5 love languages touch

High Fives all around

Touch can ease anxiety. Give someone around you a high five just for being their awesome self. They’ll love the compliment of a high five and the actual feel of a high five will reinforce the good feelings to both of you.

5 love languages quality time

Play kick the can

Find someone to play kick the can with you. It will get you outside. It will get you talking. It will get you interacting with another person. This is considered quality time. “Some absence makes the heart grow fonder” has another line, “too much makes the heart start to wander”. Give someone your undivided attention for as little as 2 minutes and they’ll remember you fondly.

5 love languages gifts

Give something out of the blue

Gifts do not have to be expensive to make the receiver happy. They can be as seemingly insignificant as a pebble you saw on a walk while you were thinking of them. Tell the person you were thinking of them when this pebble caught your eye. Tell them you put it in your pocket or carried it in your hand and every time you felt the pebble, you were reminded of them. The receiver might not know how to react to being given a pebble, but you’re likely to see the pebble sitting somewhere as thing of importance if the receiver loves gifts.

Giving gifts feels just as good as receiving gifts. The act of giving can help reduce your own anxiety by creating connection with someone.

environmental words of affirmation

Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter. It’s not my protest of the month punch card with a soon free “not a racist” trading card. It’s a fact that it sucks to be black in America. They can’t escape how they are treated, even for 10 minutes a day. Instead, they had to develop the emotionally thick skin to walk around as they are in a society that says they’re wrong to be how they were born. Of course that would be exhausting. Of course that would be rage-inducing. Of course that would cause anxiety. Of course they would seek each other and gather for comfort. Of course they would create art to express their lived experiences and emotions. Of course they would gather and call out the wrongs done against them. Of course they would try to better their situation peacefully. Of course they would escalate when peaceful tactics didn’t work. Of course they would feel irritated that the group of people oppressing them is co-opting their art to look cool. Of course they would feel sadness when they see a person clutch belongings out of racist fear. Of course they would. You would, too. Only a coward would deny it.

I am surrounded by a lot of highly intelligent people. The kind that want to see the facts before they agree to any statement or at least a thoughtful question that makes them think. Let’s see if this one works: If given the opportunity to do your life over and moving the starting point to today, would you want to be a black person living in America? Once you finished the whole life, you’d be able to come back to this one. Unless we make some major changes in society, I can tell you, that no, I would not want to be black.

For the people saying blue lives matter: Police officer is a job. If a person loses their job, they can get another job. If a person is murdered, they can’t get another life. This isn’t Mario.

For the people saying all lives matter: your life doesn’t matter a lick. If the community isn’t willing to say that black lives matter, what’s stopping them from later deciding that your life doesn’t matter. Remember, Italians and Irish people weren’t white. What’s stopping them from getting demoted, again?

So, just who the heck do I think I am and why do I think I get a voice in this? I’m adopted. It was a closed adoption, meaning I had no contact with my birth-parents until we connected in my 30s. Not everyone in the adoptive family, but enough of the family and family-friends, told me to be grateful that I was adopted into the family. That I should be grateful I was given more opportunities. To be grateful I was given anything. They had no way of knowing what reasons my birth-parents’ had for placing me. They said that had I been adopted into their particular families I would have been expected to do more to earn my keep – like a servant, from the sounds of things. My parents, thank the powers that be, never said that and were quick to correct others when they caught them. I still heard the words. I still felt the words. I was and am grateful that I was adopted into my family but not because I was told to be. I am grateful because my parents earned that respect. So what does this have to do with Black Lives Matter? “If you don’t love America, go home to your country ” sounds similar to “if you’re mad at your mom can’t you go back to your real mom?” Also, how can they go back to their origin country if the records were that shoddy? You wouldn’t believe the hoops I jumped through to find my birth story. You wouldn’t believe the hoops that a black person has to leap through to find their family’s origin beyond Emancipation. “Blacks should be grateful for…” sounds a lot like “You should be grateful you were adopted”. Never mind that the event/the color of a person’s skin was nothing anyone can control. Am I equating being adopted with being black? Not in the slightest. Most people wouldn’t know I’m adopted unless I told them. I don’t think many black people have to announce they’re black to others all that often. That tiniest not-even-a-hair-width of overlap, though, is more than enough to see we’re, as a society, mistreating an entire group of people. The best way to solve that is to vote, be active in your community, and to call out bullshit.

5 love languages words of affirmation

Talk to someone

You can type to them if you’re not feeling up to carrying a conversation in real time. We’re dealing with your anxiety. Practicing words of affirmation with someone will help them learn how to talk to you, as well. Most people will reflect how we talk to them. Since you can read, you’re probably old enough that most of the people in your life have some history with you. By choosing to reach out, connect, and practice your words of affirmation on that person, they will start to reflect positively back to you.

What if they start a fight

Keep your words kind. If the topic moves to one that has contention in it, let the other person make their comment without joining the argument.You’ll feel your anxiety lift a little when you give yourself permission to not fight. You can say you disagree without being mean. Your anxiety will ease a little with being honest and kind.You can (genuinely) thank them for giving you further insight into their core beliefs. If they are being abusive (if you’re about to cry or find yourself about to play blame games, their words probably are), then tell them you are sorry your reached out to them at a bad time and that you hope the next time you connect it will be better and end the conversation politely. The point is to connect, however briefly, with someone each day.

If they’re dealing with something negative
If they say something negative, acknowledge it and spin it positively. Your words should affirm their state of mind and help them feel better about themselves. Something like, “Yes, the pandemic is really difficult to ride through. You’re making it look easy by posting fun things on social media.” Or maybe, “I’m really impressed with how you’re juggling parenting and working during this time. It sounds like it’s difficult but you’re doing an amazing job.”
Affirming others’ states of being and adding the genuine compliment helps your own state of being improve. It’s also practice for how you talk to yourself.

But what if you don’t have a genuine compliment? Affirm their state of being and ask what their next steps to handle it are. Don’t give a fake compliment. It feels gross to say them and even worse if they find out.

5 love languages acts of services environmental

Take out the trash

Removing the trash from the home is a great way to feel less cluttered. It also shows we care about someone else’s well being. Showing you care about someone else by doing a thing they don’t like to do so they don’t have to do it will relieve both their anxiety and yours.