Love Languages

Years ago, my parents told me about the five love languages:

  1. Gifts
  2. Quality time
  3. Physical touch
  4. Words of affirmation
  5. Acts of service

The languages, I learned, could be applied to any type of relationship (familial, friend, romantic, work, etc.). The premise is that you should figure out your love language–the way that you feel most loved–so you can clearly communicate it to those around you. Those around you can reciprocate by telling you their love language.

It’s such a simple thing, but I think our default is to mess up when it comes to love languages. Say you feel most loved when you receive gifts. Thus, when you want to show someone you care about, your default is to give them a gift. But that person has a really good chance of having a completely different love language than yours. So when they receive that gift and they fake their enthusiasm about it, you know why.

This is so, so important in romantic relationships, because it’s with that special someone that you’re going to spend the most time and effort.

You can probably figure out your love language by looking at that list, but if you’re unsure, take this 3-minute quiz online (found by Penelope). Forward it to your significant other–you might be surprised by the answers.

Personally, my love language is acts of service. Specifically, if someone runs an errand for me that saves me time and inconvenience. Like, if someone runs to the post office or grocery store for me, or if someone picks up dinner for me, or–a biggie–if they take my car in for an oil change for me. Maybe that sounds foreign to you, but I feel SO loved when someone saves me time and inconvenience by doing those types of things.

One other note for all managers and human resource directors out there: Know your employees’ love languages. When they deserve commendation, don’t reward them the way you would like to be rewarded–reward them based on their love language. For some, it’s a gift (a cash bonus or even just a box of chocolates for a job well done). For others, it’s quality time–maybe lunch out with you or a walk. Maybe they’d prefer a day off over anything else. Physical touch is probably a no-no in most work places, but in some, a good hug is perfectly acceptable. That goes a long way for some people, just as a well-written (or said) compliment can really touch others. You want to be a good manager? Know this stuff.

Also, most everyone has a sixth love language, and it’s always the same: chocolate. Even with chocolate, there’s variation. Milk or dark? Room temp, fridge, or freezer? Nuts, peanut butter, mint, nougat, or nothing? Foreign or Hershey’s? Bite size or full bar?

What’s your love language? What’s your chocolate love language?