And They Were Roommates

6: How to Say "I Love You"

March 18, 2021 Quaple Network Season 1 Episode 6
And They Were Roommates
6: How to Say "I Love You"
Show Notes Transcript

I am so excited for you lovely folks to listen to this episode about love languages, our hopes for this coming spring, and how to give a compliment. We are coming up on a year since we first went into lockdown for Covid, and we hope this episode is the dose of positivity we  all could use right now.

If you loved this episode, please subscribe, tell your friends, and leave a comment! Want to help pay Foxglove and get access to amazing bonus content? Consider joining our fan community on Patreon. You can also find us on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. We answer at least one listener question every episode. You can email us at quaplenetwork@gmail.com with your questions about life, relationships, polyamory,  or anything really. 

A big thank to molly ofgeography for the use her song Hanahaki (Bloom) for our music.

And remember, we believe in you!

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Iris:

Hello lovelies, I'm Iris.

Foxglove:

I'm Foxglove.

Sage:

I'm Sage.

Sunflower:

And I'm Sunflower!

Iris:

And this is And They Were Roommates, a podcast about modern love, life, and everything in between.

Foxglove:

Disclaimer, we are not experts at being adults. We've just lived through a lot. This week, we will be talking about love languages, compliments, and things we're hopeful for.

Sage:

So love languages, let's talk about them.

Foxglove:

Well, first, should we explain a little bit about what love languages are?

Sunflower:

Do you want to tell the people what love languages are?

Foxglove:

If someone has lived under a rock?

Sunflower:

Well don't say that, some people don't know about this.

Foxglove:

That's legitimate. Um, love languages are based on a book that was written maybe 15 years ago now, I definitely don't have that information off the top of my head,

Iris:

Do you want me to Google it?

Foxglove:

I don't care.

Sunflower:

If we're gonna reference a book, we should probably know at least like the name and maybe who wrote it.

Foxglove:

It's, The Fivethe title is The Five Love Languages, and it's by

Iris:

By Gary Chapman.

Foxglove:

Gary Chapman, apparently.

Sage:

There we go!

Iris: The Five Love Languages:

How To Express Heartfelt Commitment to your Mate, a book by Gary Chapman.

Foxglove:

And that's the sum total of what I know about the book. I just thought it would be worth mentioning that like, this is not like a psychological rule that you get taught in college or something. This is like a system that somebody came up with that we think works really well as like a way to talk about attachment and affection.

Sunflower:

And also like, how towhat's the word I'm looking for? I don't know, it just left, they marched right on out of there!

Iris:

It's OK! They gotI got you boo. Love languages are really also helpful for like, figuring out what ways you can show affection to your partners, and communicating how they can show love to you in a way that you're actually like reading it and understanding it as a display of affection or love.

Sunflower:

Right. Because all of us, like, feel love in very different ways. And there are different ways that we all take it. There's the same way, we actually talked about this in like the date episode of like, sometimes watching a movie on your couch at home is a date to some people, but not to others. And it's kind of the same thing with love languages is like some people like, feel love from different methods better than others.

Sage:

Absolutely. And it's important to understand how other people express that so you don't just think, Hmm, my partner is an asshole because they're not expressing things exactly the way that I want them to. It's just different. Some people express their love in a way that might look unfamiliar initially, but once you understand it, you realize, Oh, wow, they've been really infatuated with me this entire time and I just didn't know how to read it.

Sunflower:

Yeah and there's also like, if you are using the wrong love language with your partner and everything too, sometimes they don't realize that you care about them, because you're not expressing love in a way that they can understand it either.

Sage:

Exactly.

Foxglove:

Yeah.

Iris:

So this is just a way to translate your different verlike, methods of expression.

Sunflower:

Yeah!

Iris:

Your different love languages.

Sunflower:

And it hopefully will help you express your needs more open and honestly with your partner so that you can get the most out of your relationship. So

Iris:

Yeah, cuz you should feel loved!

Sunflower:

Yeah, you should. Yeah.

Sage:

Handy guidebook to communicating better in a relationship.

Sunflower:

Definitely. So

Iris:

That's our podcast.

Sunflower:

There are some like quizzes and some stuff online that can help you determine what your love language actually is, so we took these pretty early into our relationship because we're all very different people with how we express and also feel love. And those can be two very different things as well, is like, the one that you like the most when other people do it to you and the one that you like to do to your partners can be two different things. I don'tdoes that make sense? Is that a logical statement?

Iris:

That does.

Sunflower:

Okay.

Iris:

That was.

Sunflower:

Cool, rad.

Iris:

Yeah, we sometimes give and receive love in, in different ways. Like, it's, and it a lot has to do with how we were socialized, or just how you innately, you love as a person.

Sunflower:

Yeah, and your family and everything. Your nature and nurture.

Sage:

Lot of different factors involved.

Sunflower:

Yeah, so we took these quizzes forever ago as a way to like, better communicate about what we need out of a relationship. So we all wanted to take like, the one that we're, we primarily receive as love to talk about them individually. So, mine is acts of service, and acts of service are kind of exactly what they, what it says on the tin. I really enjoy and feel loved when people do stuff like cleaning up the kitchen, or doing the dishes because I'm like not feeling well, or just like, Hey, I just like did laundry. Like that's like, the bee's knees for me. It used to be especially when we lived in a place where we had to like, deal with snow and everything of like cleaning off the car? Like that's a, that's a proposal right there. Like

Sage:

Oh wow, I never knew.

Sunflower:

Yeah, and you used to do that all that time. And but like, that's a huge deal for me.

Sage:

I should have just stuck a ring in the the middle of the cleared-off snow next to the car and then I could have done it that way instead.

Iris:

You didn't realize you'd just been proposing to Sun over and over and over again, every single time you just went out in the morning and cleared her car off.

Sunflower:

Yeah, that's why it never really mattered how you proposed. But no this is something that like, and then like, that's a really interesting thing too of like, you can also do these things without ever noticing that you do them. Because like, Sage does acts of service without even thinking about them. Because like, Sage does the dishes before any of us get out of bed in the morning, pretty much every morning.

Foxglove:

Which I appreciate more than words can say.

Sage:

Yeah I mean that's just, the routine at this point.

Sunflower:

Exactly. So like, it doesn't have to be

Iris:

And it's deeply appreciated.

Sunflower:

they don't have to be big, big acts, it's a lot of like small acts that can really make a huge difference when you're like an acts of service receiver. Yeah, that's me.

Foxglove:

Yeah.

Sage:

Cool. So I guess I'm next with physical touch, which is definitely what I scored the highest on for both giving and receiving in my love languages. Touch is, just being in contact with whoever I'm in a relationship with is really important to me, whether it's just like, lounging next to them on the couch and having like an arm slung around them, or like even just like, bumping knees against one another. Like just being, having that tiny little contact is just like an affirmation of so many unspoken things to me. And it just is a kind of connection that isn't equalled by any of the other love languages, so. Luckily, I get a lot of variety in that in our relationship, because we all have very different styles of cuddling. And it's most often expressed I'd say, by just lounging collectively on the couch and just kind of being in a general heap next to one another.

Foxglove:

I will physically die without something to do, so I will just put my legs over Sage for five hours.

Sage:

Yeah. And I

Foxglove:

And that's just like the system.

Sage:

and then I get up and I can't feel my legs. But that's fine. That's an acceptable sacrifice.

Iris:

I was, um, yeah, we can talk at the end a little bit about how polyamory makes all of this easier, in some way. But, uh, yeah, did you have any other final thoughts you wanted to throw in about

Sage:

Um, it's just hard for me to put into words, because it's really just like, it's such a simple action, just like putting my hand on someone's knee or something like that. But the amount of like, comfort that it expresses for me is just like leagues beyond what you would think that that would be from just such a small action. So I think that's, that's really it for me is like it's, it's tiny like to look at, but it just means so much more.

Iris:

Hell yeah! I guess I can go next with gift giving, whichit's funny because I almost feel like I'm more of a gift giver than like, I necessarily need to receive gifts to feel like affection. But this one was always really central because of the fact that it caused a lot of tension in Fox and I's relationship early on. And this is actually how we got into

Foxglove:

I'm bad at getting gifts.

Iris:

this is how we like, kind of landed on discussing love languages to begin with just Fox and I

Foxglove:

We argued a lot.

Iris:

we argued a lot about this early in our relationship, because I came from a household where like, gifts were really a display of affection. So I grew up in a very heavy gift giving household and it's not just like, big dramatic gifts, right? It's not like, you know, sometimes Fox and I tend to give each other like, experience gifts rather than, like physical gifts that can cost more and are like concert tickets or that sort of stuff. So that, that happens too. But it was also even just the small stuff of like, I'd stopped by the grocery store, and I'd happen to see a movie that I knew Fox was looking forward to seeing so I'd just pick it up. Or I'd come home with a candy bar, or you know, this is the type of thing where like sometimes like, Sage or I will bring Sun flowers or something like that.

Sage:

Hah. I see what you did there.

Iris:

But it's one of those things where I was really expressing my affection by gift giving, and Fox was not receiving it as affection.

Foxglove:

Yeah. It bears mentioning that, I think this is actually a great thing to talk about the way that some times love languages can get kind of incompatible, not in like, a way that's anyone's fault, but just because of the people involved. So when you, if you take like the standard love languages like quizlet on the internet, it ranks them for you. Um, I scored a flat zero on receiving gifts. It's really just not how I like, do affection, especially since Iris grew up in a home where gift giving was a way to express like care and attention, I grew up in like an environment where gift giving was an, was a control thing. And like someone giving you a present meant that they were, they were demonstrating some level of power over you.

Sage:

It was transactional, in a way.

Foxglove:

It was very transactional, and the strings attached meant that the price was way too high. And so like, it was really really hard for me to adjust to. And we finally just had to like, have a sit down conversation about it where I had to be like, You have to start, it's not my place to tell metell you, you can't get me gifts, but you got to start me out on smaller stuff. Like you kind of have to like, exposure therapy me into this, if this is how you're planning to like, operate in this relationship, because I just, I can't handle... because like, you really just jumped into the deep end with stuff, and I was like I, actually anything more than $15 makes me a little panicky.

Iris:

Yeah.

Foxglove:

And like, it's worth it to be able to talk explicitly about that, because like, it is really a way that you show affection, and it is really something that brings you a lot of joy to like give gifts to people. And that is awesome, especially now that I've had years and years to adjust to it.

Iris:

I wore you down!

Foxglove:

And I think that's kind of the value of being able to talk about love languages in that like, it means you can have explicit conversations about like, this is a way I really show affection, it means a lot to me that I be able to continue doing it with you, so how do we make that functional?

Iris:

Yeah, yeah. And it was definitely one of those things too of like, by telling you that it was a love language for me, it recontextualized what was happening for you. And we were able to just have like an open and honest conversation about it, and we were able to figure out a way in which to, like, operate in a way that was better for both of us.

Foxglove:

Exactly.

Iris:

And that's really important. But yeah, so gift giving is pretty straightforward. It's anything big or small, it can be homemade gifts, it can be purchased gifts, it can be experiences, it can beum, whatever.

Foxglove:

It has legitimately on at least one occasion been Hey, I found a cool rock that I thoughtI thought you would like.

Iris:

Yeah, sometimes that's how it be. But it's just it'syeah, it's, it's a very classic way that society shows relationships, but yeah, to me, it means I, I'm more of a gift giver than a gift receiver. But I think I'm the strongest like gift giving love language out of the group. So, still talking to it.

Sunflower:

Yeah, which I will say like, I think we're all kind of gift givers, especially at this point, and even if it's like, I don't know, like how we trade off even like buying dinner if we're doing takeout and everything too, or like, pretty much every time anybody goes out of the house to do anything, there's like coffee brought home, or snacks, or like a fruit that you'd like, or like, whatever it is.

Sage:

Yeah it's like a mix between gifts and acts of service. And it's interesting how those two can, can intersect too like the, the action of going out of your way to get something but then the actual thing itself, too.

Iris:

Exactly.

Foxglove:

Exactly. And I think that brings it to me, I'm sure this won't be a shock to anyone who listens to the podcast. Um, I like words of affirmation, both given and received. I talk a lot. I'm the editor of this podcast, I'm acutely aware of how much I talk. And, to me words of affirmation... we're actually going to get into this a little bit later. Words of affirmation hold a lot of meaning for me personally as a way to indicate like, affection to someone, because people cannot read your mind. Like, if you care about a person and you want them to know what they mean to you, and not just in the sense of being like Hey, I love you, I'm going to go to the store. But in the sense of like, This is what I admire about you, like this is what I think makes you a person that I love having in my life, like whatever, you know, the thing that has occurred to you is, that person can't read your mind and it's more than likely that they don't know that. And the value of, A, being able to provide like a nice moment for someone you care about in that way of being like Hey, like, I love having you in my life because like, you're really brilliant at like figuring out new meals to make with the nothing we have in the fridge or whatever. Or like, I really love having you in my life because like, you sat me down and bullied me into being able to accept gifts for like the first time in my entire life. Just as an example.

Iris:

Just as a thought.

Sage:

The like, degree that it demonstrates like an undera deep understanding of the other person is what I personally really value about words of affirmation. Like not that the others don't, but like, really being able to be like This is what I admire and appreciate specifically because I, I know you and I see you.

Foxglove:

Exactly, like being able to connect with something that that person might not even really think of, of themselves. Like, you know, being able to tell someone like This is the thing I admire about you and have them go, Wow, I don't consider myself in that way at all. Thanks. Like, That's a good feeling, and it makes me feel connected to the people I care about. And the other thing is that like, especially if you come from a background where you have a history of trauma or abuse, it can be hard to trust what people tell you. And on that level, words of affirmation to me are like kind of, I don't know, an exercise of like, recovery and like power of being able to be like, I am choosing to believe that this person would not lie to my face about this. And like in return, I am choosing to believe that they believe I'm not lying to their face. And I think that holds a lot of merit and a lot of weight specifically, because like, I did grow up with a lot of people who would be like, I got you this present, so you have to do this for me. And that means that being able to tell someone, like, Here's what I love about you, and it's kind of a weird, obscure thing that you probably haven't ever considered, but like it means a lot to me, and believe that that person believes me, that means the world to me.

Sunflower:

Yeah I like, I like tying so much of that back to trust. Because I think that's like, that's a really important part of words of affirmation is like, you need to be specific. And you also have to trust each other. And like, that both parties like definitely mean it, and it's 100% true, and like, here it is, I'm laying it all on the table, and you're like, a safe person to say these things to and everything because like I care about you. I think that's beautiful.

Foxglove:

Yeah, it demands a lot of faith both on the part of the person speaking and the part of the person hearing it, and like, that's what I'm about in my relationships.

Iris:

Yeah,

Sage:

Fun fact, touch might be the most highly rated for me, but the right words of affirmation will break me, in a good way.

Sunflower:

Yeah, right? That's a mood.

Iris:

Yeah, yeah. You in Fox are writers, Sage. And we can tell.

Sunflower:

Yeah andyou can tell.

Iris:

Both have beautifully crafted words of affirmation.

Sunflower:

But I think it's funny too, because like

Sage:

Critical hit with words of affirmation.

Sunflower:

Yeah, like Iris and I are just the kind of people to be like, oh, on this like, reallylike, whatever I saw this ad and everything and I'm like, Oh my God, look how cute this is. While like Iris is over here in a corner, like literally buying it actively at that moment. And we do that to each other like a lot.

Iris:

Yeah, yeah, we just like, we like to, when we know the other person won't buy it for themselves, and they show genuine enthusiasm for something that I know they won't give themselves, um, I'm always just like, Oh, hell yeah, I can, I can go get that thing and Sun does the exact same thing. So we're like, an endless feedback loop of gift giving and it's great.

Sage:

As the parade of boxes arriving at our door clearly shows.

Sunflower:

Not sorry.

Foxglove:

Also filed under the reason we have three copies of one comic.

Sunflower:

It's 100% true.

Sage:

Another reason why communication is importinant. Important. Importinant. What the

Sunflower:

I liked importinant.

Sage:

It's like impertinent but, not.

Sunflower:

Pertinent and importinant?

Iris:

We all have

Sunflower:

Sorry.

Sage:

Inventing new words here on the ATWR podcast.

Iris:

WeI can't with y'all. Trying to get through a sentence. Um, yeah, when we know that something that we all are looking forward to is coming out, we've had to start coordinating who's gonna buy it because otherwise, but most of the time for like just small one-off things. It's usually safer. But there's always that, when you're gift giving, there's always that like, Do I keep it a surprise? And risk them buying it for themselves? Or somebody else buying it as well? Or do I just tell them in advance?

Sunflower:

Honestly, people should, people should see us doing our secret convos during like Christmastime or whatever. When we're all like

Iris:

It's intense.

Sage:

So many group chats.

Sunflower:

back alley whispered conversations and like, we, yeah, we have a group chat for every different

Sage:

Back alley? We don't go out of the house.

Sunflower:

We have a bunch of group chats that are like, 'Not Sage,' 'Not Iris,' 'Not Fox,' but it's like everyone but that person just for like, coordinating gift giving or birthdays or

Sage:

These are the actual names of these group chats.

Sunflower:

They are.

Iris:

Yeah.

Foxglove:

And they are exclusively used for gift giving.

Iris:

Yeah.

Foxglove:

They serve no other purpose.

Iris:

Yeah, yeah. For planning for surprises and gifts for birthdays or events.

Sunflower:

You gotta do what you gotta do.

Iris:

Yeah, you know, listen, we're, especially since the pandemic we all live on top of each other all the time. So there's no like, Oh, this person happens to be out so I can talk with my other two partners about planning for their surprise

Foxglove:

Stealth doesn't exist anymore

Iris:

no, it doesn't exist anymore. We need group chats, which we had anyway. But it's come even more in handy since the pandemic

Sunflower:

I think it's funny too because like

Sage:

Do we want to bring this ship...

Sunflower:

hey, no. No!

Iris:

No bringing the ship in?

Sunflower:

No landings. No, it's not important.

Iris:

We will not dock.

Sunflower:

No, I think that's a good transition over to like the, the other one. You want to intro it, Sage?

Sage:

The final love language?

Sunflower:

My dude?

Sage:

So the, the final love language that we have not yet discussed is quality time, which we all scored super high on, which is great, because that's

Foxglove:

been all of the past year? Has been enforced quality time with our partners?

Sage:

Enforced quality time, yeah. Let's

Iris:

Exactly. Exactly. And, yeah, it's one of those things where we each have like maybe one or two other things that might be like, higher or in the same area and stuff like that in terms of like, how we give and receive affection. But quality time is just like a constant for all of us. It's just something that matters a lot, and quality time can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It can be time where you're actually having conversation with each other, which we do over like, we make sure we have family dinners where we all sit down around the table, and we talk to each other and we catch up just about how we're doing. We also have less structured quality time where we're all doing different things in the same room, and we still considconsider that to be quality time. So it can mean a lot of different things.

Foxglove:

Yeah, and I think we talked about that a lot during the hobbies episode, and we've talked about family meetings, and we've talked about like, date nights, which are like structured quality time, and They all count! and the end of the day, we all just like to be around each other, and like, it's a major way that we feel cared for is by knowing that the people around us like to be around us, or at least that's a major part of me feeling cared for in the relationship.

Sage:

Anything that we share.

Sunflower:

Yeah, and even today is like, as like an activities and what we did today and everything is like a perfect example of how we do this constantly, all the time. Because like most of the day and everything while everyone was like, getting up or getting ready or eating or doing whatever they needed to do, because it's Saturday, we were still like, in the same room for like 95% of our day. And like

Foxglove:

Yeah, Sun and Iris played a video game and I napped on the couch. Like, that was just what we did with our morning.

Sunflower:

Yeah, and Sage was kind of in and out.

Sage:

And that's the, the important thing about all of these love languages to me is, yes these are fairly broad

Iris:

Yeah categories and like, some people might think it's an oversimplification. But there's so much variety inside each category, like receiving gifts can be anything from like, big showy thing that's been months in planning to picking something up while you're like, out of the store. And physical touch has a whole range too, and so does acts of service. And it's the, the variety of expressions that you get even in, you know, one

Foxglove:

Yeah!

Iris:

and I think part of the purpose of talking about love monogamous relationship is going to be huge. And having a conversation with your partner or partners about that can be really enlightening, because there's a lot to understand and a lot to unpack. languages is, we all do all of these. Like in an average relationship, you probably do all or most of these. And they're all really very emblematic of what being in a long-term romantic relationship is about, or even non-romantic relationships. But one of the big things about discussing love languages is figuring out the ways in which these different things show up in your relationship, and making sure that you're focusing in the right areas for your partner so that they are actually hearing what you're saying, which is I love you.

Sage:

Aww.

Sunflower:

Like whatwhat a love language is actually just saying,

Foxglove:

That's adorable babe.

Iris:

Yeah!

Sage:

It's right there in the name.

Sunflower:

Yeah.

Sage:

If there's one more thing that I could add, and we can keep or toss, depending on how it fits, is like, explore outside your comfort zone with love languages, at least a little bit. You don't have to commit to it if it makes you super uncomfortable. But like, for me, I didn'tI had a weird relationship with acts of service, because in a similar way to Fox, something about just the way I was as a person when I first got into this relationship meant that it often felt very transtransactional. And that wasn't anything that you guys were doing, that was just the way that it, the way that I perceived it. But then the more time went on, and the more that I realized that just like, super simple things that I could do were acts of service and were recognized as such, and the more that I realized that, you know, there was no expectation put on me for someone else doing an act of service just out of love, the more comfortable I became in that. And it really fundamentally changed a lot of the way that I saw that as a love language. And I think there's a lot of room for everyone to explore different languages that are outside what they're used to and see if Wow, maybe like, words of affirmation are much more important than I realizedtotally not me.

Foxglove:

Not based on a true story.

Sage:

Orany of the others, but you could be missing out on something that makes you really happy without even knowing it, so. I encourage you to go out and explore.

Sunflower:

Yeah and also like, know that it's okay if one of these just doesn't do it for you. Like, some people are just not for certain ones, and we have trauma, and we were raised in different families, and everything was really different. And like, these all can mean very different things to you, and the more that you talk through it and talk about it, the more you're going to understand yourself and also your partnerpartners. I want to be able to verbally do the (s).

Iris:

Either partner or partners, regardless of how many you have, we're here for you, and so are the love languages.

Sunflower:

Yeah, exactly!

Iris:

And you still have your hands free to do like, knitting,

Foxglove:

Yeah, and I think the other thing is that like, because they're so broad, if there's something you really struggle with, like, for example, I will explode and die in a very messy fashion if I don't have something to do with my hands. So holding hands is not actually what is up for me personally. That occasionally makes it hard to do the physical touch love language, but I have like, adjusted to being able to be like, I'm just gonna be kind of physically 40% in your lap while we watch this movie. Are we good with that? And like or Exactly!

Iris:

whatever else you need to keep your ADHD brain on track.

Foxglove:

And I'm not losing my mind, and you guys don't have to mop bits of partner off the ceiling, and it's great.

Sage:

I just, I just, I'm envisioning a countdown timer in red LEDs on your forehead, that's just counting down from a minute from whenever you don't have your phone in your hand. And if it hits zero, you will explode.

Foxglove:

Exactly! I'm so glad that, I'm so glad that we've been together so long that you can actually see inside my own brain, because that's exactly what it is.

Iris:

Yep.

Foxglove:

But so like, talking about it more and discussing it more meant that I was able to be like, Alright, this is not actually what I'm good at. But I like cuddling. So is it okay, if I do this instead? And everyone was like, That's fine. And then we kind of got over it. And it was so helpful and productive... the world is wider guys.

Sunflower:

Yeah. It'll help. Yeah.

Iris:

Yeah, and it's, it's nice if you happen to be polyamorous like us, because we all have our different strengths and things that we really enjoy giving or receiving when it comes to love languages, and different partners in this relationship fulfill different levels of that for us, which is really nice. But yeah, I think the only other thought I wanted to toss in before we wrapped this was just that, two of the things that like came up a couple of times was like, trust and knowing the person. And I just wanted to talk a little bit about the fact that so many of these love languages play very heavily into that of, you know, an act of service, gift giving, words of affirmation, quality time, even physical touch, all of that is really centrally themed around like, knowing the other person and knowing what they like. And that's all about communication and actually telling each other and doing that conversation and developing that trust and that knowing each other so that you can show them these love languages even better. And I think that's really cool.

Sunflower:

Yeah, that was beautiful.

Foxglove:

All right. So for an intermission today, we were thinking to do something a little bit different because we are coming up on a monthor not a month. Jesus God. A year of being in quarantine. And since this episode is gonna probably come out around thenI have no sense of time anymoreyeah, almost exactly around then. We figured that we would talk a little bit about some positive things, because that year anniversary of the pandemic is probably going to be a little rough for everyone.

Iris:

Including us.

Foxglove:

Including us. So we were thinking that we would talk about some stuff we're hopeful for and looking forward to in spring! Does anyone want to go first?

Sage:

Sunlight. Just sunlight. That's really thebeing outside without a fucking coat on and just being able to feel the sun on my face. That's, that's the thing.

Foxglove:

Local, local golden retriever excited to go to the park.

Sage:

I'm a German Shepherd thank you. Anyway, warmth also. Warmth is good too, but like just being able to like, take a walk outside and feel the sun in my face is honestly the thing that I've been missing this whole time. I justfuck, yep, that's it. Go on.

Foxglove:

That is all you crave?

Sunflower:

Yeah. It's hard to be inside all the time when it's so freaking cold out too.

Iris:

Yeah, it'swe, when we're recording this, it's been winter and very snowy in New York for a bit now.

Sage:

Surprisingly snowy!

Iris:

We've been

Foxglove:

Approximately forever.

Iris:

we've been even more cooped up in the house than we have been through this entire pandemic, and some of our partnersnot mebut some of our partners like the outdoors. And they're getting a little stir-crazy.

Sage:

Isince getting out of quarantine a few weeks back

Iris:

The like hotel?

Sage:

Yeah, since, since getting out of the quarantine hotel I have been, like, physically unable to stay entirely inside for more than like, two days without feeling like I am in solitary confinement, so. Yeah, myyeah, yeah,

Iris:

Very understandable. Very understandable, you're doing great. But yeah, no, sunlight, no more winter, that would, that would be rad.

Sunflower:

That would be rad.

Iris:

Who else has something prepared?

Foxglove:

It's been cold enough lately that my joints have been bothering me, and I am someone who is very used to the cold and I even like areas that get like snow and get colder, so this is a little bit more my speed. That being said, it's been like, cold enough for long enough that my joints are bothering me like I'm an old man, and I'm excited for my joints to go back to their regular degree of bothering me.

Iris:

That's a whole mood.

Sunflower:

Yeah that's now super understandable. I would love to sit on our fire escape and read a fucking book. That's what I would like.

Sage:

Oh, yes.

Foxglove:

That is also the shit I crave.

Sunflower:

Yeah, there's just something about being able to actually like sit outside with fresh air, and we also just have like, a lot of birds, like not just some birds, we have a lot of birds in our backyard, mostly mourning doves.

Sage:

Treefulls of birds.

Sunflower:

Yeah, and I'm a huge fan of mourning doves, I think they're really dumb, and I like them a lot. Um, so like, I just miss having

Foxglove:

Who wants to move our reading to the fire escape as soon as it's good enough weather for that?

Sunflower:

I was gonna say there's literally snow on it. so... But yeah, I don't know. It was so nice. And also like

Foxglove:

But like, you mentioned it, and I want that so much now.

Sunflower:

Yeah, Fox and I used to go out there for like, several hours at a time and just both sit on opposite sides of the fire escape and not speak to each other. And that's the shit I'm about.

Sage:

Enough to get, enough to get sunburned, listeners. For the record.

Sunflower:

I burn in like 3.2 seconds.

Sage:

Okay, you're not the best example. But

Sunflower:

I am the fairest lass in the land.

Iris:

A real damsel in distress.

Foxglove:

I've only had three sunburns in my life, and none of them were for thefrom the fire escape.

Sunflower:

Yeah, don't talk to me. Um

Iris:

The, but yeah, the fire escape is our only outdoor space for the record. So we do like having a little bit of outdoor time that's still in our own space, and that's the fire escape. I'm looking forward to having Fox read to me on the fire escape. Because we only got to do that once or twice, and that was very gay because we were reading Sappho on a fire escape.

Sage:

Oh my God you two stop. But don't actually stop. That's adorable.

Foxglove:

I love reading out loud, I love being on the fire escape, I love being able to go outside of our apartment even by the two feet of being on our fire escape. And like, I had kind of forgotten about this and now you mentioned it Sun and oh my GOD I want to be able to go out on our fire escape so bad.

Sunflower:

Well, here's some hope and I gave it to you. So you're welcome. I'm also, I have a couple more things. Um, fruit that's actually like, fresh and doesn't go bad in a day.

Sage:

In season.

Sunflower:

In season fruit would be really nice. And also my plants are currently in dormancy season because our windowsills are too cold for them. And I would like my plants to bloom. Yeah. That's me.

Foxglove:

Yeah. I'm into that.

Sunflower:

Alright, Iris,

Foxglove:

Iris?

Iris:

I didn't prepare anything.

Foxglove:

You were so confident when I was like, does anyone need to like, make any notes or think about anything out loud before we start recording?

Iris:

No, I just assumed I'd come up with someI'm sure I'll come up with something. I just, I've just been sitting here and vibing but

Sunflower:

You're not supposed to be vibing, you're supposed to be prepping!

Iris:

You know, sometimes we do our best. Um, yeah, I'm looking forward to, I'm looking forward to a lot of things. Like y'allI, I don't love the outdoors, but even I suffer from

Foxglove:

How's your seasonal affective disorder treating you though babe?

Iris:

Yeah, that's not great. So I like when there's, when I can be next to a window where there's sunlight,

Sunflower:

But also next to an air conditioning at the same time?

Iris:

But also next to an air conditioning at the same time. Listen, I'm a princess. But um, no, I am really looking forward to just a bunch of stuff that we have coming up. It was like kind of a rough end of year because of just like the seasonality of our jobs and stuff outside of podcasting, and stuff like that. So I'm looking forward to the vacation that we have planned.

Sunflower:

Actual paying job.

Iris:

Yeah, yeah. I'm looking forward to, we're planning to take a week off, and I love taking at home time off. I don'tlike just not going anywhere, and just like having time to work on projects, and play some video games, read some books, just be really relaxed and just hang out around my partners. So it's been a while since we've had like an extended period of time where there's no responsibilities and big things to do. So I'm really looking forward to like, a large chunk of time off where we can take a deep breath and relax for a little while. Cuz I think that's important. And I think it's important to not feelI feel very passionately about not filling all of your vacation time with productive things, because then you're not actually like recovering or resting or soyeah, I'm looking forward to that. Just taking some chill time.

Sunflower:

Yeah! That'll be good. Hopefully it'll be a little nicer outside so we can go on walks specifically at Sage.

Sage:

Yes. Take me for walks, please.

Foxglove:

Insert like, any picture of a dog sitting right next to the door.

Sage:

Yep, that's the mod.

Foxglove:

Honestly, like I would like to go for walks again. Also, like I'm, I'm also not the biggest outdoor person because I am a, I'm a delicate ecosystem. And if you expose me to too much heat or too much cold my blood pressure tries to join Cirque du Soleil.

Iris:

Yeah.

Foxglove:

Um, but.

Sage:

That's a new one.

Sunflower:

The imagery is so good though!

Foxglove:

I'm just an infinite well of jokles about my own health.

Sage:

I'm just envisioning the blood flipping through your veins. On trapezes.

Sunflower:

See I was thinking of like

Foxglove:

That's what it feels like.

Sunflower:

people like, like people-looking masses of just blood, like they're just blood. But they're people-shaped, doing circus things.

Foxglove:

You know

Sage:

OK, so that's not going in the podcast.

Foxglove:

you know the ribbon dancing thing.

Sunflower:

Yeah. Why is it notthe spine literally leaving the body

Sage:

Horrifying!

Sunflower:

and crawling away was in the podcast.

Foxglove:

I shouldn't be the only one allowed to make terrible jokes.

Sunflower:

Fox is our editor.

Sage:

Why was that in there?

Sunflower:

Anything they say, goes.

Iris:

All of the terrible jokes stay.

Sunflower:

Yeah.

Sage:

Oh, no.

Foxglove:

But in all seriousness, it's hard for me to go for walks when we have a lot of like, hard packed snow, because I can drag myself through a foot of snow without problems, but as soon as the ground is uneven underneath me, I sprain my ankles a lot. And I'm looking forward to being able to like, be outdoors and like, get a little bit of exercise without that, because it will make my joints feel better. And also because even the most indoor by nature city kid benefits from a little bit of outdoors time. Not at anyone in particular, just as an observation.

Iris:

At me, and I know it. But that's okay. But yeah, I really did enjoy when it was still warmer out, being able to like, go for short walks around our neighborhood and stuff like that, is

Foxglove:

That's nice, right? I miss that.

Iris:

genuinely very nice, even though I'm a vampire, allergic to sunlight.

Foxglove:

Like, there's a cute plant nursery like three long blocks from us. And you can go and like stand next to it and then leave and you will have seen some green stuff, and I would like to be able to do that again.

Iris:

Yeah. I should get a parasol.

Foxglove:

In terms of things I'm looking forward to though, this is kind of a big thing, and I, we're gonna inevitably end up talking about it more on the podcast, because this is an advice podcast to some extent. But I got a referral for a consultation about top surgery.

Sunflower:

Yeah!

Iris:

Hell yeah.

Sage:

Yeaaaah!

Iris:

So excited.

Foxglove:

I'm, I'm very excited about that being something I have access to in the future and can actually do and take steps toward, and further updates as they become available.

Sunflower:

Yeah, it's gonna be great, you can liveblog it.

Iris:

It's gonna be so good.

Foxglove:

Yeah, it's, I'm very excited. And, I don't know, I kind of assumed that this was going to happen approximately never, because prior to the past year, I've never had good health insurance and, like

Sunflower:

Now we're good, now we're doing better.

Foxglove:

then Sun was like, You know our health insurance covers stuff like top surgery, right? And I was like, I did not know that. And she was like, You should like, look into that maybe and I was like, I, I should do that.

Sunflower:

Hey maybe we should start asking some doctors how to, how we do that, because we should do that.

Foxglove:

And now I have a piece of paper about it. And I'm gonna turn the piece of paper into a conversation through the arcane magic of the medical system.

Iris:

Yep. I love it.

Sunflower:

That's a good way of putting it. Yeah.

Foxglove:

Hey, folks, it's Fox here for our Patreon shout-outs. We're so excited to welcome our newest patron Nuray! Welcome to it Nuray, we're thrilled to have you. And now, back to the

Sunflower:

But yeah, Iris, do you want to give us our listener episode! question?

Iris:

I would love to! So our lovely Patreon subscriber Kathrin sent us in a question. "I'm mad at society for completely failing on the whole how to give a compliment thing.

So here's my question:

how do you give a compliment?" Fairly simple.

Sage:

Fox has a great answer for this one, that I am always ready to hear again.

Sunflower:

Yeah, exactly.

Iris:

Absolutely. There's a formula.

Foxglove:

Yeah, I have a formula for a lot of things because I'm someone who struggled a lot with social cues as a kidI continue to struggle, but now I have some scripts. And, again, depends a lot on words of affirmation. So learning to give a compliment was really important for me growing up, and was something that to, to my parents' credit, especially my mother, my mom worked really hard to teach me how to give a compliment, and I kind of built on it from there. Um, so, the things that I think are important to keep in mind about giving compliments are that first of all, I think I've mentioned this during the words of affirmation section, people can't read your mind. So anytime that your brain tells you, I probably don't need to tell that person they're like, doing a good job at this thing, because I'm sure they already know, that's probably not true and you should probably just take the 30 seconds to say that thing out loud.

Sage:

Side note

Foxglove:

Yeah, go for it!

Sage:

Quick, quick side note, if you're a manager of some people, this is an important lesson to learn. Thank you, Iris for teaching me.

Foxglove:

Well, the other thing is, it will make your minions like undying.

Sage:

Miminions?

Iris:

Your

Sunflower:

Subordinates?

Iris:

Cherished coworkers and subordinates.

Foxglove:

Tell me I'm wrong! Yes, the lackeys!

Sunflower:

Subordinates.

Sage:

God.

Foxglove:

Um, but so that's vital. Second of all, the key about giving compliments that I have put a lot of thought into as I've gotten older and gone to some therapy is that it's an easy impulse to make your compliments about the person's nature, by which I mean being like, you're so smart, or you're so pretty, or whatever. And those are fine compliments to give. But it's important to compliment people on things they do, rather than things they are. Because it's really easy to get caught in this mindmindset of like, for example, if you pass a test, and your parents are like, Oh, you're so smart. And then you fail the next test, it's easy to feel like they made a statement about who you are, and why it's a good thing that you are the way you are, and then you didn't achieve that same level. So what you are must have changed in a negative way.

Sunflower:

Well and it's also importantwith this example, especially too, if you think about all of the things of like, when you just say like blatantly, You're so smart and everything, it really disqualifies all that hard work that you did, if it was studying or taking notes in class, or whatever it was. So like, when we, instead of complimenting people's nature, compliment the work they're doing, we're really stating like, You worked really hard for this, and you need to know that you worked really hard for this. And like, I see that.

Foxglove:

Exactly. Like, you know, if someone is innately good at spelling, that's awesome. But on the other hand if they studied for an entire week to pass that spellingspelling test, and they got 100%, that's also awesome. Yeah. Or, alternatively, the, the value of that kind of thing is in the hard work, not in the result. And I know that the American public school system doesn't agree with me on that, but the American school system can kindly kiss my ass. The, the value of giving a compliment about some, something someone is doing is that it's something they have control over. So you're, you're offering them a positive affirmation on the way they're choosing to behave, or the way they're choosing to live their life. And that encourages them to feel good about that choice, which is a choice they made.

Iris:

Right.

Foxglove:

And it also means it encourages them to stick to that. So if you compliment someone on like, you work really hard to be kind to your friends, even when you're under a lot of stress, like, it feels good to be complimented on that. And that might not be something that person has thought about a lot. And they might be like, I do work really hard at that. I'm going to continue working really hard at that, because that's why my friendships work. And so like, anyway, the short version of this is that the ways to give a compliment are: notice something that you appreciate about a person. It shouldn't be their appearance.

Iris:

Right.

Foxglove:

If it is their appearance, it should be something about their appearance they can control. Don't just yell that they have a nice ass, you should tell them, I like the way you dyed your hair something. Just as an aside, because I feel like it's relevant. But you notice something you appreciate about a person, maybe it's something they did, maybe it's like, a way they behave, or whatever. You recognize that they can't read your mind and therefore don't intuitively know that you appreciate that about them. And then you open your mouth and you say a nice thing. And I know that sounds a little bit pat. But I'm not kidding. Because it's, it's hard to get past that initial awkwardness of feeling like you're, you're crossing some sort of line, or like, you're making yourself vulnerable in an embarrassing way. And so like, it's hard to get in the habit of giving compliments because like, we are kind of socialized to see it as embarrassing, and like a little bit childish, and like a little bit silly to walk up to someone and be like, You're really nice, and you work hard to be nice, and I admire that. And learning to get past that initial embarrassment and actually be able to say that thing out loud is a little bit challenging at first, but I personally consider it very worthwhile.

Iris:

Yeah, and thenI was just gonna say that it, that it's really nice when thisthis has sort of, like, drunk girl in like a club bathroom energy of like, just like, so earnestly when, especially when it comes to strangers, there's like two different things, right? There's like complimenting somebody that you know deeply well, and you can like give them like a deep and meaningful compliment about like, the nature of their being and the way that they act and help you out in your day to day life and all of those different things. But there's also just something really nice about like, giving a genuine, not creepy, not catcall-y a compliment to another person. And like this is something I deeply miss about, like, not being out and about in the world and stuff like that is that

Foxglove:

Likewise!

Iris:

is that there, therejust being able to walk up to somebody and be like, You are wearing the most amazing outfit, like, you're killing it, you're doing a great job, and then just walking away, and just having that be, like that, that really became a part of like, my life just out and about and I do deeply miss that. And that's something that I really learned from Fox is just like, don't be afraid to give like a genuine earnest non-creepy compliment in public to a random passerby, because like that might make their day. And it's definitely made mine when people, I tend to dye my hair crazy colors, children especially will get so hyped about about like, crazy colored hair. I shouldn't say crazyabout like wildly dyed hair.

Sunflower:

Unnaturally colored hair?

Iris:

Yeah, unnaturally colored hair, like I like bright pinks and purples and that sort of stuff. And yeah, justit might

Sage:

I actually want to take this to a slightly different make somebody's day. place, which I referenced earlier in this conversation. In a work context especially, compliments and affirmations are super important no matter what position you're in. Because as someone with anxiety, at work, I am anxious all the time about the kind of job that I am doing, and hearing someone in any position whether they're a coworker, or a subordinate, or a manager, say No, this is really good, you're on the right track, or like I really appreciate this thing, goes such a long way toward making me feel more comfortable in a workplace. And as a manager, Iris came to me at one point and actually told me straight out, Hey, it would be really helpful if you could provide positive feedback on what I'm doing, on what on other staff are doing. And that was something that I had to come to terms with over a pretty long period of time, because it was not something that came naturally. I would give compliments for things that were exceptional, but viewed the rest as wellthis is the nature of the job, and I don't have to comment on this. But even just something as basic as like a mundane task that someone's responsible for on a day to day basis, if someone's doing a good job at it, compliment them on it, because it makes them feel good, it makes them feel appreciated and seen, and it's just a nice thing to do.

Sunflower:

Yeah, on that same like wavelength, I've been training for the last... I don't know, some months. I have a couple of people who are like

Sage:

You've been training other people you mean?

Sunflower:

Yeah, I've been training other people for a couple of months now and everything. And I've tried to really focus on like, I was here before, I did the same training, I came up through this whole thing. And there is like, there's a learning curve. And they have to get there and like, really try to take a step back and be like, I'm really good at my job because I've been here for a while. And I try really hard to be good at my job. And like, they're not there yet. So like, when they do make mistakes, or like I need to tell them to make corrections or whatever, I really try to follow it up afterwards of being like, Hey, there's a couple of problems with this. But you're doing great. And this is all part of it. And it's not a big deal, so don't worry about it. Take your time. And if you need me, let me know. And I think that's always really nice, too, because it's like, Hey, so you need to make changes, you need to work differently on this or like, here's a different way for me to explain this. But like, generally you're doing great. And that can be awesome.

Iris:

Very helpful.

Foxglove:

Compliments are good, actually.

Iris:

Compliments are great. They're great to receive, they're great to give, you should give them to the people around you, especially the people you care about deeply. Like, don't forget to compliment the people you love. Because like, especially right now, like we're all like, living in, like, these pandemic times where we're not seeing other people that often and like, show you care about other people say nice things to them.

Foxglove:

Yeah. And like I said, I mentioned, you know, it can be hard to get in the habit of, of giving compliments, because it,

Iris:

Highlight of your week? it is something that people tend to like feel kind of embarrassed about, especially like giving a... like sincere compliment to a person you love does mean you're making both of you a little bit vulnerable. And that's a little bit hard. And it's okay if it's a little bit hard at first, but you should still cultivate that skill boon both sides, both giving and receiving. But specifically like I went through a pretty length phase where I kind of stoppe complimenting random strangers because I am very short. I a very high energy because I hav ADHD. And for a really lon time, I had a lot of people tal down to me a lot, because the would assume I was younger tha I was by a lot. Like I was onc asked why I wasn't in th elementary school when I was i 10th grade. And like, part o the reason they did that wa because like, telling peop e plain spoken simple complimen s was viewed as very childish, f r whatever reason. And li e, getting past that was kind of an important step for me personally. And it is someth ng that like, we're not rea ly taught to do it in society. nd we're not really taught to li e, give those non-cre py compliments to a stranger. L ke I did walk, I did go t a drugstore recently, it as amazing. I went to a pharma y, it was like

Foxglove:

Yeah. And I like, when I was checking out and I like mentioned to the cashier, I was like, I really like your hair, because it was dyed bright purple. And she pointed at my hair where it was sticking out from under my hat. And she was like, same hat, yours too. And then like that was the end of the conversation. And it was a really nice pure interaction. And like, getting past that initial like anxiety of like, Well, what'll people think of me, if I say a nice thing? Really truly does a lot for your worldview. It did a lot for my depression weirdly. But like, there's a lot to be said for it.

Iris:

Yeah.

Foxglove:

I am a big believer in that like, obviously think before you speak, whatever. But like if you have a thought come into your head, and you're like, Wow, my girlfriend looks great in that shirt, you should just allow that thought to pass directly from your frontal lobe out of your mouth. And go wow, girlfriend, you look great in that shirt.

Sunflower:

Well especially like, especially when it's your partner, you can let that flow right on through. When we're talking strangers on the street, take a couple more beats to think about it.

Foxglove:

Take a beat.

Iris:

Yeah.

Sunflower:

And think if that would make that person feel uncomfortable or not.

Foxglove:

The thing that I've discovered is always safe to compliment someone on, is instead of going You look great in _____, you can say, I love your hair, I love your dress, I love your earrings. And then you are complimenting a thing that they chose on their own, like in their own appearance that they put thought into, they probably put work into especially if it's someone who is socialized as a woman. And like, that's your secure way to compliment a stranger without being a creep is to compliment something that they chose to do in their own life.

Sunflower:

Not their body.

Sage:

Also, this is a sidebar from your earlier anecdote Fox, but compliment more people in the service industry because they can use all the positivity you can give them.

Iris:

Yeah.

Foxglove:

That's what the fuck is up.

Iris:

And compliment them ON their service. Like specifically be like, like when they're managing a busy restaurant be like, Wow you're handling this really well. And then they're inevitably like, I'm so sorry. It's been so busy. I'm likeyou just, tell them, no no no, you're doing great. You're doing fine. Don't worry about it.

Sage:

Every time, every time I got a compliment from someone on how well the place was running when we were back at Hell, it did not matter how badly the night was going, my night was suddenly perfect.

Sunflower:

Well I also, I want to like state a thing that Fox said earlier too of like, feeling really good when you're giving compliments because you should! This is really good for you, and also like, it's amazing to make somebody else smile. It's good for us. It's good for us as human beings. We're really into making other people happy, it makes us happy. So like, do that.

Iris:

Yeah. It costs $0 to be nice to other people.

Sunflower:

God. Yes.

Foxglove:

Yeah. And, and if you're the kind of person who like for whatever reason thinks that giving compliments that are sincere and and ironic and not backhanded makes you childish or embarrassing, I truly encourage you to sit with that statement a little bit, and really try and figure out why.

Sage:

Alright we want towant to wrap it up?

Foxglove:

Yeah, do we feel good? Do we feel like we've answered how to give a compliment?

Sunflower:

I think that was really good, yeah. We also

Iris:

Thoroughly. talked about it from a bunch of different perspectives, strangers, co workers Different angles.

Sunflower:

loved ones, it was good.

Foxglove:

Oh, the one thing I did want to mention before we close up, accepting compliments is hard.

Sunflower:

I think this is a

Foxglove:

And scary.

Sunflower:

bigger conversation too.

Foxglove:

And we're going to get back to it later. But the other key detail I wanted to mention is that especially in personal relationships, if you have a hard time accepting compliments from like, random folks, totally understandable, I absolutely get it, don't worry about it. But like, especially in like a close relationship, like a romantic relationship or something, like talking to your partner and learning to let them say nice things about you without it ending either of you into a piral of some kind is really mportant because it's a great ay to build that connection and eel safe in your relationship. ike it lets you feel assured in hat person's affection for you. o like, you can't wave a magic and and make your anxiety go way. But like, talk about it, iscuss it, work toward that. You're doing amazing. We're proud of you. That's the end of my sentence.

Iris:

Any other thoughts or should I wrap it up? All right. All right. That's been us The Quaple. As always, a big thank you to Molly Ofgeography for the use of her song Hanahaki (Bloom) for our music. Come find us on Twitter or Instagram at atwr_podcast, or on Tumblr at quaple-network, or even by email at quaplenetwork@gmail.com. Toss us a question or an advice topic, we love hearing from you. And of course, go ahead and check out our Patreon at the atwrpodcast if you want to tip Fox for their editing work. If you love our podcasts, please share with your friends and leave a comment wherever you're listening. As always remember, we believe in you!

Quaple Network:

Bye!