Do you know your Love Language?
Gary Chapman’s bestselling book “The Five Love Languages” details how everyone has a tendency towards certain demonstrations of caring, embodied in:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
We almost all exhibit a primary and a secondary way that we prefer to be shown that someone cares, as well as a way that barely registers. The ironic thing is that we tend to utilize these preferred methods to show affection to others and all too often completely miss the mark because when we project we may be doing so in a manner that does not resonate with the other person.
If you are primarily into Receiving Gifts and your boss takes you to lunch you could easily be offended, because your boss (who loves Quality Time like I do) might believe that the opportunity for face time is worth more than a small bonus because to them it is worth more. But to you it is a slight that they don’t understand.
That client who feeds off Words of Affirmation? A text or voice message saying “Congrats” or “I’m glad we are working together” means the world to them, more than that schedule magnet with your picture for their fridge. Speak their language and you can get more business from them over time and get them to introduce you to other potential new clients, because they feel like you care.
I hug and a thump on the back goes a long way to me, a trinket just collects dust and any other gift is meaningless. Unless its food, because that is more act of service and well cupcakes equal love.
Knowing what will hit the mark is a hallmark of a good listener, of empathy (speaking THEIR language to them instead of your own) and is an excellent way to build a lasting relationship of any form.