What is your love language?
How do you feel loved? How do you know that your partner or friend values you and truly “gets you?” Do you sometimes feel you are speaking completely different languages and that there is a disconnect in what you say and do and what the other person hears and acts on? Do you know how your partner or friend feels loved? What is the language of love and do we each have our own?
According to Gary Chapman, author of the Five Love Languages- How to express heartfelt commitment to your mate, the five methods of expressing and receiving love are:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch
Receiving and Giving Love Messages
How we give and receive love messages can be as different as trying to communicate in German and Spanish without a full understanding of the other language.
We tend to send out love signals and express appreciation in the primary ways we like to get it. If we enjoy getting cards on special and not so special occasions, we assume so does our partner and loved ones. If we enjoy a backrub we assume our spouse would too and what he really would treasure is a home cooked meal.
Lots of irritation, hurt feelings and arguments can be avoided by just being more aware of what our loved ones values in communication. I encourage you to set aside an hour to discuss this article with someone you love. It will be very eye-opening to discover that while you may both speak the same English language, you are not even close on the language of giving and expressing love.
Family Discussion and Discoveries
My husband Dwain and I have six adult and ten wonderful grandchildren.
We consider our greatest accomplishment in life that they like themselves and each other. One of the ways we have stayed close emotionally, since we are scattered geographically, is to have annual family reunions.
At a reunion a few years ago, we bought copies of this book for each person over 12 and had a lively discussion on how we each give love and how we hope to have it shown to us. It was a very interactive and illuminating conversation to realize that what was given in a loving way had often been dismissed or gone unappreciated.
Words of Affirmation
This is my primary method for giving and receiving love. Because I love compliments, sincere praise and encouragement I assumed everyone did. Not so! Encouragement means to inspire or give courage and so I love it when someone encourages and validates my efforts.
One family member mentioned that not only is he not motivated by words of affirmation, but absolutely devastated by criticism. His comment was “Tell me what I am doing right, and I will do 100 times more. Tell me what I am doing wrong and I feel like not even trying.”