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L.O.V.E. Are we communicating it clearly?

I love a good Romcom. There’s always a bit of tension and angst between the lead characters, usually fuelled by miscommunication. They both have the feeling of love, but neither seem to be able to really communicate it. After many ups and downs and a few predictable plot twists, they fall into each other’s arms, finally speaking the same language.

As Speech Pathologists we talk about communication. A LOT. It’s what we do. Our goal is to see all our clients take the next step towards better communication. But how good are we really at communicating matters of the heart? We could all probably brush up our skills in that department.

Years ago, I was introduced to the concept of ‘Love Languages’, from the wonderful books by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, ‘The Five Love Languages’ and ‘The Five Love Languages of Children’. Even 20 years after first reading the books, I know that I frequently need to be reminded of the best ways to communicate my love to my family and friends. The love language concept is also super important in my work as I figure out the best way to express my appreciation for my colleagues.

I know many of you have read the books and are familiar with the Love Languages concept. Here’s a quick overview for those who are unfamiliar:

The Love Languages are five modes that we use to ‘speak’ love to those around us. We ‘hear’ love spoken to us in these modes too. They include:

  1.     Physical Touch – not just a hug or a kiss, also side squeezes, physical games, roughhousing and more.

  2.     Words of Affirmation – spoken words, written notes or a public posting on Facebook for others to see.

  3.     Quality Time – togetherness, sharing a book, watching a movie or going for a walk together.

  4.     Gifts – large and small, it’s the fact that you were thought of and not the value of the gift.

  5.     Acts of Service – doing something to help out, something that is truly appreciated. Dishes anyone?

Each of us usually has a preferred mode that we ‘speak’ and ‘listen’ in. Understanding the Love Language spoken by those around us, will help us to communicate our love and appreciation for them and enhance our relationships.

I love the fact that only one of the ‘languages’ uses words. This means that there are plenty of opportunities to communicate without being limited to verbal communication. There really is something for everyone!

Get a copy of the book today. If you have Little Ones in your life, then check out the Five Love Languages for Children packed with great tips for communicating love to your child and providing effective discipline.

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