Most clients I have met have heard of The Five Love Languages (by Dr. Gary Chapman), and many even know their own preferences. That being said, some struggle to apply this knowledge in day to day life. It is common for us to tend toward caring for others in the same way we would want to be given love ourselves. Here are some easy tips on applying the love languages to show care for the people in your life in ways they will be able to absorb and appreciate.
Ah, my poor “quality time” people are so overlooked. Because time is so intangible, many of us either 1. tend to forget that it can be such an important demonstration of love or 2. start to assume that any time spent should be sufficient. Placing emphasis on the quality of the time being spent is key—make sure that undivided attention is being given.
- Plan an actual date
- Pick up a hobby together
- Actively listen with empathy
- Put down the phones
Acts of Service
My “actions” people are in danger of being pegged as nags, since they are typically the ones complaining about chores in our therapy sessions. This is not the case—they are simply appreciative of the efforts being made. Help start their day on the right note with something small like having their coffee ready when they wake up.
- Offer to help, unprompted
- Open their car door
- Follow through when you say you’ll do something
- …okay yeah, do the dishes
Words of Affirmation
“Words” people definitely mean what they say to you, and they expect you to as well. An “I love you” from one of this type carries true weight. They are typically sensitive to criticism and harsh words, so be extra careful during arguments.
- Leave a little note on their pillow
- Give genuine compliments
- Speak highly of them in public
- Express love and admiration
This is definitely my most misunderstood category. Far from materialistic or greedy, “gifts” people can actually be some of the most sentimental. They are sure to never forget a birthday or anniversary and tend to be the most appreciative of heartfelt gift-giving.
- Bring them their favorite snack
- A small “this made me think of you” token
- Remember special occasions
- Quality over quantity
My “touchy” people place importance on much more than sexual activity. They are comforted in close proximity with more than just their romantic partners, but friends and family members as well. This type can very much be your shoulder on which to lean and cry.
- Hold hands when walking together
- Give a foot massage
- Positive nonverbal communication
- Lots of hugs
If you’d like to learn more, contact Morgan at (317)682-8747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.