The death of a loved one does funny things to the people left behind. There is no one way to grieve, and everyone needs to allow time to process their emotions. Usually there are many emotions, sometimes overlapping each other. Sadness, regret, anger, confusion, fear, and acceptance can all make an appearance while someone is grieving.
The death of a loved one can also reveal things about them that you never knew or considered. That grandmother who was a compulsive hoarder and constantly bought gifts for you? She lived through the end of the Great Depression and doesn’t want you to experience how hard that was. As a result, she buys items she thinks you might (someday) need. Even if you already have 18 washcloths from the last time you took her shopping. Her love language was gifting. Your father who was always too busy working or helping other people to come to your children’s band concerts? His love language was service and he didn’t know how else to show you he loved you.
What is a love language? Dr. Gary Chapman, a marriage counselor, recognized that we each have a way of showing our love to others. He broke them down into five main categories:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
A person’s love language not only defines how they show love but also how they feel love. Someone who’s love language is Quality Time would feel loved when someone spends time with them. That is how they show love, and what they understand love to be.
Discovering a person’s love language can improve your relationship with them by:
- Being able to connect with them on a deeper level.
- Having more understanding of their character.
- Being able to forgive, as you realize they are acting out of love and not to annoy you.
- More love, both from and to you.
Not only will understanding a person’s love language improve your relationship, but it will also create more peace in your life as you have insight into the actions of others. As you understand and recognize the different love languages and how they present, you will start to see them in everyone around you, even strangers.
Looking at the five love languages from a business perspective, we can use the knowledge to have a better relationship with our boss, coworkers, and employees. Ideally, everyone in the workplace should take the quiz and share their results with each other. Then everyone begins to work towards recognizing and trying to “speak” to each other using their love language. This will, in turn, create a more positive working environment where everyone feels understood and validated.
To see what your love language is, you can take the free profile quiz. Dr. Gary Chapman started The 5 Love Languages as a way to help married couples, and he has since expanded to include people of all ages and statuses. He now has information for teens, children, military, singles, and more. It’s worth it to take some time to explore his website and check out the free resources.
Do not wait until your loved one has passed to learn their love language. Find out now, and then use that knowledge to have a closer connection with them.