Are Your Relationships Suffering Because You Don’t Use the Right Language?
I make my daughter breakfast and pack her a nice lunch for school because I care. I help out with the dishes, even when it’s my husband’s turn to do them, because I care. But what if these things don’t matter to them, and they don’t feel loved by my actions?
My love language is “Acts of Service.” When my daughter helps carry in the groceries even though I don’t ask her to, I feel she cares. When my husband makes the bed or offers to help with dinner, I feel he cares. So it’s natural that I would show my love for them using my language. But what if it’s not theirs? And I know it’s not . . .
I know my daughter’s love language is “Quality Time” and my husband’s are “Words of Affirmation” and “Physical Touch.” Yet I forget. Even though I know how important it is to use the language that others need to feel loved, cared for, and appreciated, I keep defaulting to my own.
That’s why I’m writing this tip; to reflect and consider what I can do differently. And because I’m guessing this may be difficult for you, too.
Carol Rogers, the famous humanistic psychologist, said that one of our core humans needs is to feel valued, respected, and loved. But what makes one person feel valued and loved may be different from another person. Dr. Gary Chapman describes these differences in his book, The 5 Love Languages. They are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
It’s also challenging because we expect our family and friends to read our minds and know what we need, instead of us asking for it. It may feel uncomfortable to request “Acts of Service” from our partner or kids. A helpful solution is for your and your loved ones to take one of the quizzes here and talk about your results.
Dr. Chapman talks about how so many relationships suffer needlessly because we’re not speaking the same language. What a tragedy to think you may be expressing your love every day without knowing that the meaning is lost on the other person! Instead, they may be feeling neglected and isolated. Learn and speak their love language now.