With Valentines right around the corner many of you may be wondering how to show your special someone that you care. Restaurant reservations, beautiful flowers, or gifts that cost you an arm and a leg. Oh the stress of Valentines. What if I told you that your gift is all wrong? Now before you panic let me explain.
Dr. Gary Chapman,author of the book ” The 5 Love Languages- the secret to love that lasts” says that we all express love and receive love differently. While some love elaborate gift, others might enjoy some quality time, or words of affirmation. The key is to find how your special someone loves to be loved.
The great thing about these 5 ways of expressing love is that they can also be used to express appreciation for your family members, co-workers, employees, and friends. So what are the 5 love languages?
This is for people that love to spend time with you. It could be watching a movie, or just hanging out. They want to know you are really carving out time for them. A good hangout session with no phones and no interruptions is what will make them happy. For employees it could be your employee assessment time. Make sure you are attentive and really listening to what they have to say. No phone calls or people coming in and out of your office.
If you have read my previous blog https://betteryouspace.com/2019/01/16/selling-yourself-16-tips-to-a-good-first-impression/ you probably already know that I am a huge advocate for physical touch. Maybe because that is the way I love to receive and give love. People that love physical touch are the hand holders, the huggers, the high fivers, and fist pumpers. To make them happy is easy, just be affectionate. Depending on the person you are showing affection to is how you give the affection. For example, with your friend you might lock arms, with your special someone kissing and cuddling. Your mom might love hugs, and with your employee high fives or fist pumps will make them feel good. People tend to be afraid to give physical touch in the work place because they have always associated this with intimate touch. However, a simple high five or a fist pump can go along way.
These are people that want to be shown they are special to someone with gifts. It can be flowers to your loved one, or a tie to your dad. It doesn’t have to be big. It just has to show that you are thinking of them. For example, you could get your employees a small gift on Christmas. When I was younger I worked for a boss that showed no emotion what so ever. He didn’t speak much and would just signal when he needed something, he was a man of few words. However, when it was Chinese New Year he would gift us a red envelope with money. On Easter he would give us an egg with candy inside. That was his way of showing appreciation. Not everyone wants affection with hugs and high fives and that’s okay! Show the people that matter to you that you are thinking of them with constant little reminders that you care.
Acts of service
Your mom is running around the house yelling, ” No one ever helps me!” Or your spouse is telling you to help around the house, guess what love language they speak? That’s right, acts of service. The best way to show them you care is by helping them. Do things for them liken run to the store if they are too busy to get the groceries. Grab dinner if they seem overwhelmed with a to do list that seems to not have an end. The key here is to make them feel like you have their back. As a manager, when I saw one of my employees overwhelmed with something in their personal life, and they were usually great employees, I would offer to help them out. Usually a change in their schedule would help them attend to their issue. It would make them feel like I cared and in return they would give me their best effort.
Words of affirmation
I love you! You matter to me! Life would not be the same without you! These are all the things that someone that speaks the language of words of affirmation need to hear. They need reminders that they are special to you. So tell your parents they are important to you. Tell your significant other that you love them. Tell your friends that you care about them. And tell your employees that they are important to the success of the company. Just tell them they matter to you.
So what is your love language? Are you acts of service or physical touch? Or maybe words of affirmation? Know that you can enjoy giving love in more than one way as well as receive it. However, you will most likely have a dominant one. The same with your loved ones. Figure out what makes them feel the most appreciated and that can be your perfect Valentine’s Day gift. One gift does not fit all. Pay attention to what they are asking for. That usually is their love language. If they are asking for more quality time they most likely are just that. If they are asking if you love them they might just need reminders, so tell them how much they mean to you. Do acts of service if they are asking for help. Hug them, cuddle them, or high five them more if you notice they are asking for physical affection. And small gifts if you see they light up when you give them reminders that you were thinking of them.
Written by: Lupita G.
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