In the previous blog, I began discussing about the importance of knowing ourselves first and asking for what we need before we can build a meaningful, lasting relationship with others. I am now writing in order to build upon that theme and how well-intentioned people can love one another and also miss the boat on how to make their partners feel loved and valued in a relationship.
Can you describe with ease the ways you feel valued and heard? Dr. Gary Chapman discusses maintaining healthy relationships in his wonderful book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts. He shows us that the key to feeling loved is knowing how we receive love (and letting our partners in on that secret). This means we have to tell them what makes us feel special and how they can win our love and affection (And yes, I mean tell them out loud).
What are the ways people feel loved, cherished and appreciated, you ask?
Dr. Chapman shares five key ways:
- Words of Affirmation – via kind words, an email, or old-fashioned writing
- Quality Time – as a child knows, there is no substitute to face-time
- Gifts – these can be expensive or free (a drawing from a child or fresh picked flowers)
- Acts of Service – doing kind deeds for one another – making meals or fixing the car
- Physical Touch – holding hands, a gentle touch on the shoulder or a hug
The key here is to know yourself well enough to know which ways you feel most loved. If you aren’t sure, just reflect back on a time where you were deeply touched by an experience. This will help you figure out which aspects of caring mean most to you. Another way is to notice how you give to other people. We often give in the way we receive.
Be careful. Don’t make the cardinal mistake of assuming that other people receive in the way you do. If you want to be effective in a relationship, you need to give to others in the way they receive. This idea doesn’t just hold true for romantic relationships, but applies to all relationships. Begin by figuring out how the other person is contributing to your relationship. You can watch them and acknowledge how they give to others and listen for what they value. You can also make it easy on yourself and just ask them!
If you are feeling unappreciated or undervalued in a relationship, get clear about what you want. Then acknowledge how this person has been giving to you. Lastly, have the courage to tell them what would work better for you. And don’t forget to give back in the way they receive.
TalkRx Prescription – if you want to feel loved and appreciated, give it away!
Choose a relationship you would like to be stronger. Then, do one act of kindness per day x seven days for them in the way that they receive and watch how it dramatically changes your relationship!
I’d love to hear how this works for you. Please leave a comment below.
To giving and receiving love,