That sounds simple doesn’t it? If you love somebody you just tell them that you love them and that’s it!
There’s this thing in psychology called intention and perception. I’ve got a certain intention when I say something or gesture to you; and you have a perception about what that means.
For example, I was giving a speech the other day and every time I spoke about my little brother this guy looked at me strangely. Afterwards I went to him and asked, “Sir did I offend you in some way? Every time I spoke about my little brother you squinted and seemed a little upset.”
He said, “Yes Laurens. In my (Zulu) culture, the hand gesture you used when referring to your brother, refers to a small animal.”
Now who is right and who is wrong? No one.
My intention was to speak about my little brother, yet his perception was that I’m speaking about an animal.
So what’s important to understand is that everybody’s language is different and then learning to speak to them in their language.
I’m happy to use the right gesture for a small boy when I’m in the presence of someone whose culture brought them up on it.
It’s all about understanding how people perceive things and speaking on their level.
The five love languages are the same. They are:
- Words of affirmation
- Physical touch
- Quality time
- Acts of service
Each of us enjoy these languages but some are more important.
When you’re trying to give love to someone, ask yourself the following:
- Which love language should I use with them?
- Could I love them better in their way?
Remember your intentions, perceptions, upbringing and language aren’t the same as everybody else’s. True mastery comes when you understand that everybody has different languages and you can ‘speak’ different languages.
This week, think about your partner and which of the five their favourite is. Then spend some time reminding them in their love language what they mean to you.
Keep on changing the game.
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