Updated: Jan 10, 2020
Have you ever went over, above, and beyond to show your love and appreciation for someone, only for their response to be, "Oh, thanks.... That's sweet."
Hmm... yeah. Been there before. Here's the thing...
Most people love others by doing what they would want someone to do for them. Makes sense right? Very logical. Well this is what gets you that "Oh thanks" response. But why??
It's often assumed that a person's response should be directly influenced by the amount of effort it takes to show someone they care. But the truth is... if your're actions don't speak their "language", they may not care at all. And should they?? I personally don't think so.
We're human- innately self-centered. Sometimes we do things for other people with ourselves in mind. (Don't act like you've never done it.) And because of that, we end up doing things "for them" that are truly for us, even if we have the best intentions.
The most effective way to love someone is to love them by "speaking," or acting, out their Love Language. According to Gary Chapman, there are 5 types of "languages" that are used to express and experience love -
1. Physical touch- hugs, kisses, cuddling, sex (for the married folks!), even simply being in close proximity
2. Words of affirmation- verbal encouragement, love letters, texting, saying "thank you" or "I appreciate you" often
3. Quality time- intentionally spending time focused on each other. It doesn't really matter what you're doing, but that you get their full attention
4. Receiving gifts- big (jewelry) or small (candy bar) gifts will do. It says to them, "I was thinking about you and wanted to present you with a token of my thoughts"
5. Acts of service- For them, actions speaks louder than words. Taking out the trash, helping with a project, fixing them food, and asking "What can I do to help you?"
Most people have 1-3 love languages, but there's usually an overarching one that dominates the others. To figure out what yours are, Take the Love Languages quiz!
You see, if you love someone according to your language, it might not translate unless you're lucky enough to share the same ones. If not, you're doing a disservice to them by expecting them to appreciate things that you didn't take the time to customize to their needs and desires.
Also, if you're trying to "lead by example" and drop hints to someone by doing for them what you want them to do for you, it still might not translate, which can lead to a lot of discontentment and frustration in your relationship.