How to Use Love Languages to Improve your Relationships (and Business!)

Applying Love Languages to Improve your Relationships

Learning to improve communication with different types of people is a passion of mine. Different types? For instance, the Gary Chapman categorizes people by their love language.

My love language is a tie between "physical touch" and "quality time", so it was hard for me to register "acts of service" as love a few years ago: my boyfriend would make me dinner to show his love and instead of appreciating it I would feel like he didn't love me enough because he wasn't physically affectionate in public. 

But love languages apply beyond a romantic relationship. Learning your own love language lets you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, so you can improve.  ("Acts of service" is now the love language I speak second-best; back then it was dead last!)

you can learn to speak other love languages

Learning to speak other love languages can transform a turbulent relationship into a strong bond. It's been the case for me more times than I can count!

what is your love language?

These are the five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service and gifts.

If you don't know yours, you can take the quiz for free at Gary Chapman's site.

Besides transforming your close relationships, the ability to recognize and speak other people's love languages can lead to more business.  

People do business with people they know, like and trust. 

people give business to people they know, like and trust

People do business with people they know, like, and trust.

Sometimes you have to make the first move.

Sometimes people need to know you like them before they can open up to knowing, liking or trusting you. 

Sometimes people need to know you like them before they can open up to knowing, liking or trusting you. People experience this sense of being like/loved through the expression of their love language.

For this reason, it's helpful to be able to recognize other people's love languages. Here are some things to note about a person to help you figure out their love languages:

questions to identify someone else's love language

For instance, if the person often offers to bring coffee into the office, they might have the language of gifts as one of their higher love languages.  If a person can often be heard complaining about other people not changing the toner in the copy machine, perhaps their love language is acts of service. If they walk around putting their hands on people's shoulders, perhaps one of their highest languages is physical touch.

Once you know a person's love language, it's time to start "speaking it" to them. The following images offer tips for speaking each of the five love languages.

 It's also important to not forget special occasions... especially if the person in your life with the love language of gifts is someone you work closely with.

It's also important to not forget special occasions... especially if the person in your life with the love language of gifts is someone you work closely with.

 People with the love language "acts of service" need to feel like they have a partner in you. 

People with the love language "acts of service" need to feel like they have a partner in you. 

 This love language can be tricky in the business world. You probably want to avoid putting your hands on people (even a light touch on the shoulder) unless you are sure this is their love language. Some people are offended by physical touch. 

This love language can be tricky in the business world. You probably want to avoid putting your hands on people (even a light touch on the shoulder) unless you are sure this is their love language. Some people are offended by physical touch. 

 If your love language is "quality time", you probably are particularly aware of/bothered when people who pick up their phone while you're talking or at dinner. 

If your love language is "quality time", you probably are particularly aware of/bothered when people who pick up their phone while you're talking or at dinner. 

 Wondering if someone in your office has this love language? Leave a sticky note with a compliment on their desk and notice their response. If they save it or are particularly pleased by it, this language might be one they naturally speak. 

Wondering if someone in your office has this love language? Leave a sticky note with a compliment on their desk and notice their response. If they save it or are particularly pleased by it, this language might be one they naturally speak. 

Although people generally think of Gary Champman's five love languages as applicable only in your romantic and familial relationships, I have seen it change business relationships just as readily. 

Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions!