“All you need is love,” according to the Beatles. Love comes in many different shapes and fashions. It crosses nations and tongues, but it can be interpreted differently according to our personalities. Everyone has a unique personality and a unique way of expressing love to one another. Psychologists have narrowed it down to roughly 5 categories that are common love languages between people.
- Affection: Being physically touched is a way to show and be shown your love for others. A hand on the shoulder, a hug, or holding hands are all ways that people show affection to one another. It is less about physical desire, and more about wanting a connection with that other person.
- Quality Time: You enjoy spending time with the people that are special to you. You want to have long talks and do activities with them. You feel cherished with they give you their undivided attention.
- Words of Affirmation: You feel love from the expressed words and thoughts of other people. You enjoy hearing compliments and praises from those that you care about. You would rather a note or a sweet letter rather than anything else.
- Gifts: When someone thinks of you, and brings you back a gift, you feel very loved. You like it when people pay for you in restaurants and give you little “just because” presents. You want to know that you were on their mind even when you were there.
- Acts of Service: When someone goes out of their way to help you, you feel very loved. You are enjoy seeing chores done for you, or when someone helps you with a task. It means even more when they complete a task that you know they dislike in order to help you.
How We Express Love
We usually show others love through the love language that we prefer to be loved by. For example, if your love language is gifts, then you usually like to show others love through gifts as well. You can prefer to show love differently to people depending on their relationship to you. You’ll want to show your Father the love language of Quality Time, and you Husband the love language of Affection.
Trouble in Paradise
Miscommunication between languages can happen because you are expecting to see love in a specific way, and others are showing it to you in ways you don’t recognize. It’s not that your Sister doesn’t love you. She is simply showing you love in a different avenue than you are familiar with. Respect that the people around you understand love differently. Take the time to learn their love language, and go out of your way to show love in the way that they understand it best.
Even though one may be more dominant than another, they all work in unison. You wouldn’t give someone a gift and insult them at the same time if you truly loved them. As you show your love, make sure that the other languages are saying the same thing. Now that you know what language you speak, go out and share your love with others.