Loving the people in your life is a skill that comes naturally to some, and is confusing for others. If you struggle with knowing how to show your affection for others, you are not alone. Loving the people close to you means embracing them, interacting with them, being truthful, and forgiving those that hurt you. Keep in mind that each person receives love differently, and try to express yourself in ways that are meaningful to them.
Method 1: Embracing Others.
Spend time bonding. One of the most important ways to love people is to spend time with them. The time you spend together will help you to understand each other more and be more comfortable around each other. This will create a trusting bond that reinforces your love
Accept your people for who they are. The people in your life may or may not have values and habits that are similar to your own. Even if you disagree with them, though, you have to accept them for who they really are. Avoid criticising or trying to change them. Instead, agree to disagree on some things while continuing to love them. For example, if someone you love does not follow the same religion as you, you should accept that and love them anyway. You will no sooner change their mind than they will change yours.
Overlook minor offences. The more time you spend with anyone, the more chances they will have to upset you. If someone does something that bothers you, take some time to decide if it is worth a confrontation. If you decide that it’s a minor blunder, just let it pass. If the incident really bothers you, you should talk it over with the other person. For example, if a friend spilled coffee on your shirt, there is no need get angry or lecture them. Just change your shirt and let it go. In contrast, if a friend made up a story about you having an affair because they dislike your partner, you probably should have a conversation with them.
Appreciate others for what they do. If you have people in your life who love you, help you, and support you, try to express to them how grateful you are for their presence in your life. By doing so, they may return the appreciation, building a mutually beneficial relationship of trust and respect. You do not need to outright tell people “I appreciate you.” You can also demonstrate it through your actions. Help them when they are in need. Lend them an ear when they are upset. If they live far away, periodically check in with an email or phone call.
Method 2: Interacting with Others.
Get comfortable with affection. When you love people, it is important to give and receive affection. Try to be comfortable with hugging or embracing friends and family members, giving them gifts, and offering them praise. Also, be willing to accept the same things in return.
Do not expect an immediate reciprocation of your affection. For example, just because you give someone a compliment does not mean that you will get one from them in the next five minutes.
Express your love. Aside from just giving and receiving affection, you can also be forward about your feelings. You should tell people in your life that you love them and care for them. You also need to allow them to express their feelings to you openly and without judgement or ridicule. For example, a family member might come out and say that they love you. Instead of laughing at them or ignoring the statement, make it a point to say something back such as, “I love you too.” There is no need to overdo it on constant compliments or expressions of love.
Make yourself available. Many people make the mistake of being fair weather friends. In other words, they are there when the someone’s life is going well, but busy when that same person needs help. You should make it a point to be available to the people you love when they need help or support. This will show that you love them, and it will help you form a stronger bond and love them more. For example, if someone close to you recently lost a family member, cook them a meal and take it to them. Make sure that you go when you have time to talk and be present with them.
Do things for others. When someone is in need, just being available isn’t always enough. Sometimes, it would help them tremendously if you do small chores or run errands for them in a time of need. Help them complete tasks that they need done, or buy them a something that they have been wanting. For example, you could go grocery shopping for a friend that has just come home from the hospital. Another example would be to buy someone a meal after a hard week. If you’re unsure where to start, you might volunteer at a worthy organisation, charity, or community effort. Volunteering will allow you express your love to others, even strangers, and allow you to build connections to other volunteers with the same beliefs and passions. This will increase your overall capacity to love and care for others.
Be spontaneous. You can continue to build the love you have for someone by keeping the relationship interesting. Do things spontaneously with people you love to build excitement and mystery. Make a point of offering and receiving romantic gestures from time to time in romantic relationships, and the passion in the relationship will stay strong.
Comfort each other. Everyone goes through good times and bad. Life’s emotional roller coaster can make or break the love that you have for other people. If you want to continue loving the people in your life, be there to comfort them and help them through hard times, and allow them to do the same for you.
Method 3: Being Honest.
Keep your promises. One of the first steps to loving someone is to value the commitments you make to them. While commitments may differ in every situation, promising to do something for someone else will signal that you do have love for this person. Once you make the promise, do everything in your power to keep true to it. For example, if you promise someone that you will do something for them, you should follow through no matter what. If you don’t want to do something for your friend, tell them no instead of setting yourself up to break a promise.
Tell the truth. Remaining honest with people in your life will allow them to see you for who you really are. Knowing that they love the real you and not a fake version of you will make a big difference. This will help you open up and love yourself and everyone else even more.
Stay true to yourself. Do not fabricate feelings for or against someone else. Allow yourself to feel what you feel, and act accordingly. If you allow yourself to do the things you love and surround yourself with people that you love, you will be happier and able to love more fully.
Method 4: Forgiving People Who Have Hurt You.
Forgive yourself first. It can be difficult to forgive others when you are still struggling to come to terms with things that you did, said, or that happened to you. Release yourself of any guilt, shame, or pain that you associate with past relationships so that you can build new relationships of trust, love, and respect.
Avoid score keeping. Lovers often do small things that bother one another. If you want to love your partner, let those things go. Holding a grudge or keeping count of any time your partner hurts you will only diminish your relationship. This will also make you a more negative person. For example, if your partner makes a joke about your shoes, it is okay to mention that it bothered you, but it does not give you a free pass to say something bothersome to them.
Express true pain. If you have been deeply hurt, you will need to allow yourself to feel and express that pain before you can move past it. Meditate on your feelings around the situation, or talk through it with a close friend. Once you come to terms with your feelings, you can start doing things to let them out. Some common ways that people deal with pain are: Exercise regularly, Find a creative outlet, Spend time with friends and family, Seek counselings.
Let the pain go. Whether the person apologies or not, forgiving them is necessary for you to move on. Have a talk with them or write a letter to declare that you have forgiven the pain that you were caused. If you had any fault in the situation, this is a good time to apologise as well. If you do not know how to find the person or feel that it is inappropriate to contact them, you can write a letter, but do not send it.