After being a marriage counselor for over 30 years, Gary Chapman discovered the reason many couples were unhappy was because people speak different languages when expressing affection for each other. When I read the The 5 Love Languages several years ago, I was suprised at how much understanding this book brought me – about myself, my marriage, and how to better communicate with people.

Here’s the general idea: we all have a primary love language, and most of the time its different from our spouse’s. Your can figure out your language by analyzing how you express affections to others, and what makes you feel the most loved. Which of these would mean the most to you?

Words of Affirmation – when your spouse tells you how amazing you look, how great dinner tasted, how well you nurture your kids – words that build your self image and confidence.

Quality Time – the most valuable thing is your spouse’s undivided attention and you would rather spend time focusing on each other.

Gifts – you often give people gifts to show your affection and appreciation. When others give you a gift, no matter how big, it means a lot to you that someone was thinking of you and made that kind of effort.

Acts of Service – the most meaningful way your spouse can show their affection is by helping you (with their own initiative and with joy).  Just the fact they are intuitive enough to feel your stress and want to relieve it by helping carry the burden, makes you feel loved and connected.

Physical Touch – sometimes it doesn’t have to be much to fulfill this need and communicate affections – holding hands, a pat on the back, a kiss on the cheek.  The important thing is that its daily contact.

There are also a couple online tests out there if you need help figuring out your primary love language. It’s interesting to figure out your own language, but what’s more helpful is to be aware of the primary language of the people around you.  Whether you’re communicating with your spouse, your children, your colleagues or your friends, having a clear understanding of what’s the most meaningful to them, will help you create better connections.

 



 

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