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This video was suggested by Mike (@Gnaist) years ago as part of a P4A perk. I has been on my task list for literal years. I'm very glad I finally did it, but also quite pleased that I waited this long. I think I had to get my mind in the right place about a lot of stuff before I could do anything but parrot other people on the topic. But I'm very thankful to Mike for inspiring me to dedicated a significant chunk of time for considering this stuff.

Also, congrats to Mike on recently finishing his dissertation!
So years ago, I auctioned off, as part of the Project For Awesome, the ability to choose a video topic for a Hank's channel video. Most of those videos, done a long time ago. But this one wasn't. Mike asked me to make a video about love. About how we express it and about how we show it to other people, and about how different people show it in different ways.

I am pretty analytical. Maybe not the world's leading expert on love. I kept putting this off because it seemed to me that I was not maybe the right person to make it, but now it's starting to seem to me, I maybe just needed a couple of years to think about it. I think love is very, very similar to appreciation. I actually would like someone to explain to me exactly what the difference is. But I know that the moments that I've definitely like, it's unquestionably, the thing that I'm feeling right now is love, those are times when I am having this feeling, this welling up great sense of feeling that the person in question is important, valuable, that I care about them. And then there's also this positive feedback loop of positivity because I can tell, through their actions, that they also feel all those same things about me. And so I feel like this person, very clearly, my- deep in my soul, I feel like they matter. And I can tell through the way that they're acting, without a doubt, that they also think that I matter, that I'm important, that I'm valuable.

And that's what we all want, we want to matter. And when we get this very clear sign from our bodies and our brains, that this person matters, and a very clear sign from this person's actions that they think I matter, that they think we matter, that is the moment that makes your heart get all big. Now I don't think that the two-way relationship is necessary for it to be love. I'm saying that in the moments when I have definitely known for sure that the thing that I'm experiencing is love, that it's this appreciation that seems to be the linchpin. So it's important to know when someone is feeling the things that you are feeling, 'cause love is better when it's a two-way street. But sometimes it's hard to know because for whatever reason, different people express this appreciation in different ways and in different amounts.

Gary Chapman wrote a book back in the '90s called The Five Love Languages. And he basically divides things up into five different ways that we tend to express this appreciation. There's words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, acts of service, and the last one is quality time, basically? What is it? What's it called? It's literally called quality time. That's the one!

These are all definitely different things, and I can see in my own personal relationships how I want some of those more than others, and how people I know want others that I don't want so much. It's definitely a thing. Of course it's more complicated than this and I haven't read the book, and it's a whole book, so I imagine Gary agrees that it's more complicated than this, especially because some people express in different amounts. Like, some people are like, a little bit of appreciation, they're like, "I don't understand why you aren't seeing how much I appreciate you, I said it like six months ago!"

And it's a bit of a weird thing. How do you say, especially to a friend, rather than like to a boyfriend or girlfriend or wife or husband, or family member, how do you say, "Hey, just asking, are you more of a 'acts of service' friend, or more of a 'physical touch' friend? What're you looking for in this friendship?" Now there are ways to get at it. The better you know someone, the more likely you are that you'll be able to guess their love languages.

But I think that the first step, and probably the most important step of the whole process, is just to recognize that people express their appreciation differently. If you aren't feeling it, it's worth looking to see if they're showing it in other ways, and also, in your own appreciation of the people, making sure that you're doing it in ways that they themselves feel matter, feel are significant. A lot of people, if you give 'em a gift, it doesn't really seem like a big deal. Others, it's a huge deal. But if it doesn't feel significant to that person, then it doesn't feel like a true appreciation.

After years of thinking about this video, I think Mike has gotten down to it that appreciation and love are kind of the thing that drives us all, it's like the currency of the human mind. Like increasing monetary supply is good for the economy, but increasing appreciation and love, that's good for the human species. It's a sign of a healthy society. And so we need to find ways to appreciate and love each other. And if you're not sure how the person that you appreciate is gonna feel appreciated, I suggest a brute force attack. Just do it all the ways. Hopefully without breaking the bank. Of all the things we could spend time doing, letting other people know that they matter to us, it's a good one.

Thank you to Mike for inspiring this video, and also for waiting a very, very long time for it. Also, Mike would like me to shout out the Last Ones from Our Pants. Jase, LeoN, Jenn, Aaron, Ash, Kelli, Kat, Patrick, Sully, Taylor, Berglind, Tzvi, Kevin, Claire, Dan, Luke, Vicki, Charlie, Kelsey, Luke, and Mike. Thanks, and DFTBA.