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Last Updated on July 25, 2019

How to Enhance Your Relationship with the Five Love Languages

How to Enhance Your Relationship with the Five Love Languages

It isn’t universally known that there are different ways to love someone and that every person may give and receive it differently. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, the author of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, each person has a primary love language that reaches deeper than all the others.

The 5 distinct languages are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts. Understanding the way you give and receive love to and from your partner can significantly strengthen your connection and romance.

First and foremost, it’s important to fully understand your own love style and the manner in which you desire to have your own love bank account filled whether emotionally, mentally or physically.

The second step is then being able to share your love language with your partner after they have identified their love language too. This is where it really gets interesting in the dynamics of relationship.

All of us exhibit varying degrees of each of the five love languages in relationship but have a primary and secondary love language that fills up our emotional bank account. We are usually very good at demonstrating our own love language.

For example, my love language is Words of Affirmation, so I’m usually good at writing love notes, sending text messages or verbally sharing how much someone means to me. My partner’s primary love language is acts of service. He is always doing things for me like getting me coffee in the morning or calling me on his way home to see if I need anything. While I love the things he does for me and he appreciates my generous words of how amazing he is, we both long for love to be expressed to us in our primary Love Language.

Love languages can be applied to all relationships including friends, family and work colleagues. With this awareness, you can pay attention to how other family members or colleagues show up and their primary love language will become apparent. This in turn provides invaluable information in how to communicate more effectively in our personal and professional relationships.

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The 5 Love Languages

Here’re the 5 love languages explained.

Words of Affirmation

For someone with this style of love, words mean more than any action could. Expressing feelings through compliments and appreciation is the key to their heart.

Words like “I am thankful that…” and “I love how you…” will go a long way. Positive and loving thoughts will help this individual feel fulfilled.

While these words might not come naturally to some, being conscious of statements and practicing small affirmations will lead you in the right direction. Written words of love and gratitude are also appreciated.

Acts of Service

Doing something for your significant other, like taking out the garbage, cooking dinner, bringing you coffee in the morning or completing a task on their to-do list will satisfy this type of lover.

Acting out of love rather than obligation will show them they are valued. Helping your significant other throughout a project, or starting and finishing it on your own without asking for acknowledgement are examples of this style. Finding unique services or taking care of things your partner does not enjoy can speak volumes.

This type of person really shows their love and appreciation through thoughtful actions.

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Quality Time

Be there, really be there. Make your partner feel cherished by spending time together with no distractions.

Undivided attention and uninterrupted quality time will deepen your connection, communication and love. This type of lover wants to feel like you’re being intentional by setting time aside just for them.

Put your phone down, listen and talk-be in the moment. This can be especially difficult if you have kids, but the time alone is crucial. Commit time before the kids wake up or after the kids fall asleep, or plan a date activity that enhances connection.

Physical Touch

To put it short and simple, this person likes the touchy-feely kind of love. Expressing love through thoughtful and purposeful touch shows these individuals that they are desired, safe and loved.

Holding hands, tender kisses, back rubs and even a simple hug communicates a closeness that no other language can. This powerful love language demonstrates an intimacy throughout everyday life, times of need, and special moments.

Receiving Gifts

This isn’t about high-dollar items, rather the thought and effort behind the gift or gesture. A little “I got this for you because it reminded me of you,” is the idea behind the way this person loves.

Frequent gestures will show care, value and love. Celebrating big moments like birthdays and anniversaries through presents is also vital. The gift is a visual representation of how you feel about this person.

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How to Get Started with the 5 Love Languages

1. Take the Test

Head over to The 5 Love Languages Website and take the test. Even if you’ve taken the test before, things can shift as you grow and change.

For example, I always scored 0 for Acts of Service but, it moved up in the ranks because my current love’s primary love language is Acts of Service. So why would this happen? He is so thoughtful and consistent with his kind gestures that I’ve come to love and appreciate them.

2. Have Your Partner Take the Test

After your partner has taken the test, you two can share the results with each other. Maybe you’ll be surprised by the results!

3. Write the Results Down

Take a piece of paper with two columns: one with your name at the top and one with your partner’s name. Number it 1-5. For number one, write both of your primary languages, number 2 the secondary language etc.

4. Make the Results Visible to Both of You

Put it on the refrigerator, your desk at work, and the bathroom mirror. Anywhere you are sure to see it every day to remind you to fill your partners love bank account.

Rituals in Relationship

Eventually, filling your partner’s love bank account by expressing love in their love language will become natural and second nature. Awareness is the key in implementing this practice. Create bonding rituals together around your Primary Love Language.

One of our bonding rituals is taking a walk together most mornings. This ritual enhances our quality time together and the walking element grounds us. Another ritual we cherish is reading the daily passage from Mark Nepo’s, The Book of Awakening at some point during the day.

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Surprisingly, this fills all of the languages for me. It was a gift that Marty purchased for me at the beginning of our relationship. When he reads it out loud to me while we are laying on the bed holding hands its activates both Acts of Service and Physical Touch for both of us. Being together in the moment is Quality Time and we usually discuss the passage and how it relates to us and our lives that ultimately encapsulate Words of Affirmation.

Final Thoughts

Practicing the 5 Love Languages is a simple way to enhance your life

Once you know each other’s Love Language, you’ll see that it’s a snap to put into action. The awareness alone will do wonders for your relationship.

If you would like to take it a step further, each of you can make a list of all the things your partner does currently to fill up your emotional bank account that fulfills your love language. It’s a great exercise that’s sure to enlighten both of you.

The follow up to this would be to think of ways you would love for your partner to show you love. Unless you’re a mind reader, you may not know all of the secret desires your partner may be keeping to themselves.

A fulfilling relationship may require adjusting the way you love your partner to fit their needs and desires. Healthy relationships don’t just appear, they require attention and effort, but the reward is what makes it worth the time and energy. The good news is that the 5 Love Languages make it easy to enhance your relationship and your life.

More About Healthy Relationships

Featured photo credit: Vince Fleming via unsplash.com

More by this author

Dana Lam

Dana is a busy mom of two boys, author and co-founder of the Surprise Date Challenge.

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Last Updated on January 16, 2020

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Confidence Right Now

The way you feel about yourself greatly influences how you live and interact with others. If you are confident about yourself, you tend to see yourself positively and actually enjoy spending time with and around people. You don’t feel self-conscious or awkward around others, and that allows you to live your fullest and happiest life.

However, if you’re drowning in a sea of self-doubt, hesitancy and shyness, you often withdraw and isolate yourself from others and avoid interacting and connecting with people. That anxiety you feel in the pit of your stomach when you are around people is holding you back greatly and it is not good for your emotional health and overall well-being. You need to do something about it if you are low in self-confidence or have friends or family members who are not confident.

“Confidence isn’t walking into a room thinking you’re better than everyone, it’s walking in not having to compare yourself to anyone” – Anonymous

Here are simple, practical tips to boost your confidence right now and make you feel and act your best.

1. Stop labeling yourself as awkward, timid or shy.

When you label yourself as awkward, timid or shy, you sub-consciously tell your mind to act accordingly and psychologically feel inclined to live up to those expectations. Instead of labeling and entertaining negative self-talk, visualize and affirm yourself as confident and strong. Close your eyes for a minute and visualize yourself in different situation as you would like to be.

Be your own cheerleader. Experts believe that positive affirmation and good mental practices like picturing yourself winning or achieving a goal can lead to greater feelings of self-assurance and prepare your brain for success.[1] As the saying goes, “seeing is believing.” Picture yourself as confident and soon enough you will begin to manifest behavior that gives evidence to this new ‘fact.’

2. Recognize that the world is not focused on you (unless, of course, you are Kanye West).

That means you don’t have to be excessively sensitive about who you are or what you are doing (or not doing). You are not on the center stage; there is no need for preoccupation with self and perfectionism. As rap music star Rocko sings, “You just do you and I will do me, aight?”

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Forget about trying to please everyone or being perfect. Trying to be perfect and being a people-pleaser puts too much pressure on you and creates unnecessary anxiety. Besides, people are too preoccupied with their own issues to pay much attention to your every move unless, of course, you are a mega famous, super celebrity like Beyonce or Kanye West.

3. Focus on other people as opposed to yourself.

If you are low on confidence, self-conscious, nervous and shy in social situations, focus your attention on other people and what they are saying or doing instead of focusing on your own awkwardness.

For example, think about what it is that is interesting about the person who’s the centre of the party or the guy or girl you are talking with. Prompt them to talk more about themselves and be genuinely curious and interested in what they say. You will instantly come across as confident and warmhearted.

People generally want to talk about themselves, be heard and understood. They will love it when you’re eager and willing to listen to them and really hear what they have to say.

This habit of focusing more on what you love in others as opposed to what you dislike in yourself will not only help you become more assertive and comfortable in virtually all social situations, but also instantly make you feel great about yourself.

4. Know (and accept) yourself for who you are.

Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher Sun Tzu, author of the internationally acclaimed book The Art of War, said, “Know yourself and you will win all battles.” Even in the battle with lack of confidence, you will need to know yourself to win.

Knowing yourself starts with understanding that people are not all the same, neither are all social situation suitable for everyone. You might not be confident in large gatherings, but you could be bold and confident in one-on-one and small group interactions. We all have our own unique gifts and unique ways of expressing ourselves. Embrace yours!

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Introverts, for example, have a quiet confidence that is, unfortunately, often confused for shyness. They are naturally low key and prefer to spend time alone. However, this natural disposition affords them certain unique gifts, such as an ability to listen better than most people and notice things that others don’t.

Your uniqueness is where your strength and advantage lies. You won’t be comfortable and confident in all situations all the time. Albert Einstein said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

5. Crack a smile.

If there is one sure way to instantly boost your confidence, it’s cracking a smile. Christine Clapp, a public speaking expert at The George Washington University, says that flashing those pretty, pearly white teeth will immediately make you appear both confident and composed. But, the effect of smiling is not just external. Studies show that smiling can also help nix feelings of stress and pave the way for a happier and more relaxed you.[2]

Not a bad return for something seemingly so trite, wouldn’t you agree?

6. Break a sweat—with exercise.

Working out is another great way to make yourself feel amazing and confident. Science has shown that exercising increases your endorphins, helps reduce stress, tones your muscles and makes you feel happy and confident.[3]

And hey, all you have to do is take a walk a few times a week and you’ll see the benefits. What seems to matter—as far as your confidence goes—is whether you break a sweat, not how strenuous your session is, which is pretty cool. Start working out now.

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7. Groom yourself.

This might seem mundane, but it’s amazing how much of a difference a shower and shave can have on your confidence and self-image. And when you spritz on a scent, the boost on confidence and self-esteem is incredible. As it turns out, your favorite fragrance does more than make you smell oh-so-nice.

A study found that a fragrance can inspire confidence in men. Interestingly, the study also found that the more a man likes the fragrance, the more confident he might feel. Another study found that 90% of women feel more confident while wearing a scent than those who go fragrance-free.

8. Dress nicely.

Another one that might seem trite, but it works. If you dress nicely, you’ll instantly feel good about yourself and give your confidence a real boost. That is largely because you’ll feel attractive, presentable and sometimes even successful in nice clothes.

While dressing nicely means something different for everyone, it does not necessarily mean wearing $500 designer outfits. It means wearing clothes that are clean, that you are comfortable in and that are nice-looking and presentable, including casual clothes.

9. Do activities you enjoy.

Whether it is reading a book, playing a musical instrument, riding your bicycle or going fishing, do what you really enjoy and what makes you truly happy often. It will boost your self-esteem, soothe your ego and allow you to identify with your gifts and talents. That will in turn bolster your self-belief and grow your confidence exponentially.

You might not become popular for doing what you love, but you might not even want to be popular at all. Being popular doesn’t make you happy; doing what you love does.

10. Prepare for the possibility of rejection / setback.

Late World No. 1 professional tennis player Arthur Ashe said, “One important key to success is self-confidence. A key to self-confidence is preparation.” You need to prepare for the possibility of rejection and setback.

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Why?

Everybody suffers rejection and setback at one point or another. You are not exempted. The question on your mind, therefore, should not be if you will be rejected, but how you will handle rejection when it comes.

Prepare yourself adequately in every situation to minimize the risk and effect of rejection and so that your confidence is not broken. For example, learn public speaking and rehearse what you are going to say beforehand if you have landed a public speaking engagement. That way, you are sure of yourself and confident you have what it takes to hack it. If you are rejected, don’t take it personally.

Rejection and setbacks happen to the best of us. Take it as a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

11. Face uncomfortable situations square in the face.

Don’t run away from uncomfortable situations. Running away from people or situations because you feel scared, shy or timid only confirms and reinforces your shyness. Instead, face the situation that makes you uneasy square in the face. For example, go ahead and talk to that person you are afraid to approach, or go straight to the front of your yoga class! What’s the worst that can happen?

Prepare and be ready for any eventuality. The more you face your fears, the more you realize you are stronger than you thought and the more confident you get. This simple, yet admittedly courageous, act makes you unstoppable. You get comfortable being uncomfortable and begin to feel like you can take on the world. And that is the hallmark of someone destined for great things.

12. Sit up straight and walk tall—you are awesome!

Yes, sit up straight and believe you are awesome. Don’t slump in your chair or slouch your shoulders. Experts say the right stance can not only keep your self-esteem and mood lifted, but also lead to more confidence in your own thoughts.[4]

The way to sit is to open up your chest and keep your head level so that you look and feel poised and assured. And when you get up, stand tall and walk like you’re on a mission. People who sit up straight and walk tall are more attractive and instantly feel more confident. Try it now: you’ll feel fierce and confident just by sitting up straight and walking tall.

Featured photo credit: Freshh Connection via unsplash.com

Reference

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