAYS TO BLOCK  LOVE, LIKING, LINKING AND FRIENDSHIP

It's sad to compare what we do when we are unhappy or worried about things going wrong in a friendship or relationship. Often, we start making lists of things we dislike about the other person. Usually the next step is to tell the other person what we have on our list.

Unfortunately this is almost the direct opposite of the "languages of love and friendship" described above, so it can have a powerfully severe and negative effect on the future of the relationship. For example:

 
1. Judgment, criticism and withdrawal of appreciation
2. Distrust and/ or untrustworthiness
3. Limiting or loss of respect for the other person’s freedom and individuality

4. Avoiding quality time  together

5. Losing personal  linkages 

6. Less physical linking, touch
7. Less sharing ideas, thoughts, information and opinions, limited joint  problem solving
8. Reduced  sexuality (if previously a positive part of the relationship

9. Less sharing of gifts, reduced shared acts of service
10. Serious problems resolving conflict or trying to solve problems; increased conflict over power and control issues
11  Loss of shared lifestyle 

A SUCCESSFUL FRIENDSHIP IS ENHANCED BY THE GIFTS WE BRING

There are some special gifts that, if we are able to bring them to the friendship will enhance it and give it an opportunity to grow:

1.            The gift of being aware of who we really are (and liking ourselves as we are)

2.            The gift of flexibility, of being able to ‘stand between opposites’

3.            The gift of having a good friendship with ourself and our sub-personalities (inner selves)

4.            The gift of having regular contact and two-way communication with our own inner child.

5.            The gift of experiencing our own personal growth of whatever kind, within the friendship and knowing that we are growing  as a direct result of that friendship.

More The gifts of Friendships and relationships


I'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU ABOUT LOVE ....
As I listen to people who tell me they feel ‘loved’ or ‘not loved’ I notice many differences in what helps different people feel more or less "loved" or "not loved"

I am still writing these notes, so if you can  help me by adding some more suggestions (the ones that matter most for you) please e-mail me with your special ‘thing’  nutting@growingaware.com


Quote from ‘Crimes and Misdemeanours’ Script by Woody Allen. In the movie, one of the fictional characters, Professor Louis Levy, explains:

......  what we are aiming at when we are in love is a very strange paradox. The paradox consists of the fact that when we fall in love we are seeking to re-find some or all of the people to whom we were attached as children.

On the other hand we also ask our new beloved to correct all the wrongs that these earlier parents and siblings inflicted on us.

So that Love contains in it the contradiction that we attempt to return to the past and (at the same time) we are attempting to undo the past.

Woody Allen

******************

In a relationship we may be desperately chasing after reminders of things we want to forget from our childhood. We may be almost as busy in the same relationship, avoiding the gifts we missed out on as children

Other pages:

Making Your Relationships Work - What is Love? What is commitment? What is the difference ?

Choosing Between Personal and Impersonal Channels -

Personal and impersonal styles in a relationship

The fable of the two codependents


Feedback - please e-mail  me John Bligh Nutting -   at   nutting@growingaware.com


Copyright © John Nutting 1996- - 2008  and   ©   GROWING AWARENESS  1996- - 2008  All rights reserved World Wide   LAST UPDATE  Saturday, 09 May 2009 21:12

Don't worry about these copyright notices at the foot of each page. It just means I want to hang on to legal ownership of what I write for use in future books.  Until that day, please feel free to copy and even adapt them for your own use and for friends as long as you acknowledge me as the author and owner of the copyright and you don't charge anyone for them. If you want to use them professionally or commercially (charge a fee for them) or for clients, each sheet you hand out must include full acknowledgment of copyright ownership as above and if  you are benefiting as a result, I would appreciate an appropriate sharing.

RETURN TO HOME PAGE

Hit Counter

 

Hit Counter