What if you could do or say exactly the right thing guaranteed to make someone feel loved?
What if you could learn why sometimes when you do your best to express your love the one you care about seems to shrug it off?
Would it be okay with you if I showed you how your partner can love you dearly, seem to be trying so hard and yet sometimes seem so clueless?
According to Dr. Gary Chapman unhappiness in relationships is often due to the fact that two people speak different love languages. Sometimes we don’t understand our partner’s requirements, or even our own. We all have a internal “love tank” that need to be filled in order for us to feel loved. There are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others. Chapman’s divides the love languages into five categories: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.
The summary of the 5 love languages is taken from the website for the book:
Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
Want to learn more about what YOUR love language is? Check out these sites that have free simplified but fairly accurate versions of the type assessment quiz.
Is It Only For Couples?
That is easy to assume since a lot of the language in the first book is definitely geared at couples using the information to improve their relationships. However what I’ve found is that knowing my love language – and that of friends – substantially improved my ability to “be there” for friends… and also to find friends that had (and could more easily meet) a language similar to my own.
My Own Results
I’ve actually learned that not only am I Quality Time & Words of Affirmation … but that (and this isn’t from this book) I am visual-verbal meaning written word is far more impactful for me than spoken word. This is why those of you that I chat with often find me preferring (strongly!) to text chat even when there is no reason I could not voice chat at times. Phrases such as “its too much to type” make me shrug and wander off. Its been a real blessing to find a good friend that shares these elements! It takes no effort for either of us to meet the others needs for is connection because its the language we speak most easily ourselves. I’ve also learned that with friends and family that have love languages that I score “low” in. For me the “acts of service” tends to be the one that some individuals need that I have to work on and pay attention to. Learning what comes natural and needed as well as what does not come as natural and needs paid attention to has been a great insight from this book.
Understanding that we have different languages of love can help us understand our interactions with others. It becomes easier to appreciate expressions of love from those we are pretty sure care but have wondered about. Coming to accept others love languages as natural and as correct as our own can potentially help take some strain off a relationship. When two people in a relationship… be they friends, family or colleagues… begin to speak to the other in the language needed, a deeper bond can be formed. This book, when used in conjunction with other personality and needs-assessment books, is likely to become a staple of your vocabulary!
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