The book 5 Love Languages is about how different people talk different dialects of love, and if we understand our partners’ dialect we can talk the same language. I’ll explore each language and give some info from the book, but also my lesson while reading it. I’ll give a brief paragraph of what the language is, then my realisation, and then some more details on the language if you wish to read more.
The first language is that of affirmation. We need to refocus our energy from what our partner is not doing, to that which our partner is good at and is doing. This is like many things in life – one wrong can outdo a lifetime of rights. I don’t understand why this is, but I do know that giving people credit for their rights can move mountains.
- My lesson
I don’t give people enough credit, well outside of my head that is. I think it, but don’t verbalise it. This is not only at home, but also at work. I tell everyone how much I respect Leon and how brilliant his mind and his mind power is, but I very rarely tell him. I am also very thankful for my team at work, but don’t give them enough credit and thanks. A huge one was when my brother eventually opened his heart to me and told me that since his childhood he always tried to look cool in my eyes and get my approval. I never told him this in words until that day – I tell everyone that my brother is a genius in programming. He has written code in every language out there, to teach himself. He wrote Monopoly when I was finishing my third year studying computers! I have never even tried.
I used to thank my team more, but somewhere I lost touch with that. So my commitment for the next month, to my husband, daughter, mother, father, brother and team is to use one of the pointers I list at the end of this post, and affirm them.
- More on Affirmation
There are different ways of affirming. One is by saying encouraging words. If you know your partner is good at something but for some reason procrastinates moving forward, encourage them by affirming how good they are at it. Most of the times we only see our partner from our perspective, but we need to see the world from their world first. Maybe the one thing they are good at is the thing they are the most insecure about. By affirming their strength, they may gain the confidence to start acting.
The other thing emphasised in the book is that words are important. It is not only the affirmation, kind word or question we ask, but also the way we ask things. We should build up a bank of kind words we can use, and of humble ways we can ask things of our spouses. Sarcastically asking your spouse to pick up their dirty laundry will not gain any love, but asking with humble words, in a way that allows them to choose an answer, again, can move mountains.
Some summary pointers:
* Words are important
* Find things that your spouse did well each day and affirm it
* Give a compliment each day
* If you aren’t good with words, find words in magazines, books, while watching TV, listening to other people’s conversations
* Write a love letter, paragraph or sentence
* Compliment your spouse in front of other people, especially close friends
* Look for strengths in your partner and affirm how much you appreciate them
* Tell your children, family and friends how good your spouse is