To love and be loved is the most basic of all human needs. People will go to extremes to get this need met. It forms the basis of the world’s religions. Society has capitalized on it commercially through the marketing of Hallmark cards, chocolate candy and diamond rings. Whatever its form or expression, getting the love you need and sharing it with others is a life-long process.
One of the best books on the subject, for me, was the book “The Five Love Languages”
by Dr. Gary Chapman. In a very practical manner he listed the five love languages as:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Receiving Gifts
3. Quality Time
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch
According to the author, every one seeks to get their love needs met through these five areas. Some of us have more dominant love needs through positive words of affirmation while others feel more love through the application of touch. Regardless of the specific dialects you might speak, all of us have one or more of these basic elements in our emotional vocabulary.
One of the easiest ways to determine someone’s love language is to observe how they express love. We tend to speak love to others in the way we want to be spoken to. This can result in frustration for people in close relationships who persist in expressing love in ways that met their own needs but don’t take into account the language of the other person. For example, my wife might like acts of service to fulfill her needs for love while I like to receive gifts. Bringing her candy and flowers for Valentines Day might be appreciated but it will not have the same impact as cooking her dinner and drawing a bath.
Take a moment to remember the last time someone did something for you that made you feel loved. How did that action fit into the five love languages? Was it a hug? An evening out? A gift? An act of service? A kind word?
Take another moment to analyze the love needs of those closest to you? How do they fit into these five love languages? It might be more than one. Have you spoken this language in a way that meets others needs?
Now, think about the clients you serve. Are they getting their love needs met? Are the parents striving in vain to meet the needs of their children but ending up frustrated? Do they need to find new ways to speak love to their child? How are the children expressing love? Are they trying to demonstrate what their needs are by their actions?