"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." - Anais Nin
Since the moment we are born we start building strong relationships with others creating a social network that supports us through life. Early in life, connections with family take center stage but as we transition to school our experiences broaden. As we share spaces and time with unfamiliar individuals, we are no longer strangers. A community is born taking on a life on its own where people become free enough to share and secure enough to get along. Our social capital rises, but it does not stop there. A higher level of connectedness is then possible. It is a bond by choice not by chance. It is a bond that can last a season or a lifetime: friendship.
How do we make friends? How do we connect with others on an emotional level that creates such a special bond? It requires being open and willing to experience a selfish act of love. According to Dr. Gary Chapman there are five main love languages:
- § Words of Affirmation
- § Quality Time
- § Giving or Receiving Gifts
- § Acts of Service
- § Physical Touch
On some instances the process is organic and seems flawless. Other times, when conflict or social challenges arise, the languages are powerful tools to guide us in the process of being translators and facilitators of the process of getting to know each other better and potentially become friends.
Book: The Five Love Languages of Children. Dr. Gary Chapman