You may have heard about the five love languages, or maybe you haven’t? It’s been years since I heard about love languages, but I thought it was some pseudoscience. However, my friend started to talk about these five love languages and how it had helped him with his communication skills. Then I had to look it up, and this theory by Gary Chapman has been supported through some empirical research.
The theory is that everyone has their own language about love: how we feel and experience that we are being loved and valued and vice versa, how we show our love to other people.
The five love languages are divided into the above:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Receiving gifts
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
These are the main languages, and either you are the type who feels you are loved through supportive & kind words, service/actions, gifts, quality time, or through physical touch. Of course, you can score very high on more than one, like quality time and physical touch, for example, but science says that everyone has a primary love language.
How different love languages can cause hurt?
In a relationship where couples have very different love languages, it can cause many conflicts & disagreements. I have an example from one marriage where the woman put a lot of time and thought into gifts for her husband. He had told her many times that he only wanted her and preferably naked with a red ribbon. She always took those comments as a joke and continued with the stream of gifts, sorry avalanche of gifts! I advised them to take the test to understand each other better.
After taking the test, she saw that her husband had scored highest in quality time and physical touch & actually, her highest score was also quality time. The gift part was at the bottom of her husband´s scoring, with only 1 point. That was a real eye-opener for her, finally. After that, they began to emphasize spending more quality time together and to spend less time & money on gifts.
Knowing your love language is essential for everyone, especially couples. Even though you are not in a relationship or marriage, you can also apply it to your kids or your parents (there are different tests for kids). How does your child feel loved? Does the child always hug you, ask you to play, or gets positive reinforcement through words of affirmations or gifts?
The last time I witnessed an argument between siblings was because the brother wanted to be hugging (physical touch) his sister (a lot). Whom nota bene did not share his interest in this daily hugging. These were real disputes that created a lot of conflicts between those siblings. On the other hand, the sister was always asking the brother to spend more time with her (quality time).
What about your parents? Is your father/mother the type of person who always hugs you, does something for you as an act of service, or does he/she express himself/herself through words or gifts? Whatever it is, it is interesting to think about how others show their love to us and vice versa.
When the love languages are very different in relationships, it can hurt our feelings & create uncertainty.
Take the test on my website: https://mindtherapy.dk/en/category/blog-en/
Ask your family members to take it as well. It might lead to less conflict and strengthen our relationships as we better understand how our spouse, mother, or siblings feel loved and valued.
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