I stumbled upon a remarkable book in a bookstore titled ‘The Noticer” by Andy Andrews. This book comprises life lessons which are weaved into a beautiful story, and reminds me somewhere of “Tuesdays with Morrie”. But it is different from the latter in what it has to offer to the reader.

I am glad that I got that book at a nominal price in the bookstore, and also because I would not have found this book elsewhere if I had not visited the bookshop. Even if I had found it online, I would have simply ignored the idea of buying it, after seeing the expensive price at which it is being sold there. I am still somewhere in the first-half of the book, but it is already making me all excited about it, because it is so fun to read and has intriguing and remarkable insights about life and living.

As you go through the book, it inspires you in ways you would not have imagined by your own self, and takes you on a quest for perspectives. The cover itself has this tagline-“Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective.” One remarkable perspective which this book brought into my light, is of a particular concept which resonated with me so much that I wish to share here. It is the concept of the “love dialects”.

We as individuals are both different from each other and more or less similar too. We crave for love, and we want to express love. This makes us all similar. But the way we express love, or the way we feel loved, is different from person to person. The book describes these “ways” of showcasing love or feeling loved as the love dialects. 

According to one of the main characters of the story, the wise-old man Jones- “there seems to be four major dialects that we use to convey and feel loved.” There are combinations and subgroups, but basically four. Jones further associates these four love dialects to four different animals for better understanding of whosoever is reading. The four love dialects as described in the book, along with the animal with which they are being associated are as follows: 

  1. Spoken words of approval(Puppy dog)- The person who has this love dialect, only knows how to express their love or feel loved by spoken words of approval. They say and want to hear things like- ‘I love you’, ‘you’re great’, ‘you’re beautiful’, etc. If you ask such a person how they know if they are being loved, they will respond by saying that they know it when people tell them so. Similarly, negative remarks made by someone will reciprocally make them feel un-loved. The person who speaks the dialect of spoken words of approval is like a puppy dog. Tell a puppy dog how wonderful he is and his whole body wags. He wants you to say to him with praise- “Good Boy!” Say to him with love- “I love you!” 
  2. Physical contact(Cat)-The person who has this love dialect, only knows how to express their love or feel loved by physical contact. It can be from a simple pat in the back all the way to the other end of the spectrum, a sexual relationship. They feel loved through physical gestures and they express love in the same manner that is, in some kind of physical contact. A pat, a kiss, a hug, a head scratch, etc. are some common forms of this dialect. The person who speaks dialect of physical contact is like a cat because cats are almost exclusively creatures of physical contact. You don’t need to feed them(because they can find their food easily by killing), they don’t pay attention to what you have to say or do, but they just want to be rubbed and scratched. When they want to express their love to you, they will rub against you with their face or back.
  3. Quality time(Canary)-The person who has this love dialect, only knows how to express their love or feel loved by spending quality time. They love by spending quality time with whom they love and they feel loved when someone spends quality time with them. For the person who speaks this dialect, quality time does not entail merely the presence of someone with them. They want meaningful conversations, and want the other person to be with them completely. They themselves make it a point to express love by being there with the other person completely because that’s how they express love. The person who speaks dialect of quality time is like a canary. A canary bird is happiest when you sit and listen carefully to its song. And a canary that is ignored will die. Not from lack of food, but from lack of love and attention.
  4. Favors and deeds(Goldfish)- The person who has this love dialect, only knows how to express their love or feel loved by favors and deeds. If someone does them some favor, like if someone does the cooking for them, maws the laws for them, washes the clothes, etc. they will feel loved, and when they want to express love to somebody, they do some favor or deed for that person out of love. The person who speaks the dialect of favors and deeds is like a goldfish, because a goldfish feels loves based purely on favors and deeds. You can’t touch them, speak to them, or spend time with them. All they want is being fed and that there is bowl is clean.

The particular chapter of the book insists one to contemplate on whether one is showing love to their loved ones in the right manner or not. Maybe the person you love is a puppy dog, but you are loving them as a cat, or a goldfish, or a canary. It will not work.

Speaking for myself, I feel, I am majorly a canary bird. I want quality time with people I love. But what about you? What is the love dialect with which you identify the most?

P.s.- This is my hundredth post on os.me. Earlier I had deleted some of my posts and if I hadn’t, I would have already touched this milestone, but the journey of writing here is nothing short of amazing. Thanks to all the people who read me, and for all the encouraging comments I get in my posts which motivates me to keep writing and sharing. I am blessed to be in one of the nicest places on the internet. Love and Peace.

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Nalin

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