James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

that may or may not exist

22. The Languages

In passing, I was introduced to this book called The Five Love Languages. While it focuses mostly on romantic love and how couples should treat one another, I found these five languages handy on how to treat anyone (friendship/family/etc.) particularly useful. I haven't gotten a chance to read it in its entirety but flipping through the first few pages listed the five love languages:

1) Words of Affirmation
2) Quality Time
3) Acts of Service
4) Physical Touch
5) Receiving Gifts

Usually I'm very skeptical of something that presents answers to things in a list format (and some of these "languages" I feel aren't meant to be taken particularly literally) but I feel it's a great jumping off point for a conversation (and fascinating enough where it made it into my notepad). Here's what these five languages mean to me in all the relationships in my life.

1) Words of Affirmation: It's important to tell the people you deem important in your life that they are important to you. Tell someone you love them when you mean it, let a friend know that they are appreciated, vocalize those feelings rather than assuming they know. 9 times out of 10, they may not be aware.

2) Quality Time: Being present is key here. Quality time is engaging time, time where you are spent with someone and the concept of time is lost. Quality time is living in the moment and not thinking about what meeting/email/tweet that is coming up or maybe happening. Quality time cannot exist with the "fear of missing out" lingering in the mind.

3) Acts of Service: While I believe in some good old fashioned self-love/narcissism, putting others in front of yourself shows that you love and care. Spotting that friend at the bar that is a little short on cash or going to a grocery store in a different neighborhood for your partner's favorite ice cream (something I know all to well about) are small actions that make a big difference.

4) Physical Touch: While not always sexual, physical touch is something desired, unconsciously or aware, in relationships of all kind. How many times have you seen, or been a part of, a group of friends where high fives, hugs, and handshakes have been exchanged constantly?

5) Receiving Gifts: Not literally taken, receiving gifts can exist in a variety of ways. Being inspired by someone's presence, engaging positively with another person, and sharing knowledge are all examples of gifts to give to another person. Yes it feels good to give (and receive) a physical item but there's more than one way to give and receive a gift.

What do you think? Do you disagree? I found these 5 languages to be interesting pillars for any intimate human interaction. What do one of the languages mean to you? I'd love to hear about it. Just hit reply.

P.S., So that full archive of all the previous letters is now live! Check it out here.

Have a great Monday and see you next week,


What did I find interesting this week?

1) The Largest Vocabulary in Hip-Hop: An interactive plot chart showing which hip hop artists have the most expansive vocabulary. Spoiler alert: DMX is at the bottom.

2) For The Love of Numbers: This episode of Radiolab peaked my interest since I find numerology fascinating. It discusses the psychological reasoning behind certain numbers and their aesthetics.

3) To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand: I tried doing this for this week and it was pretty successful, and it was fun to carry around a notebook for a change rather than typing everything into my phone. Worth a shot.

4) Lest I Forget: Sometimes it’s good to look back at your previous work and see how far you’ve come. This was an extensive look back of Christine Node’s work from her childhood days of web design to her current practice.

5) Want to Be More Creative? Take a Walk: In the morning, I try to take a little walk around the neighborhood, and I usually feel so much better after it. This article proves it.

James T. Green