Each one of us expresses ourselves differently and it is no different with how we express appreciation and choose to be shown appreciation for our efforts. Although love and appreciation is universal, how we express them may differ from others, and vice versa.
The way we prefer to express and receive love and appreciation is known as our ‘love language’. Plenty of misunderstandings and conflicts can be easily resolved if only we are aware of the love languages of people whom we interact with on a daily basis. Let’s be honest, even love can get lost in translation sometimes.
Basically, there are five main love languages. However, most of us would use a combination of two or three languages, with one love language being our love language of choice. Let’s delve deeper into the topic of love languages and what they are:
1. Words of Affirmation
Ever met someone who’s always generous with encouragement and kind words to share? Chances are that the person’s love language is ‘words of affirmation’.
People whose love language is ‘words of affirmation’ are quick to show their affection and appreciation by sharing kind, affirmative words and useful advice. In return, they also appreciate if they are on the receiving end of words of encouragement on a regular basis. People with this love language usually enjoy having quality conversations with loved ones whenever they can.
On the contrary, extended lengths of time with the absence of positive and quality conversations with the people around them may leave them anxious and feeling that their ‘love tank’ is empty.
2. Quality Time
We all know people at work who are extremely keen on organising after-work social gatherings. Someone who has ‘quality time’ as their love language is a person who will always be keen to plan get-togethers to spend quality time with their friends, colleagues and loved ones.
People who prefer quality time as their means of receiving love will also feel more loved when someone indulges them with their presence. In return, they also love to offer others the gift of their presence. Unlike those who prefer ‘words of affirmation’, people who cherish quality time would just simply enjoy being around their loved ones even if there is a lack of conversational exchange.
3. Acts of Service
People who prefer ‘acts of service’ as their love language of choice are valuable team players in a work environment, thanks to their selfless dedication to their work and assistance rendered to their colleagues. People who choose ‘acts of service’ as their love language are usually kind and cheerful helpers. They would make great caregivers simply because they have such big hearts and are always ready to help others out whenever required.
Usually, people who prefer ‘acts of service’ as their love language can be found volunteering at charity drives or helping out in the kitchen so that they can be at the frontline of service. In return, these people also appreciate thoughtful acts of service being performed for them. If your loved ones have ‘acts of service’ as their love language, be sure to be in tune with their needs and offer to help them out as much as you can to show your love and appreciation for them.
4. Physical Touch
People who pick ‘physical touch’ as their love language are often generous with hugs, hand squeezes and other expressions of physical affection. These expressions are not meant to be sexual in nature, but rather as a way of showing appreciation for things done for them. They are more appreciative and have higher tolerance for physical touches more than others who prefer other love languages, and in return, are quick to offer them.
A gentle reminder though for those in a work environment. Physical touches in a work environment can prove to be a tricky proposition. Depending on the occasion and context, offering physical touches to fellow colleagues at work may cause one to appear unprofessional and be deemed as inappropriate, especially so for colleagues of the opposite sex.
If this is your preferred love language of choice when it comes to giving and receiving encouragement and appreciation, remember that a pat on a shoulder and a firm handshake will suffice as a display of appreciation via physical touch.
5. Gifts Giving
The ‘gift givers’ in a workplace are often those who enjoy bringing in freshly baked cookies and workplace necessities to share around with their work colleagues. Managers with this love language usually show appreciation by giving incentives and awards to their staff.
People who pick ‘gifts giving’ as their love language are usually generous when it comes to giving gifts and would usually show their concern or care for you by dropping a care package or a random gift to let you know that you are constantly in their thoughts. They may not be affectionate with physical touches or sensitive enough to say things that you need to hear to feel good about yourself. The way they express their concern is through giving you things they think you may need.
In return, people who love gifting usually appreciate being shown love through the receipt of gifts.
We hope that you now have a better understanding of the five love languages and are now ready to apply it in life and at work. Knowing the preferred love languages of the people around you can showing them concern based on their preferred love language can definitely improve your relationships with your family, friends and colleagues.
This helps to keep you in a good state of mind as you maintain a loving and harmonious environment for yourself at home and at work. Put the love languages to practice to feel a warm sense of support and fulfillment to keep your passion for work and life burning bright.
To learn more about how you can apply the knowledge of love languages at work and in your daily life, sign up for our 5 Love Languages course to start forging winning relationships at work!