Friday, September 11, 2009

Loving and Liking

It occured to me earlier this year that their is a difference between loving and liking, but that people need them both. I was thinking about this and tried an experiment. I tell my son almost every day that I love him. So one day I stopped him, looked him in the eye and told him I had something very important to tell him. He paused. "Riker," I said, "I really like you." He paused for a moment and flew into my arms, giving me a bone crushing hug. "Aha," I thought, "Love is important but so is like."

I came to this conclusion by reflecting on some of my family relationships. With some family members I am 100% convinced that they love me. They are committed to me and I am assured that they would sacrifice big time to care, encourage, or help me. But sometimes I wonder that other question "Do they like me?" We wonder sometimes (often out of insecurity or maybe because actions don't reflect the words we hear), would this person spend time with me if they weren't my boss, friend, co-worker, ministry partner, family member, etc? Yes, we all want to be loved, but we all want to be liked as well.

How do we tell people we like them? Most of the time it's through the non-verbal things we do: spending time with them, smiling, laughing with them, sacrificing our time/energy/money for them, etc. And then of course there is the verbal; affirming them, complimenting them, admiring them, underling the things you like about them, praising them, etc. And of course simply saying those three magic words . . . "I like you."

So there you go, don't forget the importance of telling people (with your words and actions) that you like them. Or perhaps, like me, you may want to ask some important people "Do you like me?" Your request for reassurance may help you, help them, or help both of you to understand better where the other person is. So have a great day and don't forget to tell those close to you that you like them. And if you're really a keener, maybe you'll even tell them why. . .


Lindsey Dueck said...

We disscussed this in our small group a few months ago. Mainly how we should always treat others with love, even if you we don't like them. Because my girls are so keen, when I would say "I love you" as they would leave, they would ask "But do you like me?" Now I am forced to say "I like and love you!" so they will never questions my affection for them. :)

Michele said...

I like you, Mark! Just thought you should know! :)