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?