Readers, Writers, and Love

I wouldn’t say that I enjoy studying psychology, but I do enjoy learning about what make people tick. I love learning about personality styles, strengths, and love languages–especially love languages. I think that even if you don’t know someone’s personality type, you can get along with that person so much better simply by knowing what his or her love language. I believe that the concept of love languages operates in more ways than just how to show love to a significant other. That’s obvious. I believe that the love languages are in operation in every aspect of our lives, but some more than others. I was thinking about you–my readers–and the comments you make and myself when I am in reader mode. The question in my mind was could there be a direct correlation between a reader’s love language and how we respond to the work of a writer?

Most people have one dominate love language. That simply means that it ranks higher than the other four on whatever scale the test uses. The other four can be strong as well, but usually one of them is always in operation. I am what I like to call “bi-lingual” when it comes to the love languages. I’m sure there are many people out there like me. Whenever I’ve taken tests, I get similar results each time: two dominate languages that are almost neck and neck on the scale. If the scale is numbers, there’ll be a one point difference. If it’s a graph, the points will be almost on the same line. Most of the time, when I think about myself, I can’t decide which one is more important to me–although, today I’ve chosen one. My two dominate languages are quality time and words of affirmation. The loner in me has been taking charge for a while now, so as of this moment, I am going to say that words of affirmation is the more dominant of my two alpha languages.

When I read something I like, if I can comment on it, I will…oftentimes with vigor…and long wind. I feel compelled to tell the writer how I feel about it. Some people who read my work are the same way, but many readers aren’t. It doesn’t bother me. I know for a fact that only a small percentage of people within a community will be active while everyone else lurks. (do a search on the 1% Rule in Internet culture…it’s true!) Some readers will respond to my comments with like enthusiasm while others simply acknowledge it either non-verbally or with a “like.” All of the above is ok, and I never gave it a second thought until now. As I mentioned above, I believe that a person’s love language is in operation in everything a person does. If that is true, then love languages affect if/how a reader will respond to a writer.

I love words. I love to play with them and form them into something beautiful. I also love to wield them as weapons when I need to. I sincerely try not to use words to tear down because I don’t enjoy using something I love in that way. However, sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way. When I love something, I use my words to describe it amorously whether I’m speaking or writing about it. So, in terms of the love languages, I suppose I could say of myself that I comment because I love. Because love languages are about giving and receiving love, I love it when I receive comments and look forward to them every day. Now, that is not to say that on the days when I don’t receive comments I think that no one loves me. That’s irrational. We always tend to think that our worldview is normal, and everyone thinks (or should think) like we do. In the world of love languages, because I comment because I love, naturally I think that you comment because you love too. That is what makes hearing from my readers extra special.

I find that I have a few blogs that I must read no matter what as soon as there is something new available to read. Other blogs I’ll read faithfully but don’t have that sense of urgency with them either because I have to be in a certain mindset to read the content, or I just want to binge on it. All in all, with everything I read, I feel compelled to keep up even when I get behind. Why? Many people would just skip the content. Could this be my quality time language in operation? If so, could it be because I feel like if I stop spending time at said blog, the writer will feel I don’t love her anymore? Sometimes, even if I don’t read an entire post for whatever reason, I’ll still click Like just to let the writer know that I was there. So far, I think my theory is holding up!

I am part of an amazing community of writers. The way we support and inspire each other is something to behold. Not only are all of us writers, but also we are readers of each other’s works. It’s awesome to see the different personalities in this group especially because it is online. We often pose questions to the group and ask for advice. Some people respond and some don’t. Naturally, not everyone will be able to answer questions or offer advice; But, I wonder if the ones that are frequently willing to help do so because of the acts of service love language. Some people go above and beyond to do things that will help others while the rest of us may give a simple response. Sometimes, if I know something or can do something for someone, I decide against it because it is too much work.

Another love language is physical touch. Naturally, in romantic relationships, many men find this to be their dominate language. However, because we’re talking about writing (and most of my active readers are women), I wonder if there is a way that we can link this language into the behavior of readers. Sometimes people will leave comments that baffle me. Not because they are confusing, but because the perspective is completely different from my own. For example, I’ll write something that was not intended to evoke emotions or any type of response. However, some people will respond and say that they were deeply moved or they felt it, and I’m like, “You felt that from this? Ok! Whatever floats your boat! lol” This one may be a bit of a stretch, but maybe it works.

Finally, we have receiving gifts. This one goes last because it is my least favorite, and I’m having a hard time relating it to this subject. I like receiving gifts, but they aren’t required. It’s also hard for me to give gifts because, when I do give someone a gift, I want it to be meaningful. It takes me a while to find something that says either, “I saw this and thought of you,” or, “This is new, but I think you’ll love it.” As of late, my gifts have mostly said, “I have no idea what to give you, but here is something that I find great pleasure in, and I hope you will too.” For the past two or three years, I’ve been giving people nice journals in hopes they will begin writing. 🙂 Anyway, there is one person in the aforementioned writer’s community who always talks about our writing being gifts to our readers. I wonder if she has the gifts love language. If she believes that her own writing is a gift to her readers, then she definitely spends time constantly showering her readers with gifts with the frequency at which she writes. I notice that people who have this love language love to give gifts almost as much as they love receiving them. Just a thought.

There you have my theory on love languages, reading, and writing. If you know your love language(s), what do you think? Do you agree?

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23 thoughts on “Readers, Writers, and Love”

  • Wow! This is a wonderful way to look at our relationships within the writing community and the connections we’ve all built with each other.

    As we discussed, my other thing would be that the ‘gift’ we offer people, too, could be our ability to be present when we’re reading a post–fully present to offer a meaningful comment to the best of our ability. I love to just be able to focus on the story in front of me and find one or two things I connected with, and then be able to offer that to the writer. I think it really makes for a better connection. I know it doesn’t always happen, but that’s what I thought of as something I can offer a writer as their reader.

    I really do love this and it is in my head now. I feel drawn to think about how I offer my love to writers in our community and how I can be more mindful when I read and comment.

    Thank you for this gesture of love!

    • Wow! The gift of my attention…hadn’t thought of that. Time is precious, so yeah I suppose it is special that we choose to read something. Nice.

  • I love this post so much. When you talked about commenting on people’s blogs, it made me sit back and think about the title of this post, “READERS, WRITERS, AND LOVE.” I feel compelled to comment on people’s blogs because I want them to know that they are appreciated. So much heart goes into writing and I want the writer to know that I appreciate their hard work, I want to validate and acknowledge their work with leaving a positive and uplifting comment. I took the Love Language quiz and it turns out mine is physical touch. Since I can’t actually show my enthusiasm when someone posts by hugging them and showing them with my touch how great their post is, I try to touch with words from the heart and leave comments. I want people to feel loved, appreciated, and encouraged. With that said, know that I am giving you hugs of excitement with your amazing and insightful post today. You already know I adore and thoroughly enjoy your work, but I feel like it can’t be said enough. Great post today. 🙂

  • My dominant love language is physical touch, with gift giving as a close second. I think you really nailed them from a readers-and-writers perspective! I do often find myself reading some of the more profound SimLit and sitting back thinking, “Wow. I really FELT that — that line really, really hit me. Like, that’s going to change my life.” That’s my favorite kind of SimLit, but I also enjoy the perhaps less “deep” but more frequently updated works as well, because like you said — being given daily, entertaining updates is a gift. It’s like Christmas morning every morning for me when I get my email and have notifications for my favorite daily blogs. Sometimes I do even see my writing as a “gift” for others — being so Noncommittal, sometimes that’s the only thing that keep my stories going — I feel compelled to keep “giving” to my readers.

    This post was just so insightful — I loved it! I’m usually a lurker, because ‘words of affirmation’ is pretty low on my list (total lonerSim…sometimes I feel like I just don’t have the words to describe how I feel…etc.), but it’s good to know who are the people whose language is words of affirmation. The whole point of the love languages thing is to know your friends/families/partners/etc.’s love languages so you can love them in the way they want to be loved, and in turn, they can do the same for you. I’ll try a little harder to be less of a lurker. 😉

  • This is so awesome, Jes! What a gift! LOL! Seriously, though, and sincerely, I feel such joy and deep appreciation of writers’ words–I also know how much time and creative energy it takes to share–and so I genuinely feel deep gratitude for all of this SimLit and other sharing that we get–for free! As an avid bookworm, I pay to read. And there’s all these wonderful stories and insights that bring pleasure, joy, compassion, and that sometimes even change our perspective–and hence our lives–and it is a gift from writer to the reader. Now that’s love! <3

    (And thank you.)

  • This was great! I think for me I have an even balance of ‘Acts of Service’ and ‘Gift Giving’. I’m so slow in getting to every ones stories that I try and do other things to make up for it. I do however make sure that when I do get to a story, I at least hit the like button, and commenting if I have time.

    I love helping fellow simmers find CC that can help strengthen their story, I will go out of my way to do so – searching for sometimes an hour or so to get every little piece I can think of. If I know of a solution to a problem that someone in the forums have I’ll help out, dropping what I’m doing to do so. Everyone deserves to be on an even playing field, and if what I know or what I saw can help with that then I am only too happy to help.

    Everything that I make in the game, be it a CC-Free house, a sim, a CC heavy lot or a range of CC, I freely share with the community (except Shaela’s suit of armour because that’s hers). I firmly believe that sharing is caring, if I’m building a lot with CC, I link each CC item I use and tag the creator, (thus giving them a gift of more traffic for their CC).

    If we were out in the real world, I would say that ‘Acts of Service’ would be my dominant language. I served in many trainer type roles when I was working, and I loved to see people grow into competent workers.

    Thanks for the cool post Jess!

  • I rarely comment on things because I’m usually a shy lurker that just hits the like button but after reading this…maybe I should comment more often: whether it be love or feedback.

  • I’m super encouraged by this! And this is not alien to me, love languages are something that I’ve heard of growing up in church. I haven’t had the opportunity to evaluate this for real though, but from a cursory inspection of myself and my tendencies, I think I’m similar to you – words of affirmation, with time as a close second. I’m the type who reads and comments and responds on the forum a lot more than I actually write anything myself. And I love devoting time to the ones I care for. At the same time, I really, really enjoy gift-giving: it’s the best thing to give someone something that you know he or she would love! Ultimately though, I think words of affirmation is my dominant language, since I do it all the time, even on Facebook and in real life.

    Also, I love reading everyone’s comments on this post. Thank you, Jes, for giving us a chance to reflect on ourselves, and how we can use our love language to better each other’s lives a bit more every day 🙂

  • Thank you so much for writing this, it’s never occurred to me to think about love languages. Mine is definitely physical touch, I’m not a hugely chatty person but I am quite touchy feely (not necessarily in a romantic way). I wonder how that translates into my comments on the blogs I read..

    I think I’m more inclined to leave a comment on a blog I frequent often rather than a one off. Similarly, I’m always overjoyed with any comments, but I always look forward to comments by regular readers more – to see if they’re still enjoying the direction the story is taking, I suppose? I often find myself posting an update and wondering how specific readers are going to react to it.

    But then of course from the stats I know that the vast majority of readers do not comment in any way, but they are returning visitors. Perhaps it’s worth for me to not forget about their reactions – while not worded, there must be some sort of reaction for them to come back (and equally, wanting to ditch my blog forever!).

  • Very insightful, to apply the love languages to this blogging community. I hadn’t thought about the aspect of physical touch; it makes sense that language like “I felt moved,” may be that person trying to respond in an environment where you can’t use that language literally. Whatever your love language, you are a very observant and perceptive writer, as you read not only everyone’s blog but also the comments.

    • Thanks, Shannon! I enjoyed doing this! I always say that I write for myself, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy the comments 🙂

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