Love Is More Than Just Words
The one thing I’ve learned in my travels, having lived all over the United States, is how easy it is for people to come and go in your life. Those who remain in our lives for the long haul are meant to be a part of it. Their love is demonstrated through their actions and not just their words.
We all love our dogs. We might love our jobs. We love our friends. We love frozen yogurt. We love Sushi. We can throw love around and it’s very easy to say. Plenty of people openly tell their good friends how much they love them, going beyond same sex. But, when people profess their love and yet their actions speak differently. That’s a clue that their love is not real. Moral support is an action. Those that love you ought to be able to display this.
Love Is Not Hyper-Critical, Judgmental and Selfish:
- Anyone who will indirectly let you know they dislike your point of view, make back-handed compliments or make some sort of gesture to you or others instead of addressing you directly.
- They rattle off a list of everything wrong with you, whether it be to your face or, more commonly, behind your back.
- When they meet your significant other, they make comments disparaging your character instead of saying anything positive.
- They’ll point out your flaws without being introspective and self-examining.
- Non-supportive people also aren’t willing to communicate with you directly, but are willing to spread rumors and talk behind your back.
I don’t communicate with all of my relatives for good reason, and not long ago I’m convinced one of them created a fake email account to post a really long comment on a post, complete with such detail that I have no doubt who it came from. So, I put two and two together. They were trying to provoke a response, so I simply ignored them. I manage all comments and read them before they post. I was able to catch the comment before it posted on my blog. I don’t respond to people who create fake email accounts just to try and troll my blogs with rude comments. I promptly deleted the aforementioned comment.
Real Love Doesn’t Try To Provoke You To React Negatively:
- Real love is not a competition. Love allows others to shine.
- Loving people act in loving ways. They bring out the best in you and not the worst in you. It inspires and encourages you, love doesn’t tear you down.
- Love doesn’t accuse and point fingers, instead, loving people self-reflect and see the things they need to change within themselves.
- Loving people don’t get angry if you need space or if you need to work on yourself. Loving people respect your space, decisions, point of view, even if it differs from theirs.
- Loving people demonstrate by their action that they celebrate your achievements. They send you a card if you had a baby or graduated from school or fill in the blank. They show up to support your success. Loving people are thoughtful people. They think of you first and not always of themselves.
How Should You Deal With Unloving, Selfish Family and Friends: Do You Just “Put Up With It?”
- NO! An excellent therapist I know once told me that people assume one should just “put up with” relatives who are toxic. According to her, you don’t have to accept their behavior and you shouldn’t.
- If family and/or close friends begin to behave in unloving, toxic ways, then you have to decide how long are you going to allow yourself to be treated poorly.
- It’s better for your mental health to surround yourself with people who support you rather than unhealthily compete with you or otherwise try to tear you down.
Supportive people are those who accept your good qualities and imperfections equally because they genuinely care for you. They also look upon your friendship as a package, fully reciprocated deal.
The Bottom Line:
There isn’t enough time and energy to devote to negative people. If people can’t accept your lifestyle, personality quirks, political views, religion (or lack thereof), career choice, etc., without criticism, then cut them out. You and I don’t have the time nor the patience to deal with judgmental and arrogant people. Supportive people are hard to find. They are nonjudgmental, they take the time to know you, see your gifts and abilities, and notice the good instead of the bad.
Real love sees all of you. Real love sees your progress and growth as well as your shortcomings. Those who claim to love you but who repeatedly harken back to your mistakes and flaws, choosing not to see anything else, are not supportive. That’s not family love. That’s not friendship love. That’s not tough love. That’s not love, period.