The 16 Levels of Love – Part 7
It’s beginning to sink in more (at least for me). What’s that? The fact that “normal” exists in our lives and goes undetected until exposed for the problem that it is. We’re only on number 6 of the 16 levels of love and so far I need them all. What I really mean is, I have work to do on each level. But rest assured, that’s not what the 16 levels of love is all about. It’s not about making you feel overwhelmed on where you’ve missed the mark of “love”. Rather it is for you to see where you are and begin to work on being a better version of you. Exchange ordinary for extra-ordinary where it matters most.
Level six is a doozie, so I won’t give you any preliminaries, but go right at it. Level-six love is always polite and places the emphasis on its recipient more than myself.
Love it is not rude; it doesn’t force itself on others and isn’t always “me first”.
The key to understanding the 6th level of love is to understand what it means to be “rude”.
Rude: impolite; rough in manner or behavior; harsh to the ear.
What does it mean to be rude? How about rude in a relationship? Is it possible to be rude and don’t know it? I bet so.
Level-six: Love is always polite and places the emphasis on its recipient more than myself.
Each Christmas season, Pamela and I attend the company Christmas party. At these events, the company offers a number of free drinks. After happy hour, we notice the same behaviors, year after year, we notice that there are some people who just don’t know when enough is enough at these events. The same is true in everyday life, there are some people who just don’t know. If this is true at Christmas parties and everyday life, it’s also true when it comes to “love”. There are just some people who don’t know how to…love. I will conclude that, that is most people (51% or better of us).
Being rude doesn’t mean being mean, unkind or plain ole ugly towards others. “Rude” means you don’t know how to act. Your behavior and manners are off.
Love it is not rude.
Love is polite. Love has manners and good behavior. The problem here is that manners and behaviors are something that’s taught not caught. You have to be trained to have good manners and behavior. It takes discipline to know how to act. It takes learning and discipline to display level-six love. Love is not harsh to the ears. Love is soothing, peaceful and full of joy. It’s easy on the ears.
Love it doesn’t force itself on others and isn’t always “me first”.
This statement connects with the prior two levels in that it’s not selfish. Selflessness is core to love and selfishness is it’s opposite. Nonetheless, love isn’t forceful. It doesn’t force itself. It has manners and knows its place. I hate to ask, have any of you ever experienced a forced love? If your answer is ‘yes’, then your answer is really ‘no’. Love can’t be forced. Forced “love” is no love. Anytime, we force love or someone forces love, this is an indication that I want my way or they want theirs and this is not love
It’s not always easy identifying what’s wrong with being normal. Fortunately, this is my gift. Here are a few questions that will open your thinking to how level six love’s opposite negatively impacts your relationship:
- Do you speak harshly to your significant other?
- Is your behavior embarrassing your spouse?
- Do you use inappropriate language at inappropriate times?
- Do you retaliate when you don’t get your way?
- Have you ever tried to pay your spouse back?
- Would you rather have your way than letting your significant other have theirs?
Sure, it feels like I’m picking on you. I am. I want you to resist the urge to be normal. There’s just too much at stake. You deserve better and so does your significant other.
Having Level-Six Love
Common: Love is me saying I love you, but my speech and behavior is rude towards you.
If you’re normal you’re no stranger to being rude to the ones you say you love. You use words that are harsh. You use language you wouldn’t use towards your son or daughter. You behave in a selfish “manner”. You get upset when you don’t have it your way as if your spouse is Burger King. “Common” says it’s just gotta be my way and doesn’t consider the one you say you love. “Normal” is so easy because it’s natural.
Uncommon: Love is most polite and it always thinks of the recipient more than myself.
What would happen if you stopped with the norm? What if you tried a new approach? What if instead of being rude, you were polite? What if you altered your behavior for the good of your spouse? You served instead of being served? What would happen to your relationship? What if you approached the relationship in the manner that you would want a guy to treat your daughter or with the behavior you desire a girl to treat your son? This I say is uncommon and if you want uncommon results, you’ll need to take some uncommon actions.
Alright, I think it’s time. Time to insert your name in this phrase.
<Your name> is not rude and does not force myself on the one I love.
Question: What’s one behavior you can change immediately that will benefit your spouse? Share it with them now. Leave me your thoughts or comments below.