In this day and age, we are constantly bombarded with cheesy, emotional rom-coms with protagonists who love too easily and too fast, who pour all their emotions into a single speech. This outpouring of emotions isn’t seen as an imperfection, but the emotionless state of the antagonists is. Over the past few years, I’ve worried about whether I come across as unemotional. Because I’m an introvert and I like observing rather than talking, it can seem as if I have no emotions and a cold heart. In 8th grade, we watched a dance performance and our teacher said that, “If you didn’t feel anything from that, you have a heart of stone.” I was one of those people, and from that moment, I felt like not showing my emotions and love was a character flaw.

It’s not easy to be a quiet person and show my love at the same time. A lot of people expect more words and big actions from me, but that’s not who I am. I don’t love easily or openly. I can’t immediately love the new actor that my friend shows me every week. I won’t explain to my friends how much I love them in a long, detailed letter (Actually, I did that once, but it was for Galentine’s Day). I probably won’t be the person who makes a slideshow of our friendships for graduation. But through my two very legit years of high school, I’ve learned that it’s okay to not show your love outwardly. It’s okay to not make a big deal out of a friend’s birthday. It’s okay to not say “Love you!” every time you pass someone in the hall. I’ve learned that the value of your love is not about how loudly you proclaim it. It’s about its sincerity. I’m not saying that outwardly showing your love is insincere, but that there are other ways to go about it, and that’s okay. It’s the small things that count. I’m the one comforting someone that no, you’re not going to fail out of school, and yes, you do know the Spanish vocab. Just because I show my love in smaller ways doesn’t mean that I love any less than anyone else. And honestly, you don’t need to have bold displays of affection. Someone could just listen to me worry, and for me, that says so much more than any words of love can say.

So my point is, not blatantly expressing your love shouldn’t ever be seen as a flaw. It might be hard to believe considering everything we see online, but the value of your love isn’t measured by how loud it is. It’s about how much you mean it. And that can’t be measured at all. So be yourself, and show your love the way you want to. I promise it will be heard.