Welcome to day 27 in the series…
Yesterday we looked at one of the Five Love Languages – Words Of Affirmation and how it can be expressed. Today we will share insights on two more – PHYSICAL TOUCH and GIFTS.
Some people feel most loved through PHYSICAL TOUCH. For a TOUCH person, there is nothing quite like giving them a warm hug or a gentle touch on the arm or shoulder to make them feel special. It’s almost as if their skin is super sensitive to touch… and they feel really loved and special when they receive the sensation. Importantly it is not about sexual advances. Rather it is using TOUCH to show love with no strings attached. Most babies respond strongly to the calming sensation of gentle touch and for some people that continues to remain loves loudest language.
For me (Jon) holding hands in public was not acceptable behaviour based on my cultural upbringing, but for Andrea as a TOUCH person this was the most natural thing to do. Understanding the 5 love languages helped me realise how for her, the absence of TOUCH – like refusing to hold hands – can feel like crushing rejection. We were able to talk about it openly so she understood that I wasn’t rejecting her at all, and helped her deal with those moments when she would unconsciously reach for my hand and feel me freeze. As it happens, overtime I have become quite comfortable with it and now actually enjoy holding her hand in public!
The third language is GIFTS – which can sound very commercial if you are not a GIFTS person, but speaks love just as loudly to them as the others do to you. Everyone likes receiving a gift… but for GIFTS people the appreciation goes to another level. For them, the fact that you thought of them and took time out to get something tangible for them makes them feel special and particularly loved. The GIFT doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful. And you definitely don’t want to forget important events like birthdays for a GIFTS person!
People tend to give hints about their own love language by the things they do… or the things they complain about. If you listen carefully, buried in the complaint is a golden clue on how you can make them feel loved and more connected with you. And if you have children, understanding love languages becomes your survival tool especially for the teen years, to help keep them stay connected so your voice of influence is stronger than their peers’.
Something to think about: Recognise anyone in the love languages highlighted so far? Have you been making them feel valued… or just waiting for them to get over it and come around to how you think they should feel valued? Spoiler alert: That’s not going to happen! Best you start really understanding what it is that makes them feel valued and then do something about it.
Tomorrow we will give an overview of the final two love languages – QUALITY TIME and ACTS OF SERVICE. So, see you tomorrow.