Back to the basics- part 3


Remember the “back to the basics series”? if you missed, please click here to read Part 1 and here for Part 2.

Here is part 3.

Do you ever feel like you’ve strayed so much and you no longer recognise who you are?

Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your sense of self, your identity?

Like the fundamental things that make up who you are have either being eroded with totally strange and unnecessary things or have been buried so deep you can no longer reach them?

I feel like that sometimes, like I have become someone else and gotten so used to being this new person. From time to time I remember who I was and I miss the fire that person had but then I quickly shove the thoughts aside and tell myself that as people grow, they find new passions and a new sense of self. Somewhere and somehow, i know I lie to myself and I just tell myself that to feel better.

Where do we draw the line between losing who you are and finding new passions?

Do we find a balance between both? Is it okay to be someone new?

Sometimes I miss the old me whom was a moralist even whilst being liberal. I knew where to draw the line between being liberal and doing the wrong thing. Now I explain almost everything from different perspectives and even when my heart tells me XYZ is wrong I question it. I say is it really wrong? Or I’m being narrow-minded? Have I factored all plausible angles? If seen from X perspective would it still be wrong or maybe not just as right as society would have it? Am I calling it wrong because my background, beliefs and experiences have shaped my thought process into believing it is wrong?

How do you go back to your fundamental make up? How do you find your essence even with all the new things that have become a part of you? Do you unlearn the things you’ve learnt? Do you “un-inculcate” behaviours that reflect or are expressed in your everyday living? Is this where religion comes in and you ask the Higher being for help?

 

These and many more I do not have answers to.
Written by Ayobare

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Relationships and Social media


When people talk about relationships and Social Media, the most seemingly reasonable things we’ll hear them say are things like: “Keep your relationship away from Social Media”, “Healthy relationships do not seek attention”, etc. These things are actually somewhat true, so this isn’t a rant to debunk the smartness behind this thought pattern. It is a rant to draw us in a little bit closer to a pretty touchy topic.

The other day, and when I say other day, I mean, about a year or two ago, I noticed two people who are old school mates being cozy and a little overly friendly on Instagram. Few months later, I noticed that on Twitter, one of them would go on rants about “walking away from negativity” and the likes. On the other hand, the other party was posting “turn up” pictures, emojis and the likes everywhere. Later, the coziness disappeared! Can someone say I witnessed the beginning and end of their relationship? Most likely…I could be wrong, so I stand corrected.

social media.png

There are a few reasons (that I’d agree to for keeping relationships off social media):

  1. It’s easy to generate a false sense of identification in a relationship. If posting your relationship is the main way you identify yourself as a “partner” in a relationship then you’re in the wrong! When being together is so “basic” and boring that posting evidence(s) of your relationship on social media and generating attention from there makes you identify yourself as “a partner”, well bros/sistuh, go for a reevaluation!
  2. Too much Virtual PDA would make people dislike you as a person and as a couple! That is as plain as I can tell it. You can think “Who cares what people think?!” my answer is: “isn’t that one of the reasons you’re posting and won’t let us rest?” I know I sound like a hater but it’s the truth. According to a study done by Researchers, my point is correct!
  3. Nobody can say they know anything per se about your relationship. Your aunty won’t keep asking “when is he proposing?” under all you guys’ pictures, and his or her ex won’t be able to stalk you or find clues to sabotage your relationship. My mom says “What is covered is protected”!
  4. Your time spent with each other might be more genuine, deeper, and maybe more meaningful. Think about it, how much more genuine are you when you don’t have an audience? Probably a lot more…Your followers on social media are your audience members!

Although the following reasons to NOT post your relationship on social media are valid, it’s okay for your social media presence to NOT be completely void of your “romantic relationship status”. I personally, have never been a fan of exposing my personal life aka “relationship life” on social media but lately, I’m okay with being a little bit more open with it, I honestly don’t know why. There are a few reasons and methods that seem sane to me; I’d throw them out there:

  1. Excitement. When you’re with the right person, and you’re happy and it’s mutual, you want to share with your social media “family”. Key word is “share”, not “overshare”. Too much of anything is definitely not good.
  2. It might help you learn a bit more about your partner. You would think spending time with someone fosters that, not social media right? That’s not so accurate in our generation. See, we are full on in the digital age so we might as well accept it as a way and part of our lives-social media included. We always hear about people stepping out on their partners via social media, and this is true. Is your partner always posting suggestive pictures to get attention? Are they busy flirting on social media? These are actual valid issues that could come up in your relationship. Therefore, your relationship having somewhat of a social media presence can be helpful.
  3. This one is tricky, petty but valid- Marking your territory! Let’s keep it real; Men and ladies don’t stop setting major thirst traps on social media. Your relationship might not completely stop people from sliding into your/partner’s DM, thirsting in the comment section, but it’ll curb it to some extent. Also, it’ll also help foster the second example above.

I’d stop here. Regardless of any of the things named above, do what you’re comfortable with, enjoy your relationship and pay attention to your partner and get married! If you need motivation to marry, read this.

Originally posted here by Funke Akanmu

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The Slacker’s approach to new year resolutions


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I’m sure you were about to close this on seeing that it’s about New Year Resolutions. It eithers fails us, or we fail it. So we might as well ignore its existence right?! Wrong!

I’ve tried a few in the past, and boy was I terrible at it! I’d tell myself I would complete the Bible in a year. That would mean reading about 3 chapters a day. I’d be doing great if I lasted till January 8. I find a familiar Bible story, and then I start to slack. In March, I would have to clean dust off my Bible when my mom or someone asks for it, yes it’s that ridiculous!

I read it somewhere that “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” That roused some deep thinking. Therefore, the next January, when I had my mind set to “Read the Bible every day”, I knew I had to change my mindset. I couldn’t be too hard on myself — I would read Christian and inspiring books, many with Bible quotes. And on other days, I would read the Bible. In other words, I had to be a bit of a slacker.

It worked!

Building a small daily habit was easier than a big inconsistent habit. Although it was not easy, as I fell off the wagon several times, but each time, I managed to get back on. Since the goal was doable, if I missed a day or two, I didn’t have to break the ice when I resumed. It worked, and the habit stuck! Please don’t ask me if I finished reading the Bible, Thank you.

As you all might know, I write a lot. However, a few weeks to the end of 2016, I barely wrote anything. So I put it in my resolution to write weekly. Does it have to be a post worthy for my blog? No! It could be a poem on love or terror, or an “opinion” piece based on an article read somewhere, I’d write something. I resolved to write something that’s good enough for an audience: be it a 2 stanza poem for my girlfriend or five- sentence write up on photography, it wouldn’t matter, because I’d be writing. Again, it is easier to stay in rhythm, and the habit would stick.

Then I tried the habit of meditating. On a normal day, it takes forever for me to sleep. But when trying to meditate, it usually ends with a call waking me up. I started thinking that there had to be a way out. Then in came Headspace to the rescue. Headspace has to do with trying to meditate for about 10 minutes a day, taking a break from whatever you are majorly focused on. Trust me, those ten minutes of meditation matter.  Soon, it would be a habit.

So take it for what it’s worth. But if you’ve been frustrated with resolutions in the past, consider applying the Unscientific 5-Step Formula:

1. Dial it back

Don’t be too ambitious. For example: do you really want to run a marathon? I mean, you’ve seen people at the end of marathons, right? They look pretty tired. So take a chill pill.

Seriously though, we have a culture of intense expectations, and many of us are too hard on ourselves. It’s okay to dial back your goal and make it more doable. Resolving to read 500 books is admirable… but resolving to make (or maintain) a daily reading habit is also great.

2. Make it very specific

An “Exercise more” resolution is a prime example of vagueness. “Run every day” is better, “Run around the park in the morning” is better still. Best of all would be something like “Exercise every day, ideally running in the morning, but other forms of exercise and other times of day are also cool.” You get the idea.

3. Add the magic words “for at least ten minutes every day”

If you decide ten minutes a day is enough to count, you’ll find it way easier to do it every day. And if you do it every day, it’s way easier to keep the habit.

4. Do it every day for a month

Don’t think about all 365 days at once. If you make it through January (or any 30 consecutive days), there’s a pretty good chance the habit will stick for the year.

 

5. Be nice to yourself if you miss a day or two

Just start again. Aaliyah’s “Try again” comes to mind. In fact, if you miss a day or two but get right back on it, you don’t even have to count it as breaking your 30-day streak. I hereby grant you permission!

Who knows, your small habit might set the foundation for bigger things. But don’t worry about it in January. Be kind to yourself as you maintain the rhythm, and let the good things happen. They will.

Now go write yourself a nice doable resolution. Good luck, fellow slacker—you got this!

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You are what you eat……


If you want to be a monkey, eat bananas and insects

If you want to be a giraffe, eat shrubs, leaves and barks

If you want to be a buffalo, eat the movie posters

If you want to be a lion eat the monkey, giraffe, and buffalo

eat

His little niece Aishu looking at his uncle doing the gymnastics… asked… Mama… If you want to be a human what should you eat? For a change, Sadayappan wasn’t puzzled on getting this googly from his 6 year old niece. He said “Aishu! Humans eat Chicken 65, deep fried aloo tikka, and double cheese burgers”.

If you eat a chicken, you’ll be a chicken… if you eat an animal, you’ll behave like an animal… if you eat a fried potato, you are sure to put on more weight. You are what you eat!!! Some people are overweight due to heredity reasons and some have animal instincts by birth. I’m not going to address them. I’m going to talk to the remaining folks who chose to be overweight and who chose not to have control on what they eat.

When God originally created man, man was lean and fit. God covered the earth with broccoli, cauliflower, spinach; with green, yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so man would live long and healthy. But, look at what man did using God’s gifts; God gave man healthy vegetables, nuts and olive oil to cook them. Man created deep-fried chicken 65, butter-dipped chicken popcorn. Boom… man’s cholesterol went through the roof and started chocking his valves. God gave potato, which is naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition. Man peeled off the healthy potato skin … sliced the starchy centre … added lots of salt and deep-fried them in animal fats to create French fries.  Boom… man became like a potato – fat and obese.

Think about how our life style and eating habits have changed in the last several decades. Rice, dhal and roti … GONE … Burgers with chicken patty ON.  Dosas are GONE… Pizzas are ON. Ice more and fruit juices GONE… Ice Creams and SODA… ON.

Our food habits not only made us unhealthy, but also forced us to be cruel to animals. My friend dragged me to McDonalds last week. After having our dinner, he was reading a newspaper. He saw the headline “Tiger enters a village and eats a farmer”.  He told me – “I feel bad for the farmer. How can an animal possibly prey on an innocent victim?” I looked him up and down and said “Explain your feelings to the chicken you had in the burger just now”. What is the difference between the tiger that ate the farmer and the man who kills animals to satisfy his appetite?

Do you know – it takes 3 times more land, energy and water to feed a non-vegetarian when compared to feeding a vegetarian. Nearly 30% of Indians are without proper food and nutrition. Toastmasters are nice and kind people. Do you want to be cruel to the people who starve to death – because you are practicing a non-vegetarian diet?

At the end, a healthy body creates a sound mind. Eating healthy vegetarian food definitely helps you to live longer. Look at me now… I’m vegetarian for the last 10+ years and I’m healthy active and very energetic. Look at Ramesh Daswani who just looks like a college grad even at this age because of his healthy vegetarian diet.

I was doing my regular morning walk one day. I saw an old man rocking in his chair on the portico of his house. I couldn’t resist looking at the old man… he was short… but fat… his skin had wrinkles, hair was grey. The old man was happily reading a newspaper with his thick glasses. I went to the old man and said “Sir! I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look. What’s your secret for a long happy life?” “I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day,” he said. “I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat fatty foods, and never eat vegetables. Oh… I never exercise.” “Wow! You managed to live this long. So, how old are you?” I asked. The man got off his chair … folded the newspaper and said… “I’m just twenty-six; I look very old because of what I eat”.

I know you don’t want to be like that young man who looked like very old because of his unhealthy diet. I request all of you to eat a healthy vegetarian diet… because YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.

 

Adapted from a toastmasters speech.

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Global Warning


This is a speech I gave at the toastmasters club meeting.

There is no heaven here on earth, but there are pieces of it.

 

If there is a married couple here, there is a probability they came in separate vehicles, right? Probably because the husband is to give a speech and thus came earlier, and the wife had to drop the kids with grandma, and so she had to come later or the other way around. But the point is that they came separately, and in separate vehicles. Chances are high that they rode in air conditioned vehicles, coming from an air conditioned house which they slept in after leaving an air conditioned office, all of which are serviced with generators- considering how PHCN operates here in Nigeria.

 

We have all heard about the ozone layer. What exactly is it? It is a layer of ozone gas, which is about 30km from earth. This layer prevents ultra violet rays from reaching the earth surface; it is highly reactive. Industries and vehicles emit chlorofluorocarbons which react rapidly with this ozone gas, thus depleting the ozone layer. Ozone depletion, who is a son of global warming, is a major cause of skin cancer, if you doubt me, Google is your friend.

globaaa

Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans, basically more heat! This change is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate. In Nigeria, I would give you two evidences that global warming is real.

  1. Observe the rain pattern. It is not as regular as it used to be. This year was a little better, but the last few years have seen changes, as we had very little rainfall round the year. Remember the phrase “August break’ that tells that rain stops in august. We already had august break since late June, and it’s still on. We don’t have 7 days rain that leave many stuck at home.
  2. Harmattan isn’t what I knew it to be as a child. Back in the day, Vaseline was our best friend, dry white skin, busted lips and cracked skin: a must have was baby oil and hot water showers. Presently, the most we experience is some form of dryness in the atmosphere, and mild early morning fog.

 

In the colder regions, this heat or warming melts glaciers and icebergs, and causes a rise in sea level, which would make seas and rivers overflow their banks, ultimately leading to flood at the slightest rainfall. Temperatures are rising, and that is evident in the whole world.

 

A good way to look at this, is the way trees work with the environment.

When a tree breathes, it takes in carbon dioxide, which is a major gas that we and our machines and vehicles emit. However, what do we take in? We take in oxygen, and that is what trees breathe out. Trees recycle the carbon dioxide we exhale, and give us the oxygen we inhale. It’s like a trade-by-barter, where we give trees our carbon dioxide and they give us their oxygen. So no trees, no oxygen, no oxygen, no human life!

 

The fundamental reason why trees are planted in houses, and flower vases are kept in the living room, and why fresh flowers are sent to a sick person is to help keep that area well oxygenated. It is not just for aesthetics or romance, in the case of flowers.

 

Do you ever wonder why the sun in less industrial areas isn’t as scorching as the one in the highly industrialized areas? This is because the trees are intact there, and they ameliorate the climate, and make the environment cooler.

Has anyone here been to a canopy walk? Or heard of one? It is basically a sophisticated foot bridge built to pass through a forest, and then takes you as high as the top, where you get to see a forest in its natural state. You see the birds and monkeys and vast vegetation in an undisturbed state, leaving you in an awe of graciousness. I’ve been to one, and I implore you to visit one also. There is in Ghana, and also very close to us here, opposite Chevron. After this experience, you might just appreciate why the ecosystem needs to be conserved and left alone.

 

What happens next? When we constantly emit aerosols from plants and air conditioners and the three generators in our houses, we help big daddy called global warming to get fatter. We cut trees for our furniture and paper making, and do nothing to replace them, thus increasing the temperature of the earth. We pour in carbon dioxide faster than the rate at which the trees can absorb it, considering the fact that we have fewer trees left. Polar bears are adorable to look at, but they are going into extinction as the ice in the region they stay is melting.

polar bear

 

Is there a way forward? Yes! It individually starts with us. A major step is to spread the news about climate change, and discourage deforestation. Then we take it a step further by turning off air conditioners that are not being used, and sometimes, when the road is free, roll down your car windows. In our estates and offices, organize CSR programs themed to conserve the environment, such as operation plant a tree. Plan your trips, and take only a vehicle out. Peradventure someone here works with the government, we need to form a means of reducing the gas emitted by industries, with fines associated for breaking the law.

 

I leave you with these word: nature doesn’t need us. We need nature. What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?

 

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30 before 30.


The 30 before 30 challenge has different themes. it could be 30 countries before age 30, or 30 major feats before age 30.

Here is a list of things you could do before age 30.

thity

 

  1. Travel somewhere you don’t know the language. Adventure, spice, and forced learning is never too much.
  2. Date someone who isn’t your “type.” You will learn and grow from being around people who are different from you. Maybe the relationship won’t work out in the end or maybe you’ll meet your future spouse. At any rate, you’ll either have a great time or a terrible time, but you will learn from the experience.
  3. Start your retirement plan. It sounds very farfetched, but the earlier you start, the better for you. 20k a month would go a long way in 15 years.
  4. Take a risk. some of us have explored some of these. For the timid, sit at home type, try some. This could include bungee jumping, sky diving, feeding a tamed tiger or ride on an ostrich’s back.
  5. Buy a piece of land. Our parents have always said they wished they bought the land in Lekki or Magodo 20 years ago. Try some place very affordable, it might just be the next big place i8n the nearest future.
  6. Live in a typical village. take a trip to Umuahia or a very remote place in Osun state. Spend 2 or 3 nights and enjoy what it is like in a real village. Fetch water from the river, eat from a stove, and visit the community ruler.
  7. Start a collection. Something fun, quirky and totally you. Be passionate about it but don’t be a hoarder. A collection of different currencies, flags, mugs with inscriptions or sea shells.
  8. Take a cross-country road trip. I know the fear of book haram and robbers is the beginning of wisdom, but hey, people do this trips for business. So why not start from Akure, and get to down south Calabar in 3 days, making stops to explore different towns.
  9. Organise a charity/ CSR event. You do not necessarily need to be an ardent supporter of that cause. Just do something free and help the community. Gather old clothes from people, mend and iron them, and give to displaced persons.
  10. Attend a multi-day/weekend festival or carnival. Spending days away from responsibility, relaxing, and socializing is great. Attend Ojude- Oba, Osun festival, Calabar carnival or the tomato festival in Spain.
  11. Set a reading goal. The key to knowledge lies within a book. Start a Chimamanda Adichie or Daniel Steel collection and read. It could also be reading on sickle cell or origin of America.
  12. Start keeping fit. Set a month or some weeks aside, exercise rigorously, and stay judicious to it for that period.
  13. Get a tattoo. I know this is weird but I would advise a temporary one that lasts just a few months. And you can totally replace this with something else if it is against your faith.
  14. Join a club. And I don’t mean the list of resume-fluffing ones you joined in high school and college. I mean ones that you are really interested in and passionate about.  For example, try and join a running/book reading/ environmental cause/ toastmasters club.
  15. Treat yourself to something really expensive. …and pay for it in cash. Whether its a new computer, a Chanel handbag or a weekend away at an upscale resort and spa, you totally deserve it for working hard.
  16. Be the first person to apologize. It’s hard to admit when you are wrong. But it’s usually for the greater good. People will respect you more if you can admit fault and they will be less likely to hold it against you.
  17. Run a marathon. Or a triathlon or a 5k. . And plus, you’ll feel really awesome with your medal.
  18. Pay the school fees of someone who really needs it. it could be your mechanic or hairdresser or the gateman next door.
  19. Learn how to cook. I’m not saying you should aspire to be Martha Stewart; just learn how to make a few fancy dishes for one of those special occasions. They might come in handy sooner than you think.
  20. Learn a new language. Even if you stop at beginner stage, it’s worth it.
  21. Attempt to break a world record. In the Guinness Book of World Records, of course. There are records for everything, so round up your friends and give it your best shot. Even if you don’t quite break a record, it’s still a pretty cool memory to have. DJ obi just had the longest time spinning beats, yours could be the longest kiss.
  22. Attend a world sporting event. Olympics, world cup, European premier league. And ensure you attend either the opening or closing ceremony, or both.
  23. Pick a cause and be passionate about it. Whether it’s cancer research or clean water, donate and make efforts to help others and advance your cause. Don’t just say you’re interested in a cause, go live it and be it — volunteer your time, fundraise or donate. Change doesn’t happen by sitting at home on your couch.
  24. Make your family tree. There is no history more interesting than your own–figure out who your ancestors were and how they impacted the world and your own life. What you find out might surprise you.Take it a step further and record your family’s complete medical history. This will not only come in handy for you, but for future generations are well.
  25. Swim with dolphins and sea lions. Or a Cirque show or Blue Man Group.  Put on your best dress or your tux and live it up.
  26. Work a menial job. A job where you know you won’t advance but also requires tipping. You’ll gain a better appreciation for people you come across in your future who count tips as the largest part of their salary. This can be done for a week or two while on paid vacation.
  27. Become a connoisseur in something. Whether it’s cheese, wine, tea or coffee, your garnered knowledge will always help you make small talk and also enrich your life in ways you haven’t even imagined.
  28. Learn a new subject or course. More recently, I’ve been intrigued by law. Small advice: Don’t try to learn accounting.
  29. Have a collection of selfies with animals. Kiss a camel, snuggle a dog, have a monkey cover your eyes, look eye to eye with a donkey, and have them all in pictures.
  30. And finally, make a list of 40 Things to do Before You Turn 40. If only because it’s fun.

 

Carry me along as you tick these off. I would love to post your success stories on the blog.

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Love language series- Quality time


Still on the Love Language series. In case you missed the previous topic, click “words of affirmation” to read up.

Before applying the words from this post/series, please note this: The love language principles only work for couples who actually WANT their relationship to work. Relationships do not work out, you work them out

Introducing the love language: Quality time.

By “quality time,” I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television while seated next to your partner. In this case, you’re barely spending time with your partner, you’re just around them. You can spend quality time with your partner by watching TV together don’t get me wrong, but keyword here is “TOGETHER”. You could tune down the volume and have goofy or serious conversations about whatever you’re watching TOGETHER. At the same time, if there is the need for it, you could sit together with the TV off, looking at each other, talking, just giving each other your undivided attention. This is my main example because this causes a lot of rifts between couples as I’ve read.

Spending quality time could also mean taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out, just the two of you, or napping, just the two of you, or cooking, just the two of you. Whatever it is, it means just the two of you, being completely in each other’s company, being TOGETHER. For quality time, the act itself is intentional, while the activity you’re both engaged in is incidental. The emotionally important thing is spending time focusing on each other.

 

timeeee

Spending quality time with your partner CAN HAPPEN IN DIFFERENT FORMS. I’d go over the few I’ve read about recently:
QUALITY CONVERSATION
Like words of affirmation, the language of quality time also has many dialects. One of them is quality conversation- a sympathetic dialogue where two individuals are sharing their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. When individuals complain that their spouse does not talk to them, they mean that he or she seldom takes part in sympathetic dialogue. Quality conversation is quite different from the first love language. Words of affirmation focus on what we are saying, whereas quality conversation focuses on what and how we are hearing. Your main focus should be on drawing out and listening sympathetically to what your partner has to say.

Try the following:

1 . Maintain eye contact when your spouse is talking. That keeps your mind from wandering and communicates that he/she has your full attention.

2 . Don’t listen to your spouse and do something else at the same time. If you are doing something else that you cannot turn from immediately, tell your spouse the truth. A positive approach might be, “I know you are trying to talk to me and I’m interested, but I want to give you my full attention. I can’t do that right now, but if you will give me ten minutes to finish this, I’ll sit down and listen to you.” Most spouses will respect such a request.

3. Listen for feelings. Ask yourself, “What emotion is my spouse experiencing?” When you think you have the answer, confirm it. For example, “It sounds to me like you are feeling disappointed because I forgot __________.”
That gives him the chance to clarify his feelings. It also communicates that you are listening intently to what he is saying.

4 . Observe body language. Clenched fists, trembling hands, tears, furrowed brows, and eye movement may give you clues as to what the other is feeling. Sometimes body language speaks one message while words speak another. Ask for clarification to make sure you know what he or she is really thinking and feeling.

5 . Refuse to interrupt. Recent research has indicated that the average individual listens for only seventeen seconds before interrupting and interjecting his or her own ideas. If you give your spouse your undivided attention while they are talking, you will refrain from defending yourself or hurling accusations at your partner. Your goal is to discover their thoughts and feelings, not to defend yourself or to set them straight. It is to understand them.

QUALITY ACTIVITIES

The emphasis here is on being together, doing things together, giving each other undivided attention.
Quality activities may include anything in which one or both of you have an interest. The emphasis is not on what you are doing but on why and how you are doing it. The purpose is to experience something together, to walk away from it feeling closer.

Some of these sound corny but they only look/sound corny. For your partner and you, it could lead to a deeper bond.
1. Take a walk together through the old neighborhood where one of you grew up. Ask questions about your spouse’s childhood.

2. Go to your spouse’s office and have lunch or take them out to lunch.

3. Ask your spouse for a list of five activities that he would enjoy doing with you. Make plans to do one of them each month for the next five months. If financing is a problem, space the freebies between the “we can’t afford this” events.

4. Think of an activity your spouse enjoys, but which brings little pleasure to you. Tell your spouse that you are trying to broaden your horizons and would like to join in this activity sometime this month. Set a date and give it your best effort.

5. Plan a weekend getaway just for the two of you sometime within the next six months.

6. Make time every day to share with each other some of the events of the day. When you spend more time watching the news than you do listening to each other, you end up more concerned about CNN than about your spouse.

7. Have a “Let’s review our history” evening once every three months.

These are just a few steps. Listening to your partner will give you an even better insight as to what they like and do not. The main thing is to be willing.

You can take the love language test here.

Next up: The Language of GIFTS

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