Surviving having ALL the feelings.

17 November 2017

Yesterday I talked a little about having all the feelings and even feeling feelings about having feelings, as well as trying to get better at listening to myself and understanding these emotions better. A lot of times those self-help things just sound super froufrou and honestly sometimes just like a load of steaming crap. However, these are some things I’ve found helping me out lately.

So maybe there is a little truth to those “love languages.”

If you google them, you can find all sorts of books and online quizzes and whatever if you haven’t already looked into them. My cousin used them with her folks to help repair communication in their relationship, and my stepmom has even used them to try to help build understanding with one of my younger sisters. They’re not a cure or even really a bandaid. They’re a tool. Think of them sort of like glasses, a new understanding or lens for which you can try to see the relationships around you.

For me I show love — or appreciation, fondness, friendship, whatever warm-fuzzy emotion you want — through physical touch, gifts, and acts of service.

The first time one of my close twitch friends met me IRL, he laughed, “aren’t you friendly?” I mean, yeah. If you get into this “inner circle” of trust with me, yes, I will likely be pretty physical with you. I used to actually be more hug-y and whatnot, but over the years a less and less. But yes, there are those select very few who there’s just this level of comfort and I’m completely ok being physical with.

The next two I definitely kind of get from my dad. I like being that person who makes the connections between people and just can hook people up with things. So that comes through gifts and acts of service. However, I will admit, which may also come from my dad, sometimes my talk is bigger than my followthrough. So I’m trying to be careful about saying I’ll do things for people and just not actually doing them. You can also see these aspects manifest in other areas of my life: I love being support.

But beyond knowing how you show affection… it’s very important to know how you receive it. Those 5 love languages aren’t equal. And they vary between people and can vary between phases of your life.

Learning that I need words of affirmation along with touch and quality time was hugely important. A lot of the pain and frustrated emotions I’d felt over the past few months has been because though I was receiving affection it wasn’t in one of those languages and thus I was having a hard time feeling that affection. Understanding what I need as well as how others give means that I can start finding balance between those. It’s not always easy — and there’s still miscommunications. But it is helping. So while I may not instantly feel that affection, I do know it’s there. (You also have to count in that some people have different “main” love languages for different groups of people — which, yeah, makes interpreting them a little harder. But if you’re patient, you can find them.)

So I’m trying to take steps back every now and then and really examine what is going on when I start having ALL THE EMOTIONS. Thankfully I have some friends who I can talk through a lot of these things as well. Their outside view, and sometimes just forcing myself to put those things all in words, has really been helpful at seeing the bigger picture and understanding why I’m feeling what I’m feeling.

I joke a lot about how in your 30s you really learn when to give fucks and when not — but a lot of that is also just becoming just more aware and more comfortable with yourself in certain ways. And all that up there is really how I’ve been sort of re-settling down into just being me. My feelings are valid, and I can and should have them — it’s just nice to have a somewhat better understanding of them.

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