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How to quickly reach someone by talking to them in their love language

communication relationships Apr 23, 2021

You know how it is at work; some colleagues do not like to be spoken to or praised (embarrassing much) whereas others cry behind the stationary room door if you don't recognise the great job they've been doing!

Does your head in right! But, ...

How many of us treat our kids differently according to their needs: one child likes lots of hugs whereas the other likes you to bake a cake with them?

Do you know why the kids/colleagues are so different and why we cater to their different needs?

It's because subconsciously we know there's different strokes for different folks.

A trick to harmonious relationships is to make the subconscious, conscious.

We each have different ways of accepting and receiving information (here to referred to as love languages) and a sure way for us to pay attention to someone/something else is when our love language is activated by them, and, vice versa, when we activate their love language.

Language does not mean just the words we use: language is a generic term that sums up all the interactions that we engage in when dealing with another person: this includes the little things we do that tell the other we are with them.

According to Gary Chapman, author of the five love languages, the languages of love present across all relationships (not just romantic or familial ones) are:

  1.  acts of service (cup of tea, mowing the lawn, bringing the photocopying, etc)
  2.  words of affirmation ("You did great", "Fantastic job", "You look lovely", etc)
  3.  quality time (watching TV together, sitting in a park together for lunch, etc)
  4.  physical touch (touch on the arm, hug, hair scruff, etc), and
  5.  receiving gifts (a flower, a present, a biscuit, a card, etc).

If you pay attention to what lights up your world, you can probably guess YOUR love language. Mine was very obvious - you can give me all the expensive gifts you want. They're nice and I'll accept them, but, tell me I have done an excellent job on something and I'm yours forever. Give me a book as a gift WITH a personalised inscription or dedication to me and it will have pride of place in my library. Clearly, my love language is words of affirmation.

Take the quiz to find out what yours is.  Have your partner test too so you know what theirs is and you can then adjust your behaviour toward them so that you are speaking a language they understand and appreciate. 

Why should you both do it? It's best to guard against speaking to your relationships in YOUR love language. What floats your boat may not be the same for the other. To deeply reach them and to make a difference in the strength of your relationship, speak to them in the love language that floats THEIR boat.

My partner is an Acts of Service person.  He LOVES me to make him a cup of coffee or hang his clothes on the line. I hate it (would rather be working), but I do it because he receives it as my love of him. Similarly, I have to force myself to remember to thank him when he does acts of service for me because I need to recognise and appreciate the way he tells me I am worthwhile.

He also likes physical touch....which drove me to distraction until we sorted this all out. All I needed was a word or two, like, "Hey darling. I'm happy to be home with you." Why?; because I'm words of affirmation and not physical touch.

If you are working with a colleague who's love language is gifts, a .50 cents chocolate on their desk goes a long way to relationship building. It is not manipulation or pandering; it is respecting that we are all different and communicate in different ways.

I'm interested in you: what do you think your love language is? Do the quiz and then tell me if you are surprised by the results.


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