Sometimes You Need to Hear What You Mean to Someone

Sometimes You Need to Hear What You Mean to Someone
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 08 November, 2022

Sometimes we need an “I love you”, “you are important to me”, or a “thank you for being you”. Wanting to know what we mean to someone doesn’t mean we’re weak. We’re not seeking validation, we just want to to hear out loud what’s in their heart. We want to be appreciated and hear it in words spoken sincerely.

Remember: love isn’t indecipherable, it isn’t nebulous and intangible. We perceive the verb “love” with our five senses and that’s how we feel cherished and comforted.

You can’t assume love in a relationship. The “you already know what I feel” isn’t enough for a healthy, growing relationship, and the “if I’m with you, there’s a reason” just raises doubts.

“A well-chosen word can save not only a hundred words but a hundred thoughts”

-Henri Poincaré-

We don’t need to hear what we mean to them constantly, but it’s exhausting to be with people who don’t express their appreciation. Instead, they do the opposite: they create and feed doubts and insecurities.

A lot of the time, the person hungry for an emotional embrace expressed through words is forced try to read nonverbal cues. They have to interpret love through looks and affection through actions. It can be frustrating and really wear us down…

a couple drinking coffee in the morning by the sunrise

The need to hear and feel that we matter to someone

Feeling love, affection, and appreciation in every atom of our being gives us balance, happiness, and fulfillment. Human beings are genetically programmed to connect with their fellow beings, because that is how we ensure our survival, because that’s how we’ve managed to advance and grow as a species.

“Often the words we should have said do not come to mind until it is too late”

André Gide

So no one should see themselves as weak or dependent if they need their partner or loved ones to give them an affectionate word. It means so much to our brain, and so needing a “thank you”, “you are incredible” or “I love being with you” from time to time is not only natural, but logical and necessary.

We should also remember, though, that it’s not just us adults who need to hear what we mean to others. Children need loving words as much as food. They are as necessary as those strong arms that hold them. More vital than the clothes on their back or a new toy.

Children need the positive reinforcement in the form of words, a voice validating them, making them feel secure, building their confidence and the kind of love that gives them wings.

It will have huge implications on the rest of their lives. So unfortunately, a child who grows up in an environment full of emotional coldness, insecurity or neglect early on is much more likely to develop behavioral disorders and problems expressing their emotions well.

a child needs to hear that his father loves him

Speak to me without fear, speak to me from the heart

Emotional illiterate people are all over, and we’re not just talking about those who suffer from the affective-cognitive communication disorder called alexithymia.

It’s complicated and has to do with how they were brought up. It’s evident in our schools and workplaces, etc., where “emotional kidnappers” abound and  “emotional facilitators” are lacking.

Language is the dress of thought.

-Samuel Johnson-

We see children bullying other children in the classroom or on the internet. W e see managers unable to create more empathetic, respectful and creative work environments. We see it in our way of communicating, where we think that by using emoticons and smiley faces are enough.

a couple sitting together and smiling

But as Natalia Ramos and Pablo Fernandez say in their book “Corazones Inteligentes(Intelligent Hearts), our world needs emotional intelligence. Because emotions aren’t experienced in the abstract, they are not vague, life is not a David Lynch film, where narrative language, although fascinating and symbolic, sometimes lacks meaning. Life needs meaning and love needs certainty.

Therefore, let’s make effective use of language. Let it be an instrument that creates and validates. Let’s be brave, let’s connect with others with positive, sincerely loving words.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.