You probably have heard of “The 5 Love Languages,” before…especially if you run in Christian circles. This concept was made popular by author Gary Chapman in his book, “The 5 Love Languages.” (I HIGHLY recommend The 5 Love Languages of Children too!) If you’ve never heard of the love languages before, the premise is simple (and TRUE)…Each of us has a primary love language, or in other terms, each of us has a way we best receive love.
I have been thinking A LOT lately about how the five love languages relate to FRIENDSHIP. I’ve sat through many a seminar on how to use the love languages in my marriage relationship. However, I believe the same basic principles can (and should) be applied to friendships. As women, we tend to be very sensitive and often can misinterpret actions from others very easily…I think if we stop and take some time to figure out what our love language is and what the love languages of our closest friends are (or those we would like to be closer friends with), the quality of our friendships could grow exponentially. Today, I wanted to begin by introducing you to the basic principles of love languages. (You have to know the basics before any real application can take place!)
The five love languages and a basic premise of their primary needs and dislikes are broken down for you:
Words of Affirmation:
Needs: compliments (especially when you’re not fishing for them!), “I love you”, “I appreciate you,” “That was a great dinner.”
Dislikes: insults, hurtful sarcasm
Needs: QUALITY alone time, one on one interaction, being “in the moment” with another person
Dislikes:distractions, feeling like a second (or third or fourth) priority, postponed dates, being cancelled on
Needs:thoughtfulness (the gifts aren’t all about the size or material worth..it’s truly the thought that counts!), effort, sentimentality
Dislikes: forgotten birthday or anniversary, impersonal or thoughtless gifts, hastily written cards w/o meaning
Acts of Service:
Needs: HELP, easing the day to day burdens of life, sharing or taking on some of your responsibilities
Dislikes: laziness, broken promises to do something, having someone create more work for them
Needs: physical touches, from hugs to hand holding…pats on the back to close proximity
Dislikes: abuse, neglect, cruel or negative body language, using physical connection as a weapon
Part of you may have really resonated instantly with one of those five love languages, and you may have said, “YES! That’s SO me!” You may have also recognized your spouse…your child…or your friends…If it wasn’t quite so easy for you to determine your love language, don’t fret..Some of you may be thinking, “Well, doesn’t everyone like all of these things?” YES. A true loving relationship needs to include each of these components in some way. However, you will have a primary love language both in how you best receive love, AND in how you SHOW love. Often, they are the same..We tend to give love in the way we are hoping to receive it back. Herein lies many problems within a marriage or a friendship that could easily be worked out if both parties simply had an understanding of the other’s intentions and in what they were feeling in what was being given and received.
I recommend starting with taking an assessment to determine what your primary love language is. You may like myself, have two primary love languages. I score equally high in both Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation. Take the test or consider the above statements for yourself and figure out what your primary love language is…How do you best RECEIVE love? Then determine how you best SHOW love….Take some time, mull it over, and I’ll meet you back here soon to discuss how we can begin to apply these principles in our friendships.