It's all about love!
There is one that I keep coming back to, the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, a relationship counsellor. Expressing love is something you do naturally as a response when you feel loved. You can also initiate and choose to express love. However, sometimes your expression of love receives a fantastic response and sometimes it falls flat and you do not understand why. The reason, according to Chapman, is that you have not identified which love language the other person is talking. Chapman has identified the five main ones we use to speak and understand emotional love. Each of us has a preferred one that he/she uses in order to express love and to feel loved.
One is "Words of affirmation": a compliment can mean the world to someone. For others, actions speaks louder than words and they more loved when you do something for them. Others feel loved the most when they receive a gift. For another group of people, physical touch like a hug or a pat on the back, is the best way to feel loved. For another group, full undivided attention is what touches their hearts.
To know what your preferred love language is, you can do a free online test at 5lovelanguages.com or start noticing what you are complaining about, what you feel you are lacking of in your relationships, and being aware of your tendency when you express love to others. Do you want to bring a gift? Do you want to hug? Do you want to spend time with the person? Do you want to do something for her? Do you want to express nice compliments?
To understand how you feel loved allows you to recognise that it will be your natural and unconscious way of speaking your love to those who matter to you the most. Your language might not be recognised by the person you want to convey your love to, so tell her how you understand love! You will avoid spending years first of not feeling loved because of your misinterpretation and then not sharing your love in an optimal way. It is of course in your best interest to understand which language those you love speak and to learn to practice it. You will reach their heart much quicker. And think of any foreign language, it is not because that’s not natural to you that you cannot learn it!
Speaking the other person’s love language is a way of not misunderstanding them emotionally and creating a positive emotional climate.
When any of your relationships goes through some tumultuous time, try to go back to this basis and to think of the way you can help the other person feel loved, even if you do not feel like it yourself. You will probably soon see that when someone feels loved, he/she wants to give love back in return. If you have a teenager at home the return on investment might not be seen directly but it will necessarily shift something and you might reap later the benefits of the unconditional love that we all crave.
Want to find out more about how to effectively communicate with your loved ones? Why not book a session with Clotilde and find out how to enhance your relationships.
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