This is a very ‘revealing’ piece of information I learnt recently at the “Art of Happiness” workshop conducted by Nithya Shanti. This is actually taken from a book written by an eminent psychologist, Gary Chapman, who has worked on couples who are on the verge of separation and brought them together through their successful understanding of the 5 love languages. Each of us has one primary way in which we express our love for the other person. However, the way in which we communicate our love to the other is quite strictly speaking our story. And as we often know, it may not translate to an expression of love for the other person, simply because that person has his/her own love language. Let’s look at the 5 love languages –
- Words of Affirmation – For some, the primary way of understanding love is through words of appreciation and affirmation. This could also be just an acknowledgment of their own wonderful qualities. For these people, words really do matter and speak the language of love.
- Acts of Service – If this is your love language, then it means you primarily express your love through acts of love and kindness. It could be as simple as making a cup of tea for your spouse, helping out your partner in their work even if that is not your domain of work, reserving a table at your partner’s favorite restaurant on his/her birthday, etc. Even if the other person regards them as “duty” you very well know this is a service you do to them from the love you have for them.
- Gifts – For you love speaks the language of gifts. Whenever you want to express your love for the other person, you bring them gifts! Whether it is carrying a simple chocolate cake to your friend when he/she is feeling low or getting your parents the CD of their favorite retro artist, gifts is the primary way of expressing your love.
- Quality Time – It is much more than just being in the same room as your loved one. What it translates to is focusing your complete attention and energy on the one you love. Giving them the best of your time. You needn’t even talk, for just being a good, open-minded and open-hearted listener is what really matters to you in expressing your love to the other person. Sometimes it also translates to you sharing your space, your silence with the one you love.
- Physical touch – A human touch makes a world of a difference to some people. They are innately sensual beings to whom a touch speaks a thousand words of love. They start feeling more comfortable and open to their loved one when they give and receive hugs, kisses, massages, hold hands, etc. For people with this love language, a sexual expression is just one form of physical touch. The physical warmth and proximity conveyed is good enough for them to feel completely loved by their partner.
Identifying your love language
When you think of the person you love, what form of expressing it from the above instantly comes to your mind? If, for example, for a painter it is by painting a picture for someone is his primary way of expressing love, then he has to identify whether it is the act of giving the painting that he enjoys more or painting for that person that he enjoys more. Accordingly his love language would be gifting or an act of service respectively. These love languages do change with situations, but one of them is generally predominant. But what is important is to identify how you would feel loved by the other person in a particular situation. And then communicate that love language to the other. Or when your spouse walks in without offering to give you a massage but offers to take the dog for a walk giving you some free time to yourself, you know his love language is an act of service, while yours is physical touch. But when both know the other’s love language, a great deal of conflict is avoided.
For further details, please visit the site: THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES