love language

Love makes the world go around, but what happens when we communicate love differently from someone else? It’s like we are speaking in a different language and no one gets understood. If I don’t speak to you in a way you understand love, you may not feel my love, or I may not feel your affection if you don’t use my language. How we express love is an indicator of how we also receive it. Your language and mine might be different. The language of love is spoken and shown in many ways. How do you communicate it?

Andy Andrews, in his book, The Noticer, describes four different love dialects.

Spoken Words of Approval

If this is your love language, then words are important. What people say to you really matters. If you know someone like this, they will respond when you use words to tell them how much they mean to you. It also goes the other way. Negative words and statements will make them feel like they are under attack. So choose your words wisely.

Favors and Deeds

When someone is under this category, it means they feel your affection when you do something for them, such as helping around the house or picking up dinner. This is the show me you care category.

Physical Contact

People that use this dialect feel love by being touched. This can be hugging, holding hands, or a touch on the arm. If someone is a big hugger, this is the way they express love.

Quality Time Love Language

This group feels loved when you spend quality time with them. That doesn’t mean taking them out to dinner and being on your phone. This is one-on-one time and you should be fully present. If someone tells you, I wished we could have more time together or You’re not around much, this can be their category. They are saying “Just be with me”. Giving your undivided attention is the way to win their heart.

We are probably all a combination of the above, but I believe people lean more towards one category than the others. A clue is how they express love. It’s usually the same way they feel it. If someone helps you with your chores, but your love language is words, then you make think their action is just doing a chore, and not an act of affection.

You can also see signs of their love language by what they complain about. If someone says many times, I wished you helped more, then acts of service could be their love language. When you can communicate in the same love language as someone else, then that’s when the magic happens and is felt more deeply.

The Five Love Languages

Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages, which he describes similar ways love is communicated—through words, touch, receiving gifts, acts of service, or one-on-one time. Receiving gifts can be material or non-material. I find many times what people give is what they like or would like to receive. My daughter is a very thoughtful gift giver. When someone makes a comment on something they would like or like to do, she makes a note on her phone. When it’s time to give that person a gift, she already has their list of wishes!

I believe a key to great communication is this: If you want to be understood, talk in the other person’s language. And isn’t that what we all want? Just to be seen and understood?

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