How To Feel Happier In The Long Run By Doing What Doesn't Come Naturally

>> Friday

Sometimes when I read something good, I copy it and post it. I have a bulletin board for just that purpose, and I always have something new on the board to re-read (and hopefully eventually sink in). One such nugget I've had around a long time is a page from the book, The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.

The basic premise of the book is that some people will only feel loved if they are physically touched, while for others a hug doesn't do much but it really makes them feel loved when someone says it. The author, Gary Chapman, identifies five different "love languages:" physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, and quality time. Read more about it here: Language Of Love.

The page I copied and have posted on my bulletin board so many times is about a conversation Chapman has with one of his clients. The client basically says, "Yes, I understand that my spouse's love language is physical touch, but I was never hugged as a child and it's not my language. I'm not a toucher."

I love Chapman's response: "Do you have two hands?" He instructs the client to put his hands together and then imagine his spouse in between. "I'll bet if you hug your spouse three thousand times," he says, "it will begin to feel more comfortable."

Comfort isn't the point, anyway. Love is a verb. It's something you do. Specifically, it's something you do for someone else. We do things all day long that don't come "naturally." And we do it because we want the result. We do it because it's worthwhile.

One of the most important things you can do to raise your mood in the long run is improve the quality of your most important relationships. Do something that brings you closer. Do something that makes you feel more affection for each other. Do something for the other person. And ideally, do something that the other person will really appreciate.

What a wife will appreciate may not be what comes naturally for the husband. It doesn't matter. Does he love her? Does he want her to know and feel his love? Then he should think in terms of what she will appreciate rather than what he would appreciate if she did it for him, or what feels most natural to him.

After awhile, it will come more naturally for him, and he may eventually even like it. But that's not as important as it seems.

Think of someone you love. Think of one specific person. Have they ever requested something that you have ignored? Have they ever hinted at something they would like, but since you aren't interested, you have shined it on? You could make a huge difference in your relationship to reconsider. Do a little of what doesn't come naturally and see what happens. It could make both of you happier.


Sarah K. 10:17 AM  

This is such a good reminder. I was just thinking that I needed to focus on my hubby a little bit more. This post came at just the right time!


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