Monday, January 13, 2014

A daughter of a close friend of mine approached me recently, in tears, convinced her mom did not love her.  This young girl’s heart ached and longed for recognizable signs and confirmations that she was approved of and accepted by the woman she called mother.  On the flip side, my friend would say she doesn’t understand why her daughter is so clingy and seemingly needy.  She feels she shows her constant love but the daughter appears not to receive it.  What a dilemma!

A dilemma that I believe can be answered by a simple concept…becoming multi-lingual!  However, I speak not in the sense of brushing up on your Spanish or French. 

Not too long ago, I was introduced to the popular concept of love languages.  I was quickly drawn to the idea, but didn’t latch onto it completely until I was taught that there are not necessarily five, but only three!  This simplified version aided in my understanding.  It was suggested to me that the three basic love languages are:   visual, verbal and touch/feel.   And within those three can be found the others that so many have learned or heard about.   Each of these three basic love languages appreciate quality time, gifts, acts of service etc….only in THEIR love language!  For example, a touch/ feel’s  quality time may look like a good long hug, a massage or having their hair played with (a personal favorite of mine).  Their service may also include those examples, as well as a hand holding, a pedicure, a kiss on the forehead.  A verbal’s quality time would simply be a good one on one conversation!  Effective acts of service would include a meaningful letter, just to be listened to over lunch, notes on their mirror or those words of affirmation!  The visual type love to see others serve them by getting up and performing for them on stage, or bringing them a gift they can see and/or hold.  Quality time would simply be doing their dishes with them,  working along side them in the garden, aiding them in a task or project.   Many people have a very strong initial language, and quite often a secondary, less dominant language.  It is rare to find those who speak all three equally, but they are out there! 

So in this case with my friend and her daughter, the sweet youth is extremely touch/feel.  Her mom, a visual, would serve her in her own love language, by baking treats, helping her with her chores and bringing home surprises from the store.  Her daughter appreciated those things, but did not realize that her mom was expressing love the best way she knew how.  And the daughter, not comprehending  the foreign language of her mom, felt deprived of the hugs and holdings that her language understood.  We have a tendency to show love the way we want to receive it, which often leads to others misunderstanding and sensing a lack of feeling loved. 

Might I challenge you to take the time this week to focus in on clues that may indicate what your loved one’s languages are.  And don’t be afraid to let those around you in on how you feel loved!!  I think everyone will be grateful to have added a new language to their repertoire.


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