For years I’ve told my friends, usually females, that I love them. I say it for a few reasons: I actually do love them, I want them to know that, it feels good to say it.
So what do I mean by “love”?
It’s kinda of a loaded word. We all want to be loved. But I suspect most people don’t really feel loved. Maybe we think too much of romantic love. Many of my friends are divorced and everyone has had their heart broken at some point. That reminds me that I actually know a women who was waiting at the altar for her groom and he never showed. He called later to apologize for his change of heart. But I digress.
I’m not sure we think much of brotherly love and how precious it is. So obviously I’m referring to brotherly love. And perhaps what I really mean is more like a warm fuzzy feeling plus appreciation. When I say it, it also implies that I’m here for that person. Then there is Godlike love, unconditional, an amazing concept that I’m not even gonna mess with here.
A member of my last team, a sensitive soul, started calling us his “work family”. After awhile he shortened it to “family.” Then he came up with the idea to say “I love you, man” as team-members on different shifts left. He noticed that some people weren’t comfortable with that (why?!), so he changed it to “love your show, man”. It caught on.
So what response do I most often get when I say “I love you”? Silence. Remember, I said this is what I say to friends. These are people I’ve known a minimum of 7 years. My longest friendship is 31 years. Over the years I think some have come to expect it. And many are able to respond in kind, although that was never what I was looking for.
Maybe it’s kinda like folks who can’t take a compliment graciously. Maybe folks struggle with feeling loveable? Well, I think that’s all the more reason to say it!
Dear readers, not sure if I did the subject justice, but it had been on my mind.