As long-time readers of the blog know, my domestic partner and I have a primary love languages mismatch. He’s an Acts of Service person, so he’s all about doing things for others and having things done for him. Me? I’m Words of Affirmation. Yes, I know that’s a little on the nose for a writer. That’s not my fault; I didn’t come up with the plot or character backstories for reality.
Anyhow, I’ve written extensively about ways to bridge the gap between these two love languages. And I’ve written a lot on my struggles to get better at housework, so my partner feels loved.
Because one of the hardest things for me is that I’m not good at doing a lot of stuff. And the few strengths I do have aren’t necessarily helpful. I’m a great cook, but he’s a fussy eater. He’s much handier than I am. Can fix cars and do a lot of home maintenance. He’s also neater and a more thorough cleaner.
I’m frankly kind of a useless person by comparison. He’d stop me right now and roll his eyes.
But listen… I’m mostly talk. Very little action. I try, but I’m incompetent. Or was. I’ve been getting better over the years, but it took a lot of practice. It took longer than either of us wanted it to.
But the other day, I realized that I have something he’s relied on me for over the years — that neither of us really thought about.
Because, you see, I’m the designated phone person in our home.
He Hates Talking on the Phone. I Don’t Mind It.
Like most well-adjusted people our age, he hates talking on the phone. Do I love talking on the phone? No, not really. But it doesn’t bother me. I don’t mind it.
So when someone needs to be called, to make an appointment, address a customer service issue, what have you, I will happily volunteer my services. I’m good on the phone. Frankly, I think I might sound a little crazy (I am friendly but tell little jokes and am very honest with whoever is on the other end, this might remind you of my blogging voice and for good reason). But it’s an endearing crazy, I’m told. And I get results.
Performing Acts of Service Via Words — Acts of Words
And it dawned on me the last time I did it that this is essentially a way I can use my Words to perform an Act of Service. It’s an Act of Words.
And as I look back, I can see other Acts of Words. I think of all those times when Justin turned to me and asked, “What’s that word? I’m thinking of a word.” And I tell him to describe it to me. Then I answer with a few, and he picks one and goes, “Yes, that’s it! Thank you.”
And I think about all the times he or someone else has sent me something they’ve written but are nervous about sending and ask me if it sounds okay — and if I would add/delete/change anything.
And I realize then that maybe there are some Acts of Service I’m particularly good at.
Maybe there are important times when talk is action. And maybe that can make the other person feel loved and supported.