Love/Caring tyles: What does it mean to love or care? | INFJ Forum

Love/Caring tyles: What does it mean to love or care?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gaze, Aug 9, 2010.

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  1. Gaze

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    How we generally expect to show someone whether it's a friend, partner, or family members we care? Or what do you expect from someone who says they love or care about you?

    I've noticed that there are limited or narrow ways of thinking about love or caring. Much of these are imposed by culture and society, so that someone is considered as not loving someone enough because they don't adequately demonstrate through their behavior, at least in our eyes, how much they care.

    For example, parents/guardians tend to think that their children don't love them if they don't listen to them or do exactly as they say.

    There's a belief that if you don't shower partners with attention or do a number of things to show their love and appreciation then you don't love them enough.



    There are friends who show they care by simply being there to listen on the phone or planning something to do just to hangout. Then there are friends who consider you a friend for life but don't care to put themselves out of their way to be there when you need them, because they don't want to have to deal with someone else's problems.

    In other words, too often showing is equated with feeling, which surprisingly are two very different things. Just as someone can enjoy showering you with attention, but have no feeling for you whatsoever, love is too complicated to say that simply because we don't show or demonstrate "loving/caring" behavior as judged by someone else, that this means we don't care enough or care deeply.

    Now, we all need different things from the people we care about in our lives. We want or need more from one person or need less from another. And sometimes we don't need anything at all from those we care about - we just enjoy their existence.

    So, what are some of the contradictions you notice in your life when it comes to showing someone you love or care, and what you expect of someone who says they care about or love you?


    I have a sneaky feeling, i've written about this topic before . . . probably beaten this subject to death. If so, move along, nothing to see here :D . . . unless of course you have something new to add? Do you?
     
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    #1 Gaze, Aug 9, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  2. invisible

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    i've been thinking a lot about this over the past couple of days!

    i used to be all about love as gift given, and idealise a deep integrated connection with a constant level of affection. in the past year it's definitely swung more for me to choice made. i used to think that it didn't matter that much what i did for my family members because i knew that i loved them, but i don't think i was treating them very well. if i come home from work and listen to what my mother has to say about her day or ideas on the news even if i'm annoyed, i feel like it's more meaningful than snapping at her or storming off and shutting a door while telling myself that it's alright to do that because deep down i care.

    and after thinking about it more, i don't think i truly want to feel that constant level of affection and connectedness with another person. that approach has never worked out for me in past close relationships, and i think it would really be totally cloying at the most ideal "soulmate" type level i can imagine. apart from which, it's probably just me, but i get irritated with my loved ones a lot. even though i think "i love you", what i mean by love is in actuality not that constant or perfect. the love i feel for any given person fluctuates through more or less positive and is consistently flawed or incomplete throughout fluctuations. the only thing i can seem to really control is my ability to be there for them.

    but, it's not black and white. i do definitely need that basic foundational level of feeling that a relationship is "right" or working.

    hope i'm actually addressing some of the things you wrote and not just spewing my recent thoughts.
     
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    Gaze

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    Well said. I agree that in many respects, feelings alone are not enough. We need to show, not just feel.

    However, it can become quite a strain on someone emotionally to accommodate what others think or feel is the best way to show someone you care or love them. For example, we can appreciate our families care, love and concern, but when they do too much and fail to respect their children's rights to show love in their own way or express themselves as individuals, then love becomes difficult and more an expectation or responsibility, not something truly felt. And you end up with love with a hint of resentment. Not good.
     
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    #3 Gaze, Aug 9, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
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    i do get and agree with what you're saying about differing expectations and varieties of love and friendship! i do think that it's important for people to deal with their own problems as much as possible rather than create endless dramas by irresponsibly asking others to take the emotional burden of their problems. cheers
     
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    i agree with that too.

    and yes, you're right - it's complicated! haha
     
  6. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    Have you? I want to see XO Well, this is something I've been thinking about today. XD I gotta learn too sometimes.

    That's what I've been thinking, mostly. I would say it's tuned to each people (a.k.a, Fi); some just want you to hang out with them, some wanted good food and a good laugh, others want a caring ear to dump their emotions onto.

    It's different in this case; I, at times, needed advice, needed guidance, affection in the right time; but -that- is me being indulgent and greedy. At most times, I guess just some signs that they're listening to me at least. (And on a personal level, I see a huge gap between those two; does this mean my standards are imbalanced, or I'm being humble? Or am I being a doormat by stating that?)

    Not necessarily 'contradictions', but I wondered;

    Should I help others, with the forewarning that this isn't something I want to deal with, and the implication that I probably couldn't do anything about it? a-la "Don't. You can't do anything about it." I'm fearing the most negative case of me not helping and instead making them feel worse. But even a listening ear is a good thing for me.

    Does goodwill matter here, even with the risk of failure? Or would it be better to stay away and let them recoup by themselves?
    Is doing what you feel best always the case with helping others?
     
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    Gaze

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    Very good question. Because how do we know really that we're doing from our perspective to help is necessarily the best thing for the person we're trying to help?

    This is why, although it's umpteen shades of cliche, communication is soooooo important. Too often we assume instead of asking or creating a comfortable enough atmosphere which allows the other person to express what they need without the other person feeling offended or unappreciated for what they've tried to do to help.
     
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  8. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    Hmm.. I can see where you're going. How..can I do this? By asking them? If so, what should be asked? I find myself utterly silenced by this mainly because to me, asking them seems like bothering them.
     
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    #8 Trifoilum, Aug 9, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
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    [MENTION=1669]Res[/MENTION];

    a while ago i had an argument with a friend. she said that she knew of someone whose parents had told him that they would be happier if he married someone who shared their religion. i said that this was emotionally abusive for his parents to make him responsible for their happiness in life and he should realise that an abusive request is not worth treating with respect since it carries no respect itself. she said it was his free decision to make his parents happy. we couldn't agree!
     
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