Welcome to day 28 in the series…
Yesterday we looked at the power of PHYSICAL TOUCH and GIFTS in communicating love to people around us for whom these resonate strongly. Today we will look at the final two – QUALITY TIME and ACTS OF SERVICE.
For some people, spending QUALITY TIME – uninterrupted, focused, one-on-one time with them is love’s loudest voice. The underlying theme is about giving undivided attention versus just sharing the same physical space. Doing things together, having heart-to-heart conversations and sharing vulnerably are all part of the QUALITY TIME language for building bonds of closeness and connection.
With this understanding, it should no longer be a surprise that people in roles involving heart-to-heart conversations can end up having affairs – psychologists or doctors with patients, ministers with members of their congregation, bosses with secretaries, etc. We each feel emotionally empty if our partner does not show love to us in the way we hear it best and so can easily be made to feel vulnerable – often unintentionally – to the subtle attractions of anyone around us who “speaks” our love language. This is not an excuse for infidelity but it certainly is a point to note well. It is crucial to understand love languages – our own and our partners – and be intentional about showing love in meaningful ways to each other, so that we take good care of each other and of the relationship.
The fifth Love Language is ACTS OF SERVICE. Some people feel most loved when people do things for them. Now, if this is not your love language it is easy to misunderstand the intent and feel like they are looking for a servant, worse yet a slave! However, it’s about doing things for them, not because you’ve been nagged to do it but because you are choosing to do it as your way of saying “I love you” or “I really value you” to them. ACTS OF SERVICE people are the ones who will offer to make the tea, wash the car, get the dinner – always busy speaking their own love language. They hear “I love you” powerfully when things are done for them. It was probably an ACTS OF SERVICE person who coined the phrase “Actions speak louder than words”!
Understanding Love Languages gives us a clear strategy for topping up emotional bank accounts on purpose and also gives better insight into how people around us have been trying to say “I really value you” in their language .. and we might have missed it. Investing the time to understand Love Languages in detail, what to do and not do for each of the five types, will pay you dividends for a lifetime.
That brings us to the end of Habit #4 and almost the end of the series. These short emails only allow enough time for quick overviews. To really learn these skills, how to apply them in practice and really master this habit, check out our FREE online course Habit #4: Improving Communication. You can find details about that and any deals we have going on on the full suite of courses on the 4habits.com website.
Tomorrow we will be reflecting on all the insights and concepts discussed around The 4 Habits and pulling them together into a personal action plan for you for 2020. See you tomorrow.