If you’re having a hard time with love, perhaps you’re just speaking the wrong language!
According to Garry Chapman, there are five love communication styles. These languages describe the way we give and receive love.
The way you give may not be the way you receive. Even more so, the way you give to your spouse may be different than the way you give to your child, sending a confusing message.
1. Quality Time
This means literally squeezing face to face time in for the person you care about. It means looking them directly in the eyes and intentionally listening to their story. There are lots of ways of spending quality time with your love. You can take a short stroll around your neighborhood, help clean the dishes, play a physical game or go see a local site.You can recognize these people because they are typically more disappointed by cancelled reservations than your other friends. Letting them slip, is a sign
2. Physical Touch.
These people love to hug, hold hands, high five, pat backs, shake hands, play Twister. Anything to get to rub elbows to show their affection. It doesn’t have to be long but these people most likely love to snuggle. Easy ways to show them love is nudges of affirmation, lots of hugs, or a long snuggle session.You’ll recognize these people immediately.
3. Words of Affirmation
These people say, “I love you,” a lot. They tell you you’re smart, funny, talented, beautiful, handsome. Geez, don’t you just love being around them?
Remember to find ways to point out their positive qualities and compliment them on back. You’ll recognize these people because they’ll perk up a little higher when you commend them for a job well done.
4. Acts of Service
Unless you can volunteer in place of your sibling for a gladiator style battle to the death, this one is a little tricky. These people love when you do the dishes, take out the trash, get the oil changed. They also love doing those things for you. They’ll show up with a new carton of milk when you didn’t realize the other one went bad.
Make sure you notice these acts, too often they tend to slip under the radar. Try to find ways to beat them to the punch. Do the laundry, reply to their emails right away or give them a DIY gift.
5. Giving Gifts
Our society amply recognizes these people, what else is the rest of the holiday season about? If you’re not one of these people sometimes we can be a little harsh. They tried, after all. Be nice, say thank you, and return it later. Keep in mind they work very hard to pick something you’ll like so you don’t have to lie either.
Keep in mind that people aren’t necessarily one or the other. They may be a combination of one or two, more over, they may give you gifts but want your time. Spend a day noticing what your loved ones are telling you. Try using each language on your loved one, who know what you’ll find!
* These are not limited to intimate relationships. Try learning the language of your boss or the angry lady behind the counter. Learn how to offer peace treaties by showing them you care.
Good luck on your search!
Olga Feingold is a traveling vagabond goddess, who found a passionate full-time career in Boston. She keeps her soul smiling with her dedicated yoga practice, running away to the wilderness in her free time, and practicing gratitude. She loves finding things to climb, people to hug, and harnessing her inner domesticated side.
Ed: Kate B.