The 5 Love Languages is a wonderful book by Gary Chapman and the whole idea is that we tend to show love to our partner in ways that are meaningful to us and not necessarily the way that will make them feel loved. Ironic huh? So basically we are doing unto them as we would like them to do unto us but it might not make them feel deeply loved. The idea applies at work as well and also for children. So what are they? The five languages are: physical touch, quality time, receiving gifts, words of affirmation, and acts of service.
Physical affection is my #1 love language at home and with friends- so I love hugs and if I’m not giving or getting a hug, then there must be something wrong! If I’m very annoyed I’ll tend withhold physical affection.
Quality time is kind of self-explanatory and is all about giving the person your undivided attention or maybe receiving your partner’s undivided attention is what makes you feel deeply connected. No devices!
Receiving gifts is my husband’s # 1 love language – cash gifts in particular he just said!! For someone like this receiving a gift is what makes them feel loved.
He also likes words of affirmation so acknowledging that he has taken out the bins for instance! Other examples might be leaving love notes in unexpected places or sending a text to say you are thinking of them. And I’d say this is my #1 language at work- I like to hear my efforts are appreciated.
Acts of service could also be called actions speak louder than words so remembering to take the bins out or always remembering to keep chocolate in the fridge!
The idea is that if you choose to love then you will find meaningful ways to communicate that every day to your partner. It takes some effort especially if their love language is not the same as yours but totally worth it! So there’s a quiz you can do to work out what yours is and if you read the book, you can probably work out your partner’s if they don’t want to do the quiz. (Here’s the quiz: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/). There’s a quiz for your language of apologising too and one for how you manage anger. When you do the quiz, be sure and let me know what you found out in the comments below.
While it’s presented as you have a #1 Love Language, to me I can see how in different relationships or different contexts, a different love language might equally be meaningful.
There’s also the book The 5 Love Languages of Children: The Secret to Loving Children Effectively. The idea here is that you show love for your children using each of the 5 languages and over time you will see a preference emerge. My little girl’s #1 love language is physical affection closely followed by receiving gifts. The gift thing started as a joke about how when my mother was a child and her mother went to town, when she came back my mother always asked ‘What did you bing?’ (not a spelling mistake!!). We used to joke about it but then it kind of stuck!!
What do you think your child’s primary one is? How can you build in the 5 languages into how you communicate with them? Do you suspect you know what yours is already from reading the post? Be sure to let me know in the comments below!
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Let’s get talking,