Let’s talk about friendship!
I have always thought that I was weird because I’m not big on hanging out or talking a lot. I’ve never had “traditional” friendships and when I try, I just feel awkward. BUT I’ve discovered that there are people like me! Maybe they have social anxiety, are introverts, are neurodivergent, or just relate differently.
There are things that should be part of every friendship: respect, being there when you need someone, and loving and supporting them.
But we each show (and receive!) that love in a lot of different ways. Check out the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, it explains it so well.
I wanted to kind of translate some of that to friendship love languages.
You feel loved when you receive (or give) gifts to your friends. It can be simple things like your friend sharing their food with you or getting a handmade gift. The gift-giving friend is the one that always gives you the best birthday gifts, brings you souviners back from trips and is always lending you, or giving you, things that you need.
What hurts them: Not acknowledging the things they send you, even little things like songs, memes, TikToks, etc. Not using or appreciating handmade gifts. Forgetting important occasions like birthdays.
This one is the one we see on TV in traditional friendships. Someone to hang out with, talk on the phone with and someone who drops by and spends time binge-watching your favorite shows together. You feel the most connected to the friendship when you’re engaged in something together.
What hurts them: Canceling plans without explanation. Forgetting to text back. Ignoring phone calls. Not being able to spend any time together.
Words of Affirmation
This love language is all about hearing that you are loved and appreciated and that your friendship matters. You want to receive advice when you’re talking about a problem. You want someone who hypes you up when you’re feeling down and says just the right thing when you’re feeling defeated. It helps if they check up on you too!
What hurts them: Not getting a lot of feedback. Not feeling supported in your hobbies and endeavors. Feeling like you are a bother.
Holding space is about providing the space of friendship for someone who might not always be physically or socially present. It’s okay if there’s a lapse in texting. You don’t need to talk on the phone or communicate frequently. You still feel close even if you aren’t hanging out or seeing each other. A lot of introverts fall into this category!
What hurts them: Feeling pressured to be more social. Unexpected calls or visits. Feeling like they are not good enough.
My Friendship Love Language is Holding Space.
It’s totally cool if you don’t answer my text for two weeks (as long as it’s not an emergency! ) we don’t have to hang out, it doesn’t even matter if we live in the same area and I haven’t seen you in three years, there really isn’t a depreciation of the friendship, if you need me, I will 100% be there. That’s also the kind of friendships I prefer!
But my friend LZ is all about Quality Time, he wants to have long text conversations and hang out. If I didn’t respond to his texts for weeks, it would hurt his feelings. We both understand how the other person is and that gives us the ability to be mindful of the other person and their needs. So when he texts, I respond even though it might not be immediately.
That’s why I love things like the 5 Love Languages and why I created this because it gives us a clear way to show other people how we want to be loved and vice versa.
Check out my take on the self-love languages too!