This is a guest post for Skills You Need.
Want to contribute? Find out how.
15 Ways to Show Your Love
I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes; I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.
Are you showing your love fearlessly and selflessly? If not, what is stopping you?
Most people don’t show their love because they are afraid of being seen as vulnerable, and regard love and emotions as a weakness not a strength.
Listen! It is true: love does make you vulnerable and showing your love is, indeed, a risky action because you never know what will happen in the future.
However, remind yourself that love responds best to love. Plus, you have so many things (and people) to lose if you allow yourself to appear cold and unemotional. Is it not true?
Take a bit of a risk, allow yourself to be vulnerable sometimes, and show your love because most times you win!
Here are 15 safe ways to show your love:
People want and crave to be heard. To have a voice and a saying. Don’t you?
When you listen, you make the other person feel seen and understood, accounted for and accepted.
Take some time to brush up on your Listening Skills
2. Complain without accusing
When you don’t like something, talk about that something and not about the person causing it (your loved one).
As an example: “Darling, those clothes on the floor give a headache. What could we do about it?” The attention is on the clothes and not the person causing the mess.
3. Keep your promise
Did you notice that your promises are not created equal? That you tend to go above and beyond to keep your promises to those you love, and merely try when it comes to other people?
It is not about being dishonest, but the fact is that you have limited time and resources and, as is only natural, prioritize those you love ahead of those you don’t.
4. Answer without arguing
Learn how to be assertive and avoid getting into unnecessary disputes, fights, and conflicts. Once you yell at the person you love, you set a precedent that opens the door to unpleasant interactions.
Learn more about assertiveness.
5. Share without expectations
Share and offer things without expecting anything in return. Do it only for the pleasure of being altruistic and the good feelings the other person feels.
Yes, altruism is to selfishness as courage is to fear. However, as long as both parties are gaining something from it, your altruism is perceived as such, and there is nothing deceitful about it. That is how a good relationship works: it is a two-way street.
6. Show trust
If you know a person that has never told a lie, the whole world wants to meet him/her!
Show trust even though sometimes you know you’ve been lied to. It happens! Remind yourself that you are not perfect either and when you love someone they deserve a chance to redeem themselves in front of you.
I’m not saying to offer your trust to a habitual liar… I mean, you can trust that person: you can trust the fact that, sooner or later they will lie to you again.
Trusting people is not only about believing that they are telling you the truth; and when it comes to relationships offering your trust is more showing that you are confident about your loved one’s abilities, skills, character traits, potential, and, talents.
Is there anything more painful when you need to overcome an obstacle than seeing your loved ones having no trust that you can do it? Doesn’t the obstacle feel twice as big?
Learn more about the importance of trustworthiness and conscientiousness.
7. Make people feel important
In an ocean of seven billion people, most of us desire to be acknowledged and appreciated as an individual. We want to feel important, to be less anonymous and more accounted for. We want to feel useful and loved for what we have to offer.
8. Make concessions
Making concessions is proving to the other party that you care more about them rather than caring about your vanity or desire to be right or winning.
Again, concessions are a two-way street: “You give me a bit more on that issue, I give you something more on something else.” If you are the only one giving in, there is no relationship.
9. Be tolerant
Tolerance starts with yourself: be less self-conscious and more self-compassionate. No one is perfect! Are you making a mistake? Get up and try again in a different way.
Being tolerant to those you love means to give them the opportunity to redeem themselves; give them the chance to try again; empower them with the knowledge of other options to take.
10. Get personal
My father told me: “Don’t trust people who don’t talk about themselves because you never know what and how they are thinking and behaving.”
11. Make yourself useful
When those you love are asking for your help, take it as an opportunity to be useful, to show your love and care and not as an inconvenience.
Show your loved ones that you care that much that you are willing to give up on your comfort and interest and to help them.
12. Maintain eye contact
When your eyes are somewhere else, the message you are sending is that your attention is divided between them and who knows what else.
The other person feels as if they are not important to you; therefore, you become less important to them. Remind yourself that people will like you more when they love how they see themselves in your eyes.
13. Live new experiences together
Most relationships, even those filled with love, mutual respect, and understanding, need a bit of spicing up from time to time to get out of the routine of everyday life.
Getting involved in new experiences together creates excitement in the relationship; the same type of excitement as at the beginning. It takes you out of monotony and allows you to rediscover each other in a pleasant and beneficial way.
“I never thought you could dance like that!”
Living new experiences together is not only a way of rediscovering each other but also linking (anchoring) the relationship to pleasant moments and feelings, creating new memories that help you both clearly see your life passing, so that the days don’t look the same and you feel happier and more fulfilled.
14. Make surprises
As with new experiences, surprises spice things up, takes you out of monotony and routine, and make the other person feel special, interesting, and worthy of your attention and love.
15. Accept doing things that your loved one enjoys
Show interest and acceptance for what your loved one is passionate about. Don’t dismiss it as nothing, stupid or silly, even if you don’t get what is the fun in it is.
Did you know that one of the most mentioned reasons for a breakup is this one: “We never did anything together”? Or “She/he never showed any interest in what I’m doing or what I like”?
Remember that love is priceless and the jewel of your life. Show your love without fear because even if, from time to time, you are disappointed, you will more often be rewarded.
I haven’t mentioned so far (because it is implied), that you should not only show your love but say it as well.
“My mother never said to me “I love you.” Maybe she did... I don’t know; she never told me.”
Don’t leave your loved ones in doubt.
Don’t expect people to know just because you think you are demonstrating it through your behavior; people need to hear it.
When you say “I love you” it is the ultimate validation and confirmation of their feelings about your actions; it is like an unwritten contract of affection between two people.
About the Author
Carmen Jacob is the creator of several self-improvement programs, courses, and books, which focus on using what you already have to improve your life and the life of those around you.
Her Gravatar email is firstname.lastname@example.org.