Updated: Jul 11, 2020
A few years ago, I asked my sons, sisters and other close friends to take the Love Language Quiz. The purpose of this request was to help me discover different ways to show up for them and love them how they receive love. I wanted them to know how much I was invested in establishing a deeper connection with them.
If you are not familiar with the concept of Love Languages, in a nut shell, Gary Chapman wrote a book in 1992 that outlined five ways to express and experience love between romantic partners that Chapman called 'love languages". Well, at the time I discovered this book, I was single and felt God was calling me to develop a more deep and intimate connection with those closest to me during my season of singleness. They obliged to my delight and it was exciting to learn how they, especially my sons, received love and experienced it. It was more exciting showing up for them in that way as well. While this concept is not limited to how to love someone, it was a start. We sometimes expect others to love us how we experience love and when those expectations are not met, it causes resentment, anger, betrayal and conflict in our relationships. However, most people show love to people the way they would want others to show them but if we can take the time to learn what makes others feel affirmed, appreciated and loved and share ours, I think this will really prevent a lot of conflict in interpersonal relationships that comes from miscommunication, assumptions and unrealistic expectations.
In this season of my life, I've been really reflecting about who I am, why I do the things I do and why I attract the things and people I attract. I have been dissecting my negative thoughts and limited beliefs and discovering where they manifested from. The same thoughts and beliefs that have kept me feeling insecure, quiet, fearful, and living a treadmill life, running but going no where. During this time of healing and introspection, I've also learned how to love myself more deeper and more authentically and it started with self care. Learning my love language has also been very helpful. What I discovered among other things is the way I was practicing self-care and self-love was so in sync to my love language and I also discovered other ways to go deeper with this. You can discover how to show up for yourself by discovering your love language. I'll explain but first let's go over the love languages as explained by Gary Chapman. They include receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion) and physical touch.
Acts of Service
The language expresses love using actions. In this case, Actions speak louder than words. Anything that seem to ease the burden off of you in regards to responsibilities really speak volumes through this language. “Let me do that for you.” is like music to your ears. Cleaning the house, grocery shopping, laundry and etc are all ways you feel appreciated and loved. If this is your love language, you want these things to be done willingly and with positive intent instead of out of obligation or with a negative under tone. Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for you tell you your feelings don’t matter. When others serve you out of love (and not obligation), you feel truly valued and loved.
In this love language, nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, No smartphones, TV's browsing through social media or any other distractions while together make you feel truly special and loved. If this is your love language, you want to be the center of attention during this period of time together. You relish in quality time without distractions, postponed activities, or the failure to listen. Whether its spending uninterrupted time talking with someone else or doing activities together, you deepen your connection with others through sharing time.
Words of Affirmation
This language expresses love using words that uplift and build a person up. Actions don’t always speak louder than words and if this is your love language, compliments whether unsolicited or not mean the world to you. The words “I love you,” and the reasons behind that love makes your soul smile. Words are extremely important to you and hearing insults may cut deeper than most and take some time to forgive. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up and you also thrive on complimenting and uplifting others with kind words.
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism or with Acts of Service, which is purely helpful and taking work off that person's plate. If you have this language, you tend to thrive on gifts that scream thoughtfulness and effort. if someone misses your birthday or give you a hasty, thoughtless gift it can really hurt your feelings. You may also show love and that you value you others by giving. This can include time, energy or gifts. To those with this love language, gifts are heartfelt symbols showing someone else's love and affection for you.
A person whose primary language is Physical Touch actually tend to not be very touchy. However, hugs, pats on the back, and thoughtful touches on the arm and face can also be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love if you have this language. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive. While public display of affection is not on the top of your radar, you do feel more connected holding hands, kissing and hugging. Appropriate and timely touches communicate warmth, safety, and love to you.
Discover your love language and those closest to you here.
Now that you know your love language according to Gary Chapman, how can you practice self-care and self-love using these languages? Regardless of your primary love language, all of these activities can be beneficial for you as a whole.
Words of Affirmation: Think Self-Love by speaking life and gratitude over yourself
Practice daily affirmations; posting them anywhere you will see them daily as reminders
Recite mantras that encourage self-love and compassion
Journal and write down your strengths, things you are grateful for, things you love about yourself, things you have accomplished, and your goals and aspirations.
Write down quotes and scriptures that inspire you and make you feel good.
Speak your ideas and desires into existence
Give yourself positive pep talks
Receiving Gifts: Absorb Self-Love by treating yourself with things that spark inspiration and joy.
Buying nice and thoughtful things for yourself (within your means)
Investing in your hobbies and things you love and that bring good energy
Invest in Education that will enhance your skills to bring more value to yourself
Gift yourself with knowledge such as books
Gift yourself with a bucket list and make time to complete them
Physical Touch: Feel Self-Love by honoring yourself and doing things that make you feel good
Yoga and exercise
Hot essential baths with Epsom salt or hot showers to release stress
Acts of Service: Do Self-Love by engaging in things that bring peace and clarity in your wellbeing
Ask others for help; you can't do it all by yourself
Regular physical, dental and mental health check-ups
Groom yourself and take pride in your appearance
Make your home your oasis; Create an organized, clean and aesthetically pleasing home environment
Clear out the clutter
Prepare healthy meals for yourself
Quality Time: Be Present with Self-Love with uninterrupted alone time that nourishes your wellbeing
Practice mindfulness such as meditation and deep breathing
Time alone for introspection
Plenty of rest and exercise
Discovering your bandwidth and boundaries from others as to not overcommit, over-book yourself or spread yourself thin among others
Spending time in nature
Engaging in things you enjoy
Taking yourself out on dates
Self-care and Self-love are essential and have been oversimplified. They have become misunderstood and distorted as to how important they really are. They are forms of wellness that encompasses a holistic approach to becoming the best caregiver to yourself. They help to nourish and nurture yourself consistently and intentionally. This is something like being the best parent to the inner child within you. When we maintain an optimal level of wellness through self-love and self-care, we live a higher quality of life. I challenge you to practice more self-love towards yourself.
I hope this was helpful. If this was insightful or you liked what you read here, please share to help me reach more people. I will love to hear your love language and how you practice it through self-love. Please comment below.
I empower and support others in exerting their Divinity and Personal Power to walk boldly in vision, in purpose, in service, strength, and confidence towards a life of self-mastery. If you need someone to support and stretch you in bridging the gap of where you are to where you desire to be please Step Up to the Plate here.