Written by, Katie Wilson Ferguson
The most life-changing book I’ve read is “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. In less than 200 pages, Chapman taught me how to better understand every relationship I’ve had. While the original book is targeted to married couples, the information has also helped me in my relationships with family, friends, clients and business associates.
In short, we usually show kindness in our own love language. Those expressions might not be fully understood if the recipient doesn’t share the same love language. The two biggest points the book taught me are:
- My love and care for another individual is better understood when I express it in his or her love language rather than my own.
- I better recognize others’ love and care for me as I remember they are expressing themselves in their own love language rather than mine.
In my last article, A Village of Support, I shared how family and friends showed support to my family after my mom had surgery and while I was taking care of my dad. These kind loved-ones were probably expressing their concern for us in their own love languages.
The 5 Love Languages taught throughout the book are:
Words of Affirmation
Loved ones sent my mom cards with encouraging, thoughtful messages. My parents showered me with gratitude by thanking me and complimenting me several times a day.
Some friends showed they cared with a personal visit or phone call.
My maternal grandma and other family and friends sent my mom flowers. My paternal grandma sent a box of homemade cookies.
Acts of Service
Friends and family showed us love by bringing dinners. I showed my love by caring for my parents and doing some housework.
Some great examples of this love language are backrubs, snuggles, kisses and holding hands. This isn’t just applicable to romantic relationships.
I have two love languages: Acts of Service and Quality Time. I appreciate compliments, gifts are nice, hugs feel good, but nothing says I’m loved more than these two questions: “How can I help you?” and “Want to go to lunch on Saturday?” Likewise, nothing frustrates and hurts me like an unfulfilled promise or last-minute broken commitment.
We express all the love languages at different times and often express multiple love languages on one occasion (for example, visiting a friend and taking a gift). However, some love languages feel more natural than others, so those are the ones we use most frequently.
What is your love language?
To learn more about The 5 Love Languages and to discover your own love language, visit: http://www.5lovelanguages.com