A few months back I took a quiz to find which of the 5 Love Languages I am. The results stated that I’m keyed in to Words of Affirmation. I viewed this result with a skeptical eye. I thought Oh come now! I know when I’m performing well. I know who loves me. I don’t need to be told all the time.
I chalked the odd outcome up to the fact that the test is geared toward those who are seeking therapy for troubled relationships and well as a couple of other things that make it a narrowly focused test. I popped a screen shot into a file and forgot about it until this past month – even more so this past week.
It turns out that not only do I find words of affirmation comforting, I desperately need them. Not from everyone, not all the time, and certainly not publicly. I need words from those who I hold in esteem. I need to hear that my actions are pleasing. I need to know that I am valued. I need words the way cats need naps. The way apple blossoms need bees. The way wellies need puddles. They rejuvenate. They bear fruit. They verify my purpose.
Without words of affirmation I feel adrift. I feel as if I am going through the motions and the motions are of no consequence. I wonder if I am making an impact. I wonder if my efforts are worthwhile. I wonder if what I do matters. If who I am matters.
It has shaken my core to have become aware of this need. I don’t like it. I makes me feel weak. I have been stoic and an island for so long that this need of words from others has me questioning who I thought I was … who believe myself to be.
I do not place my self worth in the hands of others – in external validation. I do place a significant portion of the worth of my actions into the hands of the individuals I entrust with those actions. I do not wish to be dependent upon anyone for anything and yet I am.
Dammit … I should not need words.