Manipulating People Into Loving You Well (and Other Reasons to Wear Velvet)

by Mackenzie Taylor

While my primary love language could probably have been pegged 18 years ago when my parents had to teach me not to kiss strangers on the lips, it wasn’t until I discovered the five love languages that I realized why I sometimes sit a little too closely to my family and friends on the couch and feel a pang when they scoot away or ask for space. Thanks to the Love Languages, I no longer think that I am an emotionally unreliable being without a valid explanation for what I do or feel, and I’m able to give a widely revered explanation to others that even has its own wikipedia page.

Regardless if you’ve ever studied the five languages or not, you’ve probably found within your own relationships that your perfectly good-natured and innocent love isn’t always received the way it ought to be. Understanding how you (and your friends and family) give and receive love can be some life and relationship-changing voodoo magic, and like all good things in life, can be determined easily through a short quiz. By combining your own results with some light studying , you’ll be able to somewhat accurately diagnose your friends and family in no time and begin speaking their language rather than projecting your own onto them.

Understanding yourself in this way opens the lines of previously convoluted conversations, and you can choose to communicate to make sure both you and your partner/friend/family’s needs are met, all while reveling in the glorious health of your relationships. (Keep in mind that this could take years of therapy and self-reflection, extended periods of both silence and isolation, and perhaps even a personality transplant.) *Option 1

Or, if you are not yet to that point, you can use my tips to manipulate your loved ones into giving you the love that you need. *Option 2 **Preferred option

Below is my tentative guide:

Physical touch

  1. Wear textures. Preferably a garment worn on your upper body, like a velvet shirt/dress or a fur jacket, and wear it someplace public where you will see many people that you know - i.e., a party, church, any place that you are considered a local. People who usually cringe when you go in for a hug will willingly stretch their hand to you to feel the texture, and you be receiving the love that you need without offending anyone. Plus, you will look fabulous. This is win-win for all involved. Requires: a hefty investment in textured clothing, group activities to attend
  2. Take a trip. Gently trip over a “pebble” or a “crack in the floor” and fall into someone that you know but that maybe it would be awkward to hug for a long time. You can gingerly fall into them, let them catch you and then you can even lean on them while you laugh too hard. This plan is foolproof; do not think twice. Requires: slight gracefulness, flexible dignity

Quality Time

  1. Break your car. You can fake this one easily, or if you are willing to commit, break your car irreparably and do not consider getting a new one any time soon. You will either have to join a carpool or ask your friends to drive you everywhere. You will inevitably have a friend who offers to drive you often, both out of kindness and general humanity. This can quickly escalate from rides here and there, to running any and all errands together for efficiency, to just staying over at their house so that they don’t have to pick you up in the morning.  You are not clingy, you are simply logical! (You legitimately may not have to be alone at all during this time.) Requires: several friends with motor vehicles, less than 3 pressing obligations


  1. Forget your wallet. This model works for almost any situation in which you will be purchasing something. Realizing you forgot your wallet will be no problem – friend will offer to get it for you and your heart will gush with gratitude for how much they love you. To not become suspicious, start by only forgetting your wallet occasionally when you really are feeling under appreciated and need some love. You will get an opportunity to gift your friend back on one of the occasions you remember your wallet, and that too will feel fantastic. Eventually, you guys will have gotten each other so many gifts that the bigger gifts seem no big thing! Take this as far as you want, nothing can go wrong. Requires: friends with flexible spending, small notebook to keep track of gifts given and received

Words of Affirmation

  1. Put yourself down. The quickest way to get affirmed is to begin listing the things about yourself that you don’t like. These can be either real or made-up. It is better to stick with made-up at first, so that your actual self-esteem isn’t on the line if your friends and family don’t follow through as they should. Make these put-downs as specific as possible so that in order to counter them, the person you need to display their love properly has to be equally as specific and deep to be convincing. Requires: quick-thinking wit, a relatively healthy self view

  2. Have a birthday. This is if you have a little bit of gas left in your tank and you can wait to be affirmed. When your birthday comes around, tell everyone that you know that you want no gifts, only cards. You do not have to be explicit that you need them to be heartfelt; any person with general social skills will feel the heaviness of a card being the only gift they got you and will therefore have to write down the words that they usually try to communicate non-verbally with BS love languages like “acts of service” or “real gifts”. Requires: plenty of time, intuitive friends, minimalistic attitude

Acts of Service

  1. Have major oral surgery. This could also apply to any other kind of surgery that renders you helpless for a few days. You might also consider breaking a bone. Oral surgery is suggested, because it rules out having people bathe and clothe you, etc. but still requires them to make and bring you food and perhaps even to spoon feed it to you while you lay in bed groaning but glowing because you are so well taken care of. Requires: sick days and monetary medical allowances, OR really good acting with convincing props

Ultimately, it is up to you what to do with your newfound knowledge of self. However, know that if you do apply any of these humble suggestions, we want to hear your stories of raging success and happiness.