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.
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 criticizing 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 offenses. 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.