As humans, we thrive based on our relationships with others. Whether it’s the people we work with, our friends, partner or family, we all want to have meaningful relationships with the people in our life. So to make it easier, here’s a hack to creating deeper connections by understanding the 5 languages of love.
What are the 5 Languages of Love?
The 5 Languages of Love is a book by Dr Gary Chapman which details 5 different ways in which people feel appreciated and valued. The original book was written in the context of marriages, but don’t let that (or the religious overtones) deter you – the lessons are applicable to all relationships and irrespective of your beliefs.
Each of these ‘love languages’ has it’s own characteristics and while there is no hierarchy to these love languages, everyone has their own preference, whether they are aware of it or not.
By knowing each other’s love language, we are able to communicate our love accordingly and connect with each other in a way that is meaningful for that person and create genuine connections.
The 5 love languages are:
- Words of affirmation – which involves verbal recognition and encouragement and requires active listening
- Quality time – prefers uninterrupted and focused attention and time together including one-on-one conversations
- Receiving gifts – values thoughtful gifts as a symbol of appreciation and gratitude
- Acts of service – when actions are valued above all else
- Physical contact – appreciates non-verbal communication and physical touch.
What is my love language?
You might instinctively know what your love language is, or it might not be so obvious. Think about when you feel happiest. What are the people around you doing?
If you’re feeling stuck take the quiz here.
How do I know other people’s love language?
This might take a little more consideration, especially if the person in question is a colleague.
Keep an eye out for people’s reactions, as our love language guides how we respond to situations. For example, someone who values words of affirmation will be bolstered by supportive and encouraging feedback. But on the flip side, they may be deeply affected and upset by negative feedback or cursing.
When you have an inkling of what someone’s love language might be, test it. Offer words of encouragement or give them a pat on the back and see what response you get. Keep trying until you see a positive response.
It might also serve you to read the book which is packed with examples or perhaps even pick up the workplace edition.
Why does it matter?
Everyone wants to feel valued and understood.
By making the effort to show appreciation in someone else’s prefered love language, it will create meaningful relationships and deeper connections.
And it will make communication easier, whether it’s with your partner, team at work or family.
It’s also worth bearing in mind when you’re meeting people for the first time (either networking or dating), as it can help form a meaningful connection from the outset.
In case you’re wondering, my love language is acts of service.
What’s yours? Share in the comments below.