“It’s true that nothing in this world makes us so necessary to others as the affection we have for them.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I have many friends who find it difficult to show affection towards others–either they are afraid of rejection, or they are afraid of ridicule and mockery. Their general belief is that if they do not show affection, then they will never have to face either. I had personally experienced this feeling as a teenage boy hanging around with my friends, and I have to say, that it is tremendously difficult to overcome.
One of the things that helps me not to hold back my affection in situations is the awareness that others need to see it, need to feel it, and need to hear it. From being on the other end, I know it feels wonderful when others are affectionate towards me. Therefore, I try to let them know how appreciative I am for their affection, as well as share my affection back when it is necessary.
Additionally, I try to show affection in simple and often subtle ways–asking how someone is doing or how their day is going, making eye contact and listening to others when they speak, responding appropriately to what they have to say, showing concern and compassion for others, thanking others for their contributions, letting others know that I value them, and things of the sort. But I find it is important to remember that some people are still a bit uncomfortable receiving affection, and so I try to work within the boundaries of their comfort zone.
Others depend upon us for affection, whether they voice that need or not. And if we are open to being thoughtful and showing affection, we can fulfill that need, and add positively to the lives of those around us.
Show affection to others.
Questions to consider:
Why might we be afraid to show our affection?
If someone rejects our affection or mocks us for it, is that a reflection of us or of the other person?
What would a world without affection and thoughtfulness be like?
For further thought:
“Do not be afraid of showing your affection. Be warm and tender, thoughtful and affectionate. People are more helped by sympathy, than by service; love is more than money, and a kind word will give more pleasure than a present.” – John Lubbock