The holiday season is almost here, and although we’re all looking forward to spending time with our loved ones and eating all the delicious foods, the holidays can also be a stressful and trying time, and not at all the harmonious get together we imagined.
Awkward family dynamics and hurt feelings are as part of the season as pumpkin pie, but there are ways you can help yourself and those around you improve the emotional climate of your relationships, and it’s not by drinking more wine.
Have you heard of a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? Lately, its message has really resonated with me.
According to Chapman we receive and give love in various languages, and for most of us they fall in the following buckets: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.
Everyone shows their love differently, and reading through this book and identifying ways in which I want to receive love has really opened my eyes to people around me. Sometimes those tumultuous relationships are toxic, but other times we are simply not communicating effectively, and although both parties are desperately showing their love, each is doing it in a language that isn’t valued by the other.
For example, when we want words of affirmation and receive gifts instead, or when we yearn for a physical touch, but receive a kind gesture.
In short, what makes one person feel loved does not necessarily make another person feel loved. While the book is focused on romantic relationships, I think it’s very valuable to understand what all those close to you value in their relationships.
Knowing that quality time or acts of service are the most valuable for your mom, or that physical touch and words of affirmation are key to your sister, are great tools to help us communicate in the right love language, especially around the holidays.
Go into the holiday season with an open heart and a forgiving spirit, but first take this quiz and then pass it around to all those you love, and speak to everyone in the right love language.