Updated: May 11, 2021
Does your significant other often not appreciate the nice things you do for them? Does your child not enjoy your avalanche of praise and support? Does your boss find it odd and notify HR when you give them hugs at work?
If so, you both might be speaking different relationship languages.
For Week 2 of January's Relationships and Rapport, Lisa Finck (A.C.C.), Brooke Adair Walters (M.C.P.C.), and Jerome LeDuff Jr (M.C.L.C.) discuss what may happen if your clients or the people in your/their lives are speaking different languages and how you can help translate.
Imagine the confusion that often happens when tourists visit other countries and assume the people living there speak the same language. They often over enunciate words and speak very slowly to bridge the language gap.
"WHERE - IS - THE - BATH - ROOM"??? 🤬
These people might benefit from a little help with their communication and languaging skills.
While this is an extreme example, we as English speakers (safely assumed if you can read this) often take for granted that we can speak the same language with each other and get along mostly fine.
But language isn't just the spoken word.
Language and the ways we communicate are also impacted by our gestures, body language, tone of our voice, context, subtext, and how we understand/express certain abstract ideas.
Things get more tangled up and confused when we assume we speak the same relationship language with another person. Often boundaries will be trespassed, trust may be broken, or acts will go unappreciated because of these assumptions. This becomes especially difficult when emotions are involved and love is thrown in the mix.
Lisa, with her decade of experience in relationship coaching, points out that we typically express 5 different love languages. This theory comes from Dr. Gary Chapman's series of books, The Five Love Languages. These love languages are:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
Learn the language that most suits you here.
By knowing how you and your partner communicate and receive affection, you can have a more open discussion with your partner, or with the assistance of a life coach, relationship coach, or therapist.
How can I let you know?
This simple question is the key to translating all types of languages.
"How can I let you know..."
...that I trust you?
...that I appreciate you?
...that I love you?
...that I need space?
...that you hurt me?
...that we need to talk?
This way of discussing how relationship languages can be translated shows that you have a genuine interest in connecting with and understanding the other person and does not only apply to romantic relationships. When you understand yours and the other person's language style, you are better equipped for active listening and knowing the right questions to ask. One of the most important skills a Certified Life Coach can possess.
For other Useful Resources suggested:
Words That Change Minds (for business language)
Lisa Finck, Brooke Adair Walters, and Jerome LeDuff Jr.
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