Video credit: Vanessa Van Edwards, “What’s Your Love Language?” October 16, 2014, via YouTube.
In this video, Vanessa Van Edwards speaks about “love language”. “Love language” is defined as how we express our love and affection; and how we feel most loved and respected. According to the presenter, there exist five “love languages”:
- quality time – these people like to spend time together (also applicable to business);
- physical touch – these people like hugs, linking arms, massaging, etc.;
- gifts – these people like attention, including in the form of gifts (usually small gifts, but they like your sign of attention);
- acts of service – these people love being helped with a project, house work (ladies often appreciate this and feel loved and cared for if they are assisted with this work), and love being accompanied by a person when they are doing the work (men often need a companion even if the person is not helping, but is just there with them);
- words of affirmation – these people like and need to hear that they are loved – if your spouse is like that, remember to share a word of love and appreciation (yes, you may adore your spouse, but it is important to tell him/her about this and more than once).
Different people tend to communicate differently – using preferably one of these “languages”. For example, some people prefer “quality time” while others favour “physical touch”.
Indeed, all these five “languages” or rather five [non]verbal modes of affectionate communication make sense in the wider context of nonverbal communication. According to Albert Mehrabian, 93% of information we communicate (receive and transmit) in affectionate communication is nonverbal (including the paraverbal element) and only 7% percent depends on words. This means that in terms of feelings, and particularly, in terms of close family relations and friendship or even professional communication, it is necessary to pay attention to nonverbal clues also.
How to respond to the nonverbal clues we are receiving? First of all, it is necessary to recognize them. Paradoxically, it is the verbal language that may help us to recognize these nonverbal clues. For instance, if our husband/wife/friend is asking us to hold him/her by the hand, it means that this may be exactly what s/he is missing (how they will feel loved, their “love language”). Therefore, in this case, it is an excellent idea to hold our beloved one by the hand. There is no necessity to be a “touch” person for this, but if we love this “touch” person, holding him/her by the hand or giving a hug is the least thing we can do for him/her. Just as sometimes “seeing is believing” and “it is better to see once than to hear one hundred times”, so is enriching our communication with simple, caring nonverbal clues especially with the people we love, respect, and care for.
The last thing that I would like to add to this video is that some people require more signs of attention in one of these [non]verbal modes, while others are equally in need of all of these clues or in need of different clues at different times.
Briefly, in terms of affectionate communication, it is necessary to enrich our verbal language with nonverbal clues to communicate effectively. Our verbal language is a great helper to find the appropriate nonverbal “love language/s” for efficient and effective communication.