In 1992, marriage counselor Gary Chapman published “The 5 Love Languages”. The book would go on to become an international bestseller. Here’s how he came up with it:
“It became apparent to me [through my work in counseling] that what makes one person feel loved isn’t always the same for their spouse or partner. I discovered every person understands and receives love in a specific language, one of five to be precise.”
Figuring out your love language and those of others can greatly improve your relationships – not just in a romantic relationship but all of them. For work, think “appreciation” instead of love.
(Listing your love language is a great addition for User Manuals, if you use those.)
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Content of 1-Pager:
The 5 Love Languages
Why do marriages fail? Many fail because a spouse doesn’t feel loved by their partner. Sometimes to the utter surprise of said partner. People express love in different ways and gestures of love can get lost in translation, leaving spouses feeling unloved.
Most people have a primary and secondary love language. They express their love in these languages and also best understand love in these. If you want to fill your partner’s “love tank” and make them feel loved, show your love in their love language, not your own. The same concept applies at work regarding appreciation. Many people quit their jobs when they do not feel appreciated.
A gift is a sign that you thought of them. Gifts don’t have to be big and fancy. At work it can be small tokens like bringing an extra bagel or via a kudos programme in which employees can give each other bonusses. This love language includes the “Gift of Self” – being there in a crisis, when it really counts.
Words of Affirmation
People with this primary love language thrive on the spoken or written word – words of encouragement, compliments etc. A “Thank you” goes a long way. Speak kind words to them, to others in their presence or about them behind their back.
If you’re thinking “I love sex! This must be my love language!”, think again. Do you also thrive on hugs, kisses, holding hands, a pat on the back? This one is the most difficult at work. Maybe a handshake, fist bumps, …?
This love language is about undivided attention (drop that phone!). It has two major dialects: 1) Talking to really understand the other person and 2) “Quality Activities” – doing something together, building nice memories. At work, have team events or 1on1s.
Acts of Service
Some people let actions speak. To fill their love tank, help them solve a problem. Take over a task you know they hate. If you can, anticipate their needs.