Friday, January 16, 2009

I Have Always Depended on the Kindness of Strangers

Without overstating things, I am a bit of an ingrate. I mean, how exactly does one ever fully convey to someone else the gratitude they feel for a kindness bestowed upon them?

Over the last few months, I have become highly aware of my highly inefficient displays of gratitude.

Here's the thing: My primary love languages are Encouraging Words and Physical Touch, with Quality Time as a close third. I love to be verbally praised and I love to be hugged and high-fived. Better yet if we can do those things while having a deep heart to heart about how life is going. And I love doing those things to you. I'll probably gush to you about how great something you did was all the while grabbing your knee or holding your elbow. And if your love languages happen to be the same, you probably think I'm a highly grateful person. You feel thoroughly loved up and appreciated. We have a super, mutually fulfilling relationship.

But somehow over the last few months, it has become apparent to me (as if I shouldn't have already known) that for you gift giving, act of service kind of people, I must seem like a real jerk. You're likely thinking words are cheap and wishing I'd keep my hands to myself! :-)

I like gifts. I do. And I like being served. But when I think about showing gratitude, those two things never come to mind. I worry that you will think I'm buying your friendship with a gift. Or if I do something to help you out, what if you feel accused or inadequate by my "taking over" and doing?

And so I don't do those things. But I really need to. I want you to feel loved and appreciated. I never want to be seen as the girl who doesn't need anyone, and doesn't even appreciate the help she gets. Lord, I do not want to be an ungrateful pig.

So here's my start: I am going to try to watch a whole lot closer for how you love me and then I'll try to love you back in the same way. If you could all just leave a comment with your primary love language listed, maybe that would help :-)

In the meantime, if you know me for real, please hear me: I am so thankful for all the help and love and prayers and gifts. I truly don't know how to adequately repay for some of the kindness shown to me and my family over the years. And I am deeply sorry for ever miscommunicating my gratitude for the gift that you are in my life.

And so I begin again...


onfire in PNG said...

which is why you haven't dumped me yet for always leaving my dirty dishes on your coffee table or for never offering you anything to eat or drink if you come to my house.
and i rarely buy you anything either.


Lindy said...

Once upon a time when I was a very shy 16 year old you were sitting behind me at church... and when I turned around to find someone to shake hands with you smiled and said "you look absolutely beautiful this morning Lindy!" I was entirely blown away. I hope I remembered to say thank you! I didn't think you even remembered my name! I wouldn't normally call myself a words of encouragement type of person, but that one comment was food for me for nearly a year. Seriously. During years of my teen-agedhood when I felt horribly un-pretty I reminded myself that there was one morning when I was 'absolutely beautiful'. Enough for someone who is absolutely beautiful herself to say so.
So Thank You. And don't hesitate to love how you love even if people don't have that label... we all need a kind word and a hug now and then!

Jessica said...

I know this post title is from Streetcar but don't you think it would make a fantastic first line of a novel?

Anyway.. I think you are wonderful and have always been a very important person in my life! I don't think anyone would accuse you of being ungrateful or unappreciative or anything of the like! You are one of those beautiful people who make the world a better and happier place! So thanks!

halfpint said...

I'll start painting the eggs now.... L.