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Thursday, April 7, 2011

T3 - The Languages of Love

Since Dr. Gary Chapman's book has sold over 5 million copies since 1992, most of my readership is probably already familiar with the five love languages outlined in his book. I'm a huge fan of this book not only personally but professionally. I've used it successfully with many couples to help them fill each other's "love tanks" more proficiently.

That's a great metaphor in counseling - filling up a tank. People get it--perhaps since gas prices are soaring. :-) But if you are speaking the language of quality time, likely you need quality time to feel loved and therefor fill your tank. If your partner speaks in acts of service, the both of you might as well be speaking French and German for all the emotional good it will do.

Chapman's synthesis of the 5 main ways people show love is nothing short of groundbreaking genius. You can click on the picture below to enlarge it and take the quiz to see which love language you speak most fluently.

From Gary Chapman's website, here are the 5 love langauges:
  • Words of Affirmation
    Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
  • Quality Time
    In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
  • Receiving Gifts
    Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.
  • Acts of Service
    Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.
  • Physical Touch
    This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

So once you've taken the quiz and read the short description about your love language type, click the diagram below to get a better idea how to relate with people and what to avoid based on the love languages.

This is therapy at it's finest. Hope you find it useful.

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Sierra Gardner said...

I really liked this book as well. I thought it was a simple and accessible way for people to understand how to relate to each other. My top two are words of affirmation and acts of service. I could last for days on someone giving me a compliment or secretly doing the dishes.

Laura S. said...

My mom has been bugging me to read this book. I really like the concept. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing!

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.