Understanding Love Languages
by Samantha Leith | Feb 15, 2022 |
Hi, welcome to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith show with yours truly Samantha Leith. Now February is all about love Amor Libre Amore. It’s universal, it’s part of all of our lives every single day from self-love to the unrequited navigation. It can be a really rocky road so let’s take a deeper look.
The 5 Love Languages
This week, we’re going to look at the five love languages. And no, it’s not Italian, French, Greek, and dirty. Gary Chapman wrote The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. And with over 20 million copies sold, that is a lot over 30 years, believe me when I say this will be worth it.
We all have a natural way about us with love, something that’s a forerunner when it comes to showing our love and interpreting it. Understanding what yours is, much like understanding your strengths, learning your attachment style and any of the other gazillion personality profiling wisdoms out there, can make all the difference when it comes to living our lives. How you see love and how you show love is part of all your relationships, from work to romantic to your kids. Our love language will help determine how we show up and how we communicate every single day.
Yes, it is that important. We may resonate with bits of all of them. It’s a bit like being at an amazing banquet, but one will speak to us more than the others. And yes, like other aspects of your personality, it may change as you change.
Here they are in a nutshell. Words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and physical touch. When you think about it, many songs will also speak to one of these languages.
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while. Because girl, you’re amazing just the way you are. Words of affirmation.
I can see us holding hands, walking on the beach, our toes in the sand. I can see us on the countryside, sitting in the grass, laying side by side. Quality time.
I need you right now, so don’t let me down. I hope that you’ll be here when I need you the most. Acts of service.
If I gave you diamonds and pearls, would you be a happy boy or a girl? Gifts.
And perhaps one of the most known songs of all time, I want to hold your hand. And when I touch you, I feel so happy inside. Physical touch.
It’s all over advertising. Show her you love her by buying her a ring. Take your loved ones on the trip of a lifetime. For some extra love in the bedroom, try… These languages are universal. And it’s probably one of the simplest and most beneficial things you can ever understand about yourself and those you love. It’s not about gender or sexuality, nor is it defined by age, socioeconomic group, or culture. It’s about you. Relationships take work. We know that. There’s no magic bullet, but this is an essential ingredient.
I happen to think having a party is the ultimate love language – a – thon. Okay? Picture the scenario. People are coming to your house. You’re having a party. You’ve been thinking about what you’re going to create. They’re walking in the door, and then their words of affirmation come out. “Thank you so much for coming. Look at what you’re wearing. It’s amazing. My God, the food was incredible.” You’ve got quality time. People are in your house, they’ve taken time to spend time with you. That is quality. Acts of service. Look at everything you have done to have those people over. The preparation, the thought, that is an act of service. Then there’s the gifts. As everyone walks in, maybe not everybody, most people walk in and they go, “Here’s some wine. Here’s some flowers. Have some champagne.” And last but not least by any means is physical touch. Throughout the night and as they come in and out that front door, you’re getting a cuddle. You’re getting a kiss on the cheek. Maybe you’re getting a handshake, but there is that physical connection. Truly the ultimate love language-athon.
So, let’s look at the languages in greater detail.
Words of Affirmation
This was most definitely my primary one for a time, but it was based on my need to get external validation because I couldn’t really give it to myself. Now it switches between probably two and three for me. This is all about acknowledgement. “I love you. Thank you. You freaking rock.” I remember once making a slightly passive-aggressive remark to someone in a situation. “Thank you would be nice.” To which they replied, “You always need people to say thank you.” And yes, I did. Now their love language is gifts. And because I didn’t understand this then, I was pissed that they didn’t just say thank you. I didn’t want a present. I wanted two words. Text messages, notes, cards, letters like back in the olden days, are keys to the kingdom, and a compliment will give you the security code to the safe.
This is about undivided attention, one on one, meaningful activities, no distractions. Put that bloody phone away. And when something’s been arranged and it’s canceled, it can be devastating for someone whose primary language is this. Eye contact is really important, and active listening without unsolicited advice is perfect for communicating. They say one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to be fully present. Well, it can be one of the greatest gifts for someone else, too.
Acts of service
Now this is my number one. It’s about taking action, helping. You can see someone needs something, so you’ll go out of your way to assist them. Sadly, this can often take your own needs down a notch. And if you don’t get the same acts of service back, it can be really hard to understand why people don’t see you need the help. It might be making dinner, fixing a document for them, a random chore, or just remembering to fill up the water and the coffee machine.
Now, this is not about materialism. It’s about showing your love. You may see something, and it triggers a thought of someone. Or you may spend 11 months working out the perfect gifts for all of your loved ones at Christmas, curated to their uniqueness and to show the connection that you share and how well you know them. It’s not just about giving the gift. It’s about the time and the effort someone put in, regardless of cost.
Kissing, cuddling, handholding, a massage. Oh, I’d kill for one of them. Footsies under a table, a slight stroke of a hand, and yes, sex are all signs of love in this language. This is about physical connection. So a long distance relationship is not ideal. That hug or a pat on the back as they walk past can give them the jolt of love and security that you didn’t even know they needed in that moment.
To find out what language you speak, we’ll include the link in the workbook. But for the most of us, even with these teeny-tiny descriptions, it’ll hit you on the head like a hammer. No idea why we say that because would really fricking hurt.
Once you know your love language, you’ll be able to work out what the language is of people around you, which gives you great insight in what to do and what not to do in your relationship, even if it’s a brand new romantic one.
Talking about them with your children is also a really good idea. This came up for me when my daughter was going through a very huggy phase, and she couldn’t understand why all of her friends didn’t want to hug all the time. I’ll point out she was probably about 10, but her now knowing that it’s not for everyone and you need to check if it’s okay, saved her from doubt and sadness when this physicality wasn’t what she was getting. As she’s gotten older, words of affirmation has probably now moved ahead in that queue.
The Love Languages in everyday life
John Gottman, the relationship expert, said that it takes five positive interactions to counteract one negative interaction. So here are some dos and don’ts with love languages. When looking at these in different circumstances like work, friends, or family, tweak as appropriate because clearly walking up to your boss and holding their hand in the kitchen may not be a good move.
For words of affirmation, you want to encourage, affirm, appreciate, listen, send random cards, texts, notes, et cetera. You want to avoid judgment and criticism, and you really want to avoid not appreciating something. Quality time, bottom line is make more time one on one with no distractions. Acts of service, do chores together, or do something for them without anything to be asked to do it.
Whatever you do, make sure you follow through and do not make someone else a priority unless absolutely necessary. Gifts. You want to give thoughtful gifts, and yes, size doesn’t matter, girls. It’s the thought that counts. Be appreciative when you receive a gift, as a blase, “Thanks,” when something is received can be like a dagger. And make sure those important dates are on the calendar. Physical touch. You’ve got to make intimacy a priority. And yes, that can be holding hands at Harris Farm or simply being next to each other on a couch. Try not to go too long without physical connection. And if you want to reject their physicality, I would suggest a conversation, not just pulling your hand away.
If you’re at work, for example, you might have every type in your team. That may mean one on one mentoring time, buying a random coffee, a high five in a hallway, an email of appreciation, or saying to your teammate, “I know you have a project due. I’ve got some spare time. Can I help you with any of it?” You may have one child that needs hugs, another one that cannot wait for that new Barbie DVD for their birthday, that silent one that needs help with their homework, the learner driver that longs to hear, “Great job.” Then the littlest one who just wants to hang in a tent in the backyard with you.
And our friends are the same. And whilst communication is really important in life, we don’t often walk up to someone and say, “Hi, my love language is quality time. So it’s really important to me that you…” So read their signs. Know who you are and make more magic happen in your relationships.
Thank you so much for watching this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith show. I hope you loved it. Please head on over to Samantha Leith.com/freebies to get the worksheets for this month and don’t forget to spread the love by subscribing, commenting, and sharing this video. Until next time don’t forget to love yourself because you are extraordinary, you.
🎶 The Rose Songwriters: Amanda Mc Broom
© Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp., Third Story Music, Inc.
🎙️ Produced by Samantha Leith / Michael Allen Vocals by Samantha Leith