It’s so easy to love the way we want to be loved, to give gifts we want to be given, to assume others have the same love languages we do. If someone has the same love-language you do, it’s easy to love them. However, showing love to people that have different love languages can be difficult, mostly because we assume people want to be loved the same way we want to be loved.
What are the five love languages?
- Words of affirmation.
- Acts of service.
- Quality time.
- Physical touch.
What are your top-two love languages? You appreciate it when others love you in that way, even if that’s not their love-language right? Now try to identify how other people feel loved. Do they ask you to help them out often? They might really appreciate acts of service. Do they ask you to do activities or often just want to talk? Then they probably feel loved when someone spends quality time with them. Does someone always give everyone a hug? Their love language is probably physical touch. Do you know a person who loves getting gifts anytime? And really any gift? Their love language is probably gifts. What about the person that is always speaking encouraging and positive things, or who is motivated to work harder after being praised for their efforts? Their love language is most likely words of affirmation.
Most people are a blend of all five love languages, but there are some that are stronger than others. Either way, I find that just thinking about the love languages helps me be more thoughtful to others in general. For example, do I give my friends a hug when I see them? Or do I wait for them to hug me? Do I refrain from giving presents because I’m afraid they might not like it? So what! A present shows you’re thinking of the other person! If nothing else, they’ll appreciate that you were thinking of them. When I think about loving people through words of affirmation, I look for things I can praise them for, which both encourages them and also helps me to see them in a more positive light (sometimes hard with siblings especially!). What about acts of service? Is there a way you could help someone out, even with something as simple as offering to help with the dishes or getting the door? Quality time is also important. Do I make time in my schedule to spend quality time with my family and friends?
I challenge you to think about the five love languages with your family and friends in mind. How do you think they feel loved? What are ways in each area that you could show your care for them? If you start applying your ideas, it’ll strengthen your relationships and show people how much you care about them!