I love birthdays.
I love celebrating others, I enjoy thinking about gifts that don’t just fill the space for gift giving but gifts that remind people “Hey– I thought about you specifically you for this moment right now.”
I am a huge words of affirmation person both giving and receiving. However when receiving I reciprocate written versus verbal. Verbal affirmation makes me ALL KINDS OF UNCOMFORTABLE. I still don’t know how to take a compliment, this at first streamed from very deep insecurities. Now they are not so deep but still very present however verbal affirmation still makes me nervous and I automatically turn it onto the other person.
I think the psychology fan in me loves the idea of love languages.
I am a firm believer that they help us understand one another better and also gives us the space to know people even deeper.
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION
ACTS OF SERVICE
These love languages are usually used in regards to marriage HOWEVER, I think that these could play a huge part in everyday friendships, work environments and basically any interaction with human beings. I ask pretty much all of my friends what their love language is because I desire to know them deeper, what is it that I can do to where they feel most loved? I remember having this conversation with my housemates about a year ago and understanding love languages became crucial in one of the relationships because for one girl, giving gifts was the way her family dealt with conflict. Instead of sitting and talking about it, a gift would just pop up somewhere and that was the end of it, so she became used to doing that when they would get into arguments or tidbits. However for the other girl in the relationship she grew up in a house where gifts weren’t really intention but just stuff and the “stuff” took away from connection, from actual relationship.
You can imagine how they had to talk that one out because each person interpreted the “gifts” in different ways.
Knowing and understanding the people around you can be complicated. Relationships to any extent take A LOT of work. Whatever we can do to better understand the other in the midst of the complication and difficulty, will allow healthier, rooted and blossoming relationships.
With love languages, there isn’t necessarily you have some and you don’t have the others. With these specific love languages there is more of an order of the 5 for each individual person than there is the presence or absence. For me, my order is as follows:
- (Written) Words of affirmation (I know….so complicated, just like my starbucks orders)
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Physical Touch
This is not to say that I don’t appreciate verbal words of affirmation but as I mentioned before, it makes me all kinds of squirm-ish. And this is also not saying that I absolutely hate to be touched because I’m such a hugger and a good one BUT when it comes to how I best receive love its not on the top of my list.
NOTE: There is a difference between these love languages in regards to receiving and giving.
I believe that if you are aware of how someone else best receives love, you are able to deliver that despite where the language may be placed in your own list. I knew that in a relationship that his top love language was quality time and though that was not my personal first choice I had to learn how to adjust and put that knowledge into action with my interactions with him. It is an opportunity not only to stretch yourself but also put yourselves in the shoes of someone else for a moment. How does this person need to be loved in this moment right now?
I think that these five little tokens can be beautiful additions to not only knowing but truly understanding and loving those around us.