How Do You Know You Are Totally Loved?
Last August, we adopted an Australian Shepherd and named her Coco. It didn't take me long to figure out what she needs to feel totally loved. She just rolls over on her back. If you pet her chest, she squirms to get your hand on her belly. Pet her belly and she'll just lay there and almost fall sound asleep.
Our Golden Retriever, Coach, who passed away last year liked to be rubbed under her throat and chin. We had a Sheltie named Murphy who liked anything to do with feet; you could rub his feet or you could kick off your shoes and pet him with your feet. He loved it.
So what does this have to do with feeling totally loved? People work the same way.
How to Feel Totally Loved
Many years ago I heard a Tony Robbins talk about how we all are conditioned to feel totally loved. All we need is a specific stimulus: sight, sound, smell, taste or touch. In NLP, this is called an anchor. For my wife, it's a certain kind of look. All I had to do was learn how to look at her in that loving way and hold it until she got it. I, on the other hand, need to rest my head on her shoulder for a few minutes to feel totally loved.
How cool is that? You can make your significant other feel totally loved any time! And you can figure out what they need to do to make you feel totally loved.
Of course, if you just ask the love of your life what you need to do so that they feel totally loved, they'll probably think you're crazy. Instead, I'd like you to consider that they are often using their strategy to try to make you feel loved.
My wife was always looking at me with this deep, intense gaze. I wondered if I had a zit on my nose. When we watched TV, I was always snuggling up close to her on the sofa so that she could rest her head on my shoulder. Her family weren't huggers, but my mom was. My family didn't gaze lovingly at each other, but hers did. All we had to do was learn each other's anchor.
When couples are first dating, they do everything to connect: look lovingly at each other, speak in loving tones, and touch each other lovingly. After they've been together for a while, they fall back on their desired strategy, not their loved ones. That's one of the reasons couples sometimes fall out of love.
I knew one woman who had to get a man to say, in agonizing tones: "I need you." She would go through all kinds of contortions and make the man jump through all kinds of hoops to get him to say "I need you" in that agonizing tone of voice. Think how much easier it would have been if she knew what she needed and the man who loved her could just use that tone of voice to say: "I need you." No hoops. No struggle. Just a feeling of being totally loved.
So the way your loved ones feel totally loved might be:
- Visual (sight)- a look
- Auditory (sound) - a tone of voice and a phrase that "pays"
- Kinesthetic (touch) - a touch, a hug or whatever
- Olfactory (smell) - Think of Grandma baking cookies
- Gustatory (taste) - Couples often cook for each other. Food is love for some people.
If you're not sure, start by becoming aware of how they try to make you feel loved. Then test. Is it a certain kind of look, sound or touch? When you get it right, they will relax and melt into the feeling of being totally loved.
Get the idea? Find out how your spouse, your kids and your parents feel totally loved. Then make sure you give it to them on a regular basis. Let them know what you need to feel totally loved. And ask for it when you need it.