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5 Languages of Love; What's yours?

January 17, 2013

I've been thinking of writing this post for the longest but I didn't have the right introduction for it until last evening. I love music and despite the fact that I have thousands of different genres of songs on different portable storage devices, I enjoy the element of surprise provided by the radio. There's nothing like tuning in to your favorite FM dial only to find one of my favorite songs playing.....I don't know about you but to me, it's close to orgasmic!

Of course you have to tune in to a radio station that has programming that is likely to play your songs because otherwise, you'll be punishing your ears inadvertently. For instance, if you are in Dar Es Salaam Tanzania where I live, if you are not careful you might end up listening to Bongo Flava the whole day. Not that I have anything against this type of music, but there's only so much of it I can handle. That's why I opt to listen to either Choice FM (on 102.6 in Dar) or Classic 105 in Nairobi (thanks to the internet) in the morning between 6am - 10am, and Capital Fm in Nairobi (again via the Internet) or E.A. Radio (on 88.1 in Dar) in the late afternoon between 4pm - 7pm. 
Just for the record, I only listen to E. A. Radio  in the evening when the actual host of the show is presenting. He is one insanely humorous presenter but if you have a closed mind, you are more likely to hate him than enjoy the show. For some reason I always get this feeling that most of his jokes go un-understood especially by the non-English speaking listeners. He does his show in English and broken Kiswahili, and unless you are “switched on” you are likely not to understand what he means when he says what he says. I guess that's why his show is for a certain "type" of listeners..... this post is not about him today, but I had to ride on him for you to understand where I’m coming from.
So yesterday (16th January, 2013), halfway through the show he informed the listeners that he would be having a guest on his show and as usual, those of us who know him were waiting eagerly to listen to the convo between him and his guest. This particular one interested me because the guest in question was an un-known to me, though she stars in some local soap in Tanzania. Honestly speaking, I rarely watch local TV, not that there isn't but..…..well, that’s another story for another day. Anyway, the lady comes on air and the first thing I realize is that she is a non-English speaker, and right there I knew that interview was going to be “interesting”. And interesting it was! Whaaat!. To summarize it for you, it’s like a Chinaman meeting a Frenchman and they both decide to use their respective native languages to communicate (not) with each other. Total Balaa. I laughed until I could laugh no more. Thinking about it now is still causing ripples of laughter in me.
Thinking back to that interview yesterday, I realise that it is no different from the mis-communication experienced between a man and a woman. Isn’t that how we are in our relationships too, where the man speaks Chinese and the woman speaks French? Who will understand whom, unless each decides to learn the other’s language? Or find a common language? Either way, time and dedication have to be invested in the whole process in order to learn each other’s language.
Most of us grow up learning the language of our parents, which becomes our native tongue. Later we may learn additional languages, but usually with much more effort. In the area of love, it is similar. Your emotional love language and that of your spouse may be as different as Chinese from French meaning that no matter how hard you try to express love in Chinese, if your spouse only understands French, you will never understand how to love each other. The most interesting thing though is that seldom do a husband and wife have the same primary love language. We tend to speak our primary love language and become confused and annoyed when our spouse does not understand what we are communicating. The beauty of it all is that once you identify and learn to speak your spouse’s primary love language, you’ll have discovered the key to a long-lasting and loving marriage.
A marriage and relationship counselor by the name of Gary Chapman decided to help the world by sharing his findings on the various languages of love spoken by different people, an accidental finding he made after counseling thousands of couples and helping numerous marriages heal. He actually converted these findings into a book called The Five Love Languages. 
The languages are:
Words of AffirmationFor people who speak this language actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You can communicate by:

Encouraging words: “Encourage” means “to inspire courage”. All of us have areas in which we feel insecure. We lack courage, which often hinders us from accomplishing the positive things that we would like to do. Perhaps you or your spouse has untapped potential in one or more areas of life. That potential may be awaiting encouraging words from you or from him.

Kind words - If we are to communicate love verbally, we must not only use kind words but also find the right tone to use. For instance, the statement “I love you”, when said with kindness and tenderness, can be a genuine expression of love.

Be Humble - Love makes requests, not demands. In marriage we are equal partners. If we are to develop an intimate relationship, we need to know each other’s desires. If we make our needs known in the form of a request, we’re giving guidance, not ultimatums.

If this is your partner’s love language: Set a goal to give your spouse a different compliment each day for a month.
Quality Time - In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, smart-phones discarded, etc—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Here are some practical listening tips: 

Maintain eye contact when your spouse is talking.

Don’t do something else at the same time. Remember, this is your time together.

Listen for feelings and confirm them. Ask yourself, “What emotion is my spouse experiencing?”

Observe body language - keep in mind that communication is listening to what is not being said.

Refuse to interrupt because interruptions say, “I don’t care what you are saying; instead listen to me.”

Quality conversation also calls for self-revelation. In order for your partner to feel loved, you must reveal some of yourself, too.

Listen to hear and understand and not to reply.

Never use what your spouse says against him/her

If this is your partner’s love language: Ask your partner for a list of five activities that (s)he’d enjoy doing with you. Make plans to do one of them each month for the next five months.
GiftsBefore you mistake this love language for materialism, please take this into consideration; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. Men, please take note of this: a missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures…
Almost everything ever written on the subject of love indicates that at the heart of love is the spirit of giving. All five love languages challenge us to give to our spouse, but for some, receiving gifts is a visible symbols of love, which to them speaks the loudest. To such a person, a gift is a symbol that (s)he was thinking of them.
However, there is also an intangible gift that can speak more loudly than something that can be held in one’s hand. Physical presence in the time of crisis is the most powerful gift you can give. Your body becomes the symbol of your love.
If this is your partner’s love language: Keep a “gift idea” notebook. Every time you hear your spouse say, “I really like that,” write it down. Select gifts you feel comfortable purchasing, making or finding, and don’t wait for a special occasion. Becoming a proficient gift giver is an easy language to learn.
Acts of Service - Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear are: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter. 
It is easy to tell who are speakers of this language because people who speak this love language seek to please their partners by serving them; to express their love for them by doing things for them. The things they do require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love.
If this is your partner’s love language: What one act of service has your spouse nagged you about consistently? Why not decide to see the nag as a tag? Your spouse is tagging this particular task as a really important thing to him or her.
Physical Touch - This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face, kiss on the forehead —they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
Holding hands, kissing, hugging and sex – all of these are lifelines for the person for whom physical touch is the primary love language. With it, they feel secure in their partner’s love. “Love touches” don’t take much time, but they do require a little thought, especially if this isn’t your primary love language or you didn’t grow up in a “touching” family. Sitting close to each other as you watch TV requires no additional time, but communicates your love loudly. Touching each other when you leave the house and when you return may involve only a brief kiss, but speaks volumes.
If this is your partner’s love language: While eating together let your knee or foot drift over and touch your partner.
Now that you know the languages of love, how do you find out what your primary language is? Click here and share with us what you discover.
I just checked my language of love and discovered this about me:
I am most fluent in Words of Affirmation -  (My Score: 10)
I speak good Quality Time and Physical touch  – (My Score: 6 on each)
It seems like I average in receiving gifts – (My Score: 5)
When it comes to Acts of Service I struggle with this language – (My Score: 3)
As we head towards Valentine's Day, the above tips could come in handy to someone......



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God Bless You so much for this.

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