How knowing your style of showing and wanting appreciation can improve your relationships.
Today I received a wedding anniversary surprise from a gorgeous friend of mine from Australia. What made this gift so lovely was not only that it came all the way from Australia and that my friend was so thoughtful as to send us something to our first wedding anniversary, but also that it reminded me of the last time we saw each other in person. We were actually adoring the cushion cover you see above in this rather cute store in Northcote, Melbourne and I was wondering aloud whom I could get this for as I absolutely loved it but had definitely done enough shopping for myself... Anyways, she remembered and got it for me and that made me remember how grateful I am for having people in my life who show their appreciation and love in a way that I feel nurtured and cared for. This inspired me to write today's blog about the 5 languages of love and appreciation and dedicate it to my lovely friend. #friendship #gratitude #communication
The 5 Love LanguagesThe 5 love languages are a framework by Gary Chapman outlining 5 different ways to express your appreciation and love:
Words of Affirmation – comliments, encouraging words, loving notes & messages
Quality Time – one-on-one time, uninterrupted focused conversations
Receiving Gifts – thoughtful gifts and gestures, expressing gratitude when receiving a gift
Acts of Service – offering help, doing chores or other acitivities for the other
Physical Touch – hugs, kisses, holding hands, intimacy
The idea is that we all have preferred styles of expressing and receiving love, namely our favourite love languages. This can lead to misunderstandings when our partner or friend speaks a different love language to our own.
For example: He might show his love with acts of service by performing all the household chores that she really dreads (like taking out that stinky garbage bin). If her main love languages on the other hand are words of affirmation and quality time, she might not recognize his efforts as a sign of his love. Instead, she might be longing for a few romantic words and some quality time where his full attention is with her, rather than scurrying about doing this chore and that chore. She might even misunderstand his acts of service for a lack of love due to his apparent inability to spend some quality time with her.
The solution is simple, get to know your preferred love languages and those of the people around you and develop more flexibility in expressing and receiving love and appreciation.
Ask yourself: When do I feel appreciated or loved? How do I show my appreciation or love to others?
Then continue and explore the question of how your partner or friend typically expresses his or her appreciation. Is it similar or different to your language?
You might also enjoy taking a test to asess your preferred languages. The test can be helpful to get a better understanding of the different languages and how they might apply. However, I also find it important to remember that the 5 love languages are only a framework to help you broaden your understanding of communicating love and that when you are centered and connected with your heart, you are able to speak and understand every language of love.
To friendship and love,
PS: In case you wondered, making and receiving gifts and words of affirmation are among my love languages :-)