The Importance of Expression
There’s a huge difference between caring about someone and showing that you care about someone. Of course this seems obvious, but the reality is that every person is different, and the best way to help a loved one feel treasured and supported is unique to their needs. Maybe you’re the type that wants a hug when you’re upset, but your best friend feels more comforted by a heartfelt talk. Your tried-and-true hugging method wouldn’t be the best call in this situation—after all, that’s how you feel loved, right? Now it’s time to focus on your person! But how do you even start to figure out what they need?
The 5 Love Languages
Created by Gary Chapman, the 5 Love Languages is a powerful tool that can help you better understand what kind of expression of love helps you or your loved one feel most valued. According to Gary, this expression is called a “love language,” and it’s the core of human connection. We each have a primary love language, and it’s usually in this language (since it’s what we know!) that we tend to express gratitude for others. However, that’s not always the most effective route. You can make someone else feel more loved and respected by understanding their love language and communicating with them in a way they value.
The 5 primary love languages are:
Words of Affirmation—affirming words that make one feel valued, appreciated and supported
Acts of Service—thoughtful actions that lend a helping hand, showing care and intention
Receiving Gifts—tangible, thoughtful gifts that make a loved one feel cared for and understood
Quality Time—the undivided attention and care given during one-on-one time spent together
Physical Touch—reassurance, support and love given in the form of physical contact
Now that you know have an idea of what to expect, take the 5 Love Languages quiz at 5 Love Languages quiz and talk about your results with your loved one; it can open many new doors to understanding and empathy, reinforcing your connection and giving you new opportunities to nurture your relationship in ways that count.