Most of us have witnessed many types of conversations around gift-giving holidays. You know, the one where the topic of conversation is centered around the gift someone gave or received. We are quickly approaching a couple of these holidays; Galentine’s Day, Palentine’s Day, and Valentine’s Day.
One of the topics of conversation is around who gave who what.
- “I got these new boots from Sally.”
- “Steve bought me a massage gift certificate.”
- “We decided to go on a trip as our gift to each other.”
- “Matt always gets me an amazing set of earing.”
- “I’ve been looking at this watch for months; I can’t believe Candace bought it for me.”
Seeing the excitement on people’s faces when they receive the perfect gift always brings me joy and a bit of confusion. As a general rule, I didn’t understand the value people put on physical gifts. As a result, I have difficulty finding the perfect “gift” for someone. Finding the exact way to show how much I care for someone has always been stress-inducing.
Could the answer to my gift-giving challenge be found in the Love Languages assessment?
My husband and I have been married for over 25 years. Considerably less than some folks I know, substantially more than others. I am grateful for our excellent relationship.
What makes our relationship work are probably the same things that make relationships work for a lot of other people:
- An effort to understand each other.
I feel that the last one is the most important. I try to understand where Roger is coming from and communicate how much I treasure him. He does the same for me. Part of understanding each other is knowing how each of us wants to receive gratitude. Welcome to the Love Languages assessment.
The Love Languages assessment underscores the different ways that people show appreciation.
- Words of affirmation.
- Acts of service.
- Quality time.
- Physical touch.
I wasn’t at all surprised when Love Languages my results revealed:
#1: Words of Affirmation
#2 and #3 (tied): Quality time, Acts of Service
When I asked my husband to take the same assessment, here’s what we found:
#1 and #2 (tied): Quality Time, Acts of Service
#3: Words of Affirmation
I had a couple of “ah-ha” moments when I looked at the results:
- People often find it strange that Roger and I generally don’t exchange gifts for major holidays. Gifts are not our Love Language.
- Although we enjoy hanging out with family and friends, we love hanging out with each other (and the dog) and watching TV. Quality time is a priority.
- You will hear a lot of “thanks for doing that,” “I appreciate you,” “I am thankful for …” and “you are good at …” types of comments floating around our home. Words of Affirmation and Acts of Service are critical in our daily lives.
Why all the focus on Love Languages?
Suppose you and your partner don’t understand each other’s Love Language. If that’s the case, your relationship may not be in sync with the communication of gratitude.
If you buy someone roses and don’t get the favorable reception you were looking for, Gifts may not be one of their top Love Languages.
If you tell your partner, “we make a good team,” and their eyes light up, possibly Words of Affirmation may be a top Love Language.
Suppose you schedule a night at home binge-watching Netflix and don’t get the favorable reception you were looking for. In that case, Quality Time may not be one of their Love Languages.
If you make dinner and take out the garbage and suddenly your partner looks at you as if you just handed them the moon, Acts of Service may be one of their top Love Languages.
Whether you celebrate Galentine’s, Palentine’s, or Valentine’s Day, finding the correct Love Language may help you show that special person.
Cindy Jobs, PCAC, ACC
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