Often times we love people but it’s not received or appreciated. “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman reveals how this can happen and the ways we can communicate value, encouragement and love to others. We’ve broken it down so you can start reaching your teen and others.
- Words of Affirmation: Literally giving praise or even telling others in front of them specific things they are good at and why you value them.
- Giving Gifts: Wrapping a note on one of their favorite candy bars or other small tokens of appreciation.
- Quality Time: Spending time with the person working on a project (changing a tire, homework, etc.) or just taking time to grab a quick lunch.
- Acts of Service: Washing their car, making dinner or doing an errand for them.
- Physical Touch: Giving them a hug or a pat on the back—everyone loves a quick back scratch.
A Bad Translation
According to Chapman, different people feel loved in different ways. Not understanding the different love languages can result in a lot of frustration. If your love language is Acts of Service, you probably tend to show others that you love them by working yourself to death doing things for them. However, if your daughter’s love language is Quality Time, she won’t feel loved by all the projects; she’ll just wonder why you work all the time and don’t have time to talk to her. You may verbally praise someone if words of affirmation are your love language, but if that isn’t theirs they may still not feel valued by your compliments. The key is knowing how to speak their specific “love language.”
How Do You Love?
So how do you find out how to make a family member or friend feel valued or encouraged?
The best way to determine someone’s love language is to ask them questions like, “What makes you feel that someone loves you? How do they show it?” You can often tell by looking at the way they show others love. It’s a natural inclination to try to show love to others in the way that you receive and feel loved.
Learning to recognize how to show others you love and value them and sharing this knowledge with your teen will strengthen your parent-child relationship and will even lead to more successful relationships with other family members, neighbors, friends and co-workers.
Life is all about relationships, and teaching your child how to make and keep successful relationships (whether it be with family, friends, teachers, co-workers or future in-laws) is one of the most important lessons that can be taught.
Need more help finding your love language? Visit www.5lovelanguages.com.