Is your love tank full? The 5 Love Languages
I have read an excellent book by Dr. Gary Chapman on speaking an emotional language to the people you love that will make them feel cherished, cared for and understood. Each individual has a different “love language” and it needs to be spoken to them to maintain a balanced life. Here is an outline of these languages:
Words of Affirmation
Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Verbal appreciation speaks powerfully to persons whose primary Love Language is “Words of Affirmation.” Simple statements, such as, “You look great” or “You must be the best baker in the world! I love your oatmeal cookies,” are sometimes all a person needs to hear to feel loved. Aside from verbal compliments, another way to communicate through “Words of Affirmation” is to offer encouragement. Here are some examples: reinforcing a difficult decision; calling attention to progress made on a current project; acknowledging a person’s unique perspective on an important topic. If a loved one listens for “Words of Affirmation,” offering encouragement will help him or her to overcome insecurities and develop greater confidence.
Quality time is more than mere proximity. It’s about focusing all your energy on the person that you love. Quality conversation is very important in a healthy relationship. It involves sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. This means not only to listen, but offer advice and respond to assure them they are truly listening.
An important aspect of quality conversation is self-revelation. In order for you to communicate, you must also be in tune with your inner emotions. It is only when you understand your emotions and inner feelings will you then be able to share quality conversation, and quality time.
Some people respond well to visual symbols of love. If you speak this love language, you are more likely to treasure any gift as an expression of love and devotion. People who speak this love language often feel that a lack of gifts represents a lack of love. Luckily, this love language is one of the easiest to learn.
These gifts need not to come every day, or even every week. They don’t even need to cost a lot of money. Free, frequent, expensive, or rare, if the person relates to the language of receiving gifts, any visible sign of your love will leave them feeling happy and secure in your relationship.
Acts of Service
Sometimes simple chores around the house can be an undeniable expression of love. Even simple things like laundry and taking out the trash require some form of planning, time, effort, and energy. It is important to do these acts of service out of love and not obligation. It’s important to perform these acts out of the kindness of your heart.
Demonstrating the acts of service can mean stepping out of the stereotypes. Acts of service require both people to humble themselves into doing some chores and services that aren’t usually expected from their gender. However, these little sacrifices will mean the world to your mate, and will ensure a happy relationship.
Many people feel the most loved when they receive physical contact from the people they love. For a person who speaks this love language loudly, physical touch can make or break the relationship.
They can be big acts, such as back massages or little acts such as touches on the cheek or a hand on the shoulder. In a crisis situation, a hug can communicate an immense amount of love for that person. A person whose primary love language is physical touch would much rather have you hold them and be silent than offer any advice.
Say What? How to Spot Your Child’s Love Language
Learning to speak your child’s love language will be an adventure. Although the “translation” process might not run smoothly, we can give you clues to look for as you search. Becoming fluent in your child’s love language is largely a matter of trial and error. Let’s take a quick look at how to figure out which one is your child’s primary love language:
- Observe how your child expresses love to you. Your child may very well be speaking his or her own love language without you realizing it. Be particularly aware of those languages that aren’t natural to you.
- Observe how your child expresses love to others. Pay close attention to how your child interacts with the children and adults to whom your child most often shows affection.
- Listen to what your child requests most often. Most kids aren’t shy about voicing their requests, preferences, and desires. If you learn to listen “between the lines” to the things your child is requesting, you may hear his or her primary love language.
- Listen to your child’s most frequent complaints. When you stop to consider their whining and grumbling, the results may surprise you. Their complaints may fall into a category corresponding with one of the love languages.
- Give your child a choice between two options. Try introducing your child to situations where there are choices between two love languages. Pay close attention to the decisions made. The love language your child chooses most often may very well be the primary love language.