Are Your Relationships Suffering Because You Don’t Use the Right Language?

 In Better Life, Relationships

Understanding the 5 Love Languages

You want to show your partner how much you love them, so you get them a little something special at the store; maybe their favorite treat.  Little do you know, they think it’s nice, but they don’t see this gift as a sign of your love.  What they really want is some quality time with you, but you’re so busy that they actually feel neglected and unappreciated.  The problem may be that you have different love languages. 

We all have different personalities, values, life experiences, and ways of thinking, but there is another critical area where our differences impact our personal relationships and even our work experiences.  This is understanding our language and the language that others have for feeling loved, cared for, and appreciated.   

Carol Rogers, the famous humanistic psychologist, said that one of our core humans needs is to feel valued, respected, and loved.  Here’s where it gets interesting because what makes one person feel valued and loved may be different from another person. As defined by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book, The 5 Love Languages (also see The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace), they are;

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch

At home, you may feel that you’re showing your partner you care by doing things for them.  But if there love language is Words of Affirmation and they feel that you never tell them what you appreciate about them, they will not feel loved.  You can see where the trouble starts.  

Your relationship with your kids is also affected by their love language and whether you are showing you care in their language or missing the mark.  

The 5 Languages of Appreciation at Work

The same theme applies at work.  If your company offers its employees gifts as a way to show recognition and appreciation, but your Appreciation Language is Acts of Service, you may feel unappreciated and even disengaged with your work.  For more on differences between the 5 Love Languages and the 5 Languages of Appreciation at work, check out this article.

How can you understand the love language of others?  A good hint is to watch how they like to show their love.  We usually give what we want to get.  You can find your love language by getting your personal profile at

Here are more great resources for Love Languages.

  • The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman
  • The 5 Love Languages of Children by Dr. Gary Chapman
  • The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Paul White

Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is founder and owner of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures.

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