Are You a Task, Time or Gift Kind of Giver?

five love languagesHow do you communicate your appreciation to others in your life?  Think about it.  How do you express your gratitude?  It may be with a shiny gift but there are other ways to show appreciation.

When thinking about this, I am reminded of a book I read to help improve my communication channels in my relationship with life partners and other relationships as well.

The book The 5 Love Languages is a very helpful tool to, not only understand how you express yourself to others and what you expect in return, but also how other express themselves to you. “New York Times” bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman guides couples in identifying, understanding, and speaking their significant other’s primary love language. The five languages are:

  • Quality time
  • Words of affirmation
  • Gifts
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch

What love language do you speak? I suggest reading the book because I have found this information very valuable as I move through my life.  For me, it is not only in my relationship with my spouse but applicable in many of my relationships.  As I express my love language and receive it in return, this synergy gives me the energy to positively move through my life.

My language is acts of service which unfolds as tasks and to-dos.  When I want to aid someone, I do things for them that will make their day easier.  It could be as simple as running an errand or helping with some of their project tasks or organizing an event.  I know that if I want to give of myself in a way that comes naturally, it is to provide an act of service.

 If you start to watch how people offer to help you in your life’s journey and you are familiar with these languages, you start to see patterns.

Just last week, Chris, a wonderful woman that helps me keep everything in order at my home brought me a necklace.  This started us into a conversation about donations and she mentioned how she took some of our donations to a men’s shelter and passed the warm clothes out to men in need.

Every few weeks Chris brings a little something she has collected along the way to our home.  It dawned on me that she communicates through gifts (old or new).  Over the years I have passed along things (old and new) to her.  Sometimes she keeps it and other times she passes it but every time I get that big smile and warm hug.  Chris’ language is gift giving.

 Do you know your language?  Do you know what warms your heart?

People generally communicate in their language so knowing yours and being perceptive to know the ones of the significant people in your life will be mutually beneficial.

A girlfriend of mine is in a relationship where her spouse buys her gifts. That is wonderful but all she really wants and needs is his quality attention which he has yet to figure out. Her language is quality of time.    If he knew her language, he would be getting more of the benefits and responses he hopes for when he presents his gifts.

If your languages are different than those of the people with whom you are closest and you are unaware, you may be missing a true connection.

Knowledge is power, keep learning.