“He never tells me he loves me unless I drag it out of him. That’s not the only thing. Quinn never compliments me, praises me or tells me I am pretty, or sexy or anything nice. I need to hear words, words of love, lots of words of love and he just won’t say them.
“He can talk about lots of other stuff. Why can’t he talk about love? When I ask Quinn if he loves me he says, “Of course I do” or “Baby, you know I love you” but that’s the best I can get. I don’t know why but I need to hear the words. Can’t I get to be loved the way that works for me? Am I going to have to find someone else who’s a word person like me to get the kind of love I think I need”?
Before you get too far into analyzing what’s going on here...
Let’s Look at a few Largely Unknown Facts. Did you know that generally the verbal centers of most women’s brains tend to be bigger and more developed than men’s? Not only that but many females are thought to have bigger and stronger connections between their verbal brain centers and the parts of the brain that seem to process healthy, real love. Naturally there are exceptions. However, these brain differences are thought to account for those people (more females than males) that function best when and after receiving love expressed in words.
Here’s another item to take into account. It is thought a group of people who talks to each other in sincere, ‘love positive’ ways functions better and longer than any comparable group that doesn’t talk in love positive ways. Those who talk in anti-love or in love negative ways function most poorly and are the group most prone to dysfunction, deterioration and self-destruction. By ‘group’ we mean couples, families, friendship networks, clans, teams, brotherhoods and sisterhoods and any other group that might have some type of love relationship with one another.
We do have to add a couple caveats. Remember, the emphasis above was on the word ‘sincere’. The verbal expression of love has to be based in truthfulness or it qualifies as pseudo-love or false-love talk which can be destructive. It also is important to know that all love positive of talk is not sweet and charmingly nice. When needed, love positive talk can be tough and something to which the phrase “pulled punches” does not apply. Be sure to check out the entry “Are You a Challenge Lover”. However, most love positive talk is indeed experienced as very pleasantly positive.
Please ponder these postulates:
Talk often in love positive ways to those you love and your love relationships are likely to grow stronger and more healthy.
Talk often in love positive ways to those you love and those you love are likely to be nurtured, strengthened and, if it is needed, assisted in their healing.
Talk often in love positive ways to those you don’t love and they may come to grow some type of love for you and you for them.
Talk often in love positive ways and everyone around you is likely to cooperate with you more.
Unfortunately many people do not grow up around people talking in love positive ways. As we grow up we tend to talk the way the people around us talk. Not only do we pick up their accents we also pick up their speech styles and word and phrase usage habits. This creates our own speech habits which few people ever really think about. Then we usually pass on these talking habits to our children. So, if you didn’t grow up in a love positive talking environment you are not likely to have developed speech patterns that are love positive.The good news is you can overcome that deficiency and learn how to powerfully and sincerely talk in love positive ways – but it takes some work.
There is another thing you may have to overcome. We must acknowledge that many cultures and subcultural groups are not prone to talking in love positive ways. Some cultures and societal groups can have a strong programming or training effect on your speech style. Some subcultures are in fact downright anti-loving in their speech style, and that’s what they model for the youth growing up in that cultural group. Other subcultural groups are pseudo-loving which in some cases perhaps may be more subtly just as destructive as anti-love talking habits.
What exactly is love positive talk? In its broadest scope it is any way of talking that conveys healthy, real love. More exactly it is a way of talking that personally values the one you’re talking to and conveys to them that they will be dealt with by you affirmationally, appreciatively, respectfully, and most likely compassionately, helpfully and healthfully. It is a way of talking that is more inclusive and less exclusive, and between adults it is a democratic treatment of people acknowledged as equals. It also usually is friendly and uplifting.
There are a large number of words and phrases which are generally regarded as useful in talking love positively. To help teach yourself how to be more love positive in your way of talking to loved ones here is a list of more than 60 things you might want to say:
Great, excellent, hurrah, fantastic, neat, much better, try some more, keep going, yes, good, OK, cool, nifty, marvelous, terrific, exactly, all right, bravo, splendid, thank you, of course, keep it up, that’s true, how beautiful, you’re thinking very well, you’re improving, keep up the good work, super job, you remembered, you got it, wow, look at you go, you’re looking good, I like that, congratulations, good remembering, you’ve been practicing, you’re really working hard, you’re getting closer, you are very good at…, you must be proud, you deserve…, what did you like best about your…, you figured that out well, I like that you figured that out by yourself, show us how, that’s well-done, you’re so polite, good response, you’re very friendly, that shows lots of good effort, you share nicely, one more time and I bet you’ll get it, I think a lot of you, you make me happy, you’re fun to have around, thanks for being you, I’m glad you’re here, you’re so thoughtful, I enjoy you a lot, your laughter makes me feel good inside.
Now, let’s suggest the following. Pick out the 10 Love Positive phrases you like best from the list above. Plan to sincerely say, or send in written form, each of the 10 you picked out to someone you love this week. Check each off as you use it. Remember, it has to be based in truthfulness. Therefore, look for what you can sincerely value, appreciate and affirm in someone you love, and put that into these positive words and use them. After doing 10 you might want to try another 10. You also might want to grow your own list of love positive things to say – and use them often.
As always, Go and Grow with Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
In regard to love positive talk do you want to speak in a way that is more similar to or more different from the people you grew up around (family, neighborhood, subculture, society, culture, etc.)?