Wednesday, February 23

Me & Love Languages: Gifts

The love language of gifts is what keeps Hallmark, 1800Flowers, and most chocolate stores in business. But it extends beyond simply wanting to receive gifts; it is focused more on the thought behind it - hence "it's the thought that (really) counts." The greatest way to say I love you is to find something perfect for them. And the worst way is to just pick something up at an airport gift shop, or not bring anything at all.

I'm not a gift person. It probably comes from living a somewhat monastic life, combined with carryovers from my childhood, when I didn't think I was ever worth the gifts I received. Today gifts make me feel slightly uncomfortable, since I have no idea how I'm supposed to feel about them except gratitude... and since I don't know how to reciprocate in any meaningful way... which makes living with gift-givers in my life horrendously complex. To make things easier, I try to figure out who needs gifts and leave myself reminders to get them things, but often I'm really bad at interpreting others' needs, and I end up giving a really nice gift to someone who would rather I not give them one, and not even giving anything to the person who needed and wanted it most.

In recent years, I've begun to learn to appreciate the gestures of gift-givers, but I still would be blissfully marvelous if I never got anything from anyone again. As I said above, I'm learning to give gifts, slowly... with the help of other gift-givers... so hopefully I won't be permanently Deaf and mute in this love language.

Receiving: None - I sometimes don't even realize when someone has given me a gift. And even though I will always remember they gave it to me, it doesn't fill me with a sense of being loved, yet. I think I'm moving in that direction, though - at least to be able to appreciate gifts.

Giving: Awful - I really am getting better, I think. But I still stink at gift-giving and even at determining who to give gifts to. Right now I try to find social "requirements" that I can fit gifts inside to take away my trepidation that gifts would be misconstrued or make situations awkward.

Different for guys? No - if a guy gives me something I still feel nothing. That's sort of lame now that I think about it - he could totally be showing love and I would be oblivious. I have people in my life who are like that.

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