Why The 5 Love Languages are so Important
So first of all what are the Five Love Languages?
I have linked-up what the Five Love Languages are and the Test that you can take and share for free. In brief summary, it postulates that there exist five main different mediums that we express love and that we differ in the priority and favourability of each one. They are as follows:
1. Words of Affirmation: ‘This language uses words to affirm other people.’ This can be in either written or spoken form. For some this can be the greatest intimacy to speak from the heart while others take the opinion that ‘talk is cheap.’
2. Acts of Service: ‘For these people, actions speak louder than words.’ Examples can be fixing a window or running an errand. Some people really value you putting your time, thought and energy into completing a task whereas others feel it as an invasion into their privacy or something that could be done by anyone for the right ‘price’.
3. Receiving Gifts: ‘For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift.’ The importance is always around the thought that goes into the gift over the amount spent on a gift, although that can add to the weight of good intentions. Some value gifts very highly as a special conference of positive intention just for them while others see it as an extension of this materialist obsession of consumerism that the majority of the Western world duly follows.
4. Quality Time: ‘This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.’ “How do you spell love? T-I-M-E” For a lot of people, time is the greatest Value. Once it is spent it cannot be returned and for that reason the act of connection in that field is highly prized. We are moving into a world where time is one of the most valuable resources and those applications that reduce time are winning on the business planes as a result e.g. Uber, Amazon, etc. Some don’t see time as such a big deal, especially when they need to clothe and feed their children. Time isn’t going to feed their bellies or keep anyone warm at night.
5. Touch: ‘To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.’ Direct physical contact is true connection in the eyes of those who value this medium. Studies have shown that every area apart from the hands could be regarded as ‘no go’ areas for newcomers to look to share affection with so being aware of people’s boundaries and permissions are really important.
Why they are so important is because we commonly have two favoured Love Languages ourselves out of the five and we commonly expect that they must be the same with the others around us that we’ve grown-up with or recently meet. This just isn’t the case and learning what your partner’s Love Language is can be massively beneficial, knowing what your clients and work colleagues favour, can again, go so far in building great relationships which others appear to miss. By taking that time that someone else doesn’t really value the gifts they receive but really values your quality time or even your help in the form of an act of service you can really start to go deeper at understanding their world and appreciating them as a person. What I have found in my own discovery is that the Love Languages that people tend to favour are the ones that they tended to miss out on growing up. It also, ironically and somewhat sadly, appears to be the ones that they find the hardest to ask for themselves and to communicate in. This in a lot of cases for men shows up in the form of Touch and Time. When you are growing up as a ‘man’ in a goal-orientated world, then physical acts of affection are far less socially accepted than among a female group. There is also the sociological programming of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ to put off any ‘rewards’ until later in life so that sacrifice is common one for men. A gentle touch on the shoulder, arm or hand, especially from a member of the opposite sex, can mean the world to male’s who aren’t even aware of the potential resentment or cold feelings that may build-up over time of sacrifice. I always encourage anyone I meet that wants to develop their relationship skills to explore this world of the Five Love Languages as it is a great primary tool for connecting with ourselves first and foremost, as well as our fellow man. Without first loving ourselves, how can we have the fuel to love others?
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