Why Receiving Letters Makes Us Feel Loved

Why Receiving Letters Makes Us Feel Loved

There's just something about that paper and pen.
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Writing letters has become a romanticized idea in literature, an idea that we view as a bygone. After all, why send a letter which will arrive days later in the mail when you can send a text in seconds? I think the idea of letters may have stuck around because of how they uniquely relate to the five love languages.

The five love languages were introduced by Gary Chapman. They describe how people give and receive love. Basically, the different "languages" are words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. The idea is that each person feels loved through different ways, and understanding how people feel loved can help us to better express our love to them, whether that is romantically or as friends. If you're interested in figuring out what your love language is, you can read the book, or search online for a quiz.

Written letters are interesting because they can fill a piece of each of the love languages despite distances.

Perhaps the most obvious love language present in a letter is words of affirmation. It is not uncommon to compliment or encourage someone through writing. One of the sweet things about letters is that those encouragements can be reread later on, continuing the feeling of being loved and appreciated.

While writing a letter may not exactly be acts of service, the idea is the same; going out of your way to let someone know you care about them. In the same way writing a thank you card is considered more meaningful than just verbally expressing appreciation, writing a letter takes time. That time in-person could have been an action, such as doing chores for someone or taking care of a task you knew they were dreading, but when distance prevents direct actions, a letter shows effort and a desire to brighten the recipient's day.

Each letter is a little gift of time, thought and effort. Opening up the mailbox to see a handwritten letter can make you feel like an elementary schooler on Christmas morning. Receiving gifts doesn't necessarily have to be large items. Oftentimes, love is expressed in this way through small tokens. Letters are a very affordable way to give a gift that can be packed with meaning.

While the quality time may not be in person, writing each letter takes time and reading the letter does as well. When we get to take time out of our day to read what someone we care about has written to us, it's a tiny sliver of time that we get to spend with them in our mind. The slower nature of the postal system means there's a delay between the times spent on the letter, but perhaps that leads to more meaningful correspondence since the trivial things don't seem to matter as much after a few days.

Physical touch may be a bit more of a stretch, but if the letters are written from a distance, we get something tangible from our loved one to hang on to. Holding a letter in our hands might not as good as getting to give the writer a bear hug, but in my opinion, it's far better than simply holding a phone and looking at the screen.

While it certainly takes time and discipline, consider writing letters to far-off friends or loved ones. The extra effort can really show through in making someone feel loved and appreciated.

Cover Image Credit: Kaizen Journaling

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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Communication Really Is Key

One of the most important skills in life is being able to communicate with others.

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I have always been one for talking. When I was little, I used to share how I was feeling in the third person. It wasn't uncommon for me to say things like "Molly is happy now", and "Molly is upset now." My family was always aware of how I was feeling and what I wanted to be doing. As I got older, I continued to make others aware of my feelings, but I learned that not everyone shared their feelings the way I did. My friends didn't always say how they were feeling and my partners in group projects weren't always upfront about the work (or lack thereof) they were doing.

It was really bizarre entering into a world where people struggled to communicate. Students struggling to communicate with teachers, children struggling to communicate with parents, and adults struggling to communicate with each other seemed to be a common theme once I got to high school. The communication gap got even wider when I went to college. A perfect example of this happened during my first year of college. My roommate kept turning our air conditioning unit off. I eventually asked her why she did this. She told me it was because she thought I was cold but didn't want to ask. We laughed about it and now understand that communication is absolutely vital to living together in a healthy manner.

Today, I understand communication is one of the most important things we do as human beings is to communicate with each other. Being able to share how you feel or what you think about a certain topic is essential to collaboration as people. Students, we need to better communicate our ideas to our parents, teachers, and other adults. Communication will go farther than an IQ score ever will.

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