How to Communicate Love Out Loud
I’ve heard many times from my teachers that one of the things that matters most at the end of our life is how deeply and sincerely we were able to love. The teaching about our ability to love has been imprinted in my heart since I was young. I vividly remember hearing my mother talking to my grandmother’s body at my grandmother’s wake asking her, “mom, can you tell me you loved me?” This memory always brings tears to my eyes.
We do have a tremendous capacity for love; why is it so hard to communicate it out loud?
Why do I hear so many, too many, people in my work and life share that they don’t feel loved by others, including those closest to them?
I have many ideas about the reasons people do not feel loved. The main one I want to share with you here is that for many people, expressing love out loud and letting their loved ones know they are loved feels difficult and vulnerable.
The fact that saying “I love you” can sometimes be minimized or dismissed by mainstream culture adds to the difficulty.
Many people think that because in their hearts they know they love others, their feelings are obvious and therefore they don’t need to communicate them. It’s the “they-know-how-I-feel” myth.
Feelings need to be expressed.
When we let the other in on our feelings, we are revealing our rich internal landscape with them. Revealing what’s inside helps us foster connection, care and yes, love.
Even if you feel loved and know for sure those you love know it - because you express it out loud - I want to offer you some reminders, and maybe new ways to communicate your love out loud. You can try one, some or all of them.
1. Let others know you choose them.
Sometimes a frequent and quick, “I love you” can become automatic and others may no longer hear it. Let your friends, spouse, romantic partner, kids, and business partners know on a regular basis that you choose them, and why. Share with them out loud how they specifically enrich your life.
2. Listen to others with openness and surprise them with an expression of love.
When a loved one shares that they have a meeting they are nervous about or something important coming up, don’t wait until the event is over to ask them how it went. Make it a point to remember when this event is going to happen and surprise them by sending them a loving message that shows you are thinking of them, wishing them well or expressing confidence in them.
3. Don’t do for others what you want others to do for you.
Do what they’ve been asking you to do for them. We all have different ways of knowing we are loved. Listen to what your loved one’s request of you directly or indirectly and honor their request. Would they like to hear more appreciation? Would they enjoy support from you? Do they want a little gift? When you honor their request, let them know you’ve been listening to them and honoring them is important for you.
4. When you give someone something, let them know the feelings and reasons behind your choice.
Giving something to others is such a beautiful expression of love. Giving does not have to be expensive. You might want to give someone a little stone you found on your walk and let them know it reminded you of choosing to be each other’s rock. You may want to make someone a meal and let them know you wanted to offer something nourishing as a symbol of nourishing your friendship or relationship.
5. Communicate to another person when you are feeling loved by them.
We tend to be quicker to say, “I love you” to others and very slow at telling others we feel loved by them. It is so important and nourishing to share with others that their actions and words help us feel loved. When we hear our loved ones tell us they feel loved by us, we feel deeply seen and loved.
Try one or all of these, and please, don’t try these reminders only on or around Valentine’s day. Make it your intention to communicate love out loud often and explicitly.
As usual, share with me what happens. I feel my love, care and appreciation for you is seen when you do. And if you need support to communicate your love and feelings out loud, email me; I'm here for you.