Sunday, October 7, 2012
Know yourself: part two
Love languages are important. If you haven't read The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you should. It not only helps you get other people better, but it helps you understand yourself better (which is kind of the point of these blog posts this month).
Once upon a time there was a lovely young married couple who had a fight every holiday. (Every fight was my fault.) I didn't know why I was dissatisfied and neither did poor Adam. I knew, vaguely, about the 5 love languages but hadn't ever given them much thought.
Then, when I was at Women's Conference at BYU, sitting next to my sisters in a class about marriage, I made a startling discovery. The presenter was describing the love languages. I listened and when I heard about "receiving gifts" as one of the languages, I thought that sounded awfully materialistic and shallow for a love language. Then, with slow dawning, I realized that receiving gifts was my love language. How terrible! I felt loved when people gave me gifts?! I felt like a jerk.
The more I thought about it though, the less jerk-like I felt. I do love getting gifts. I feel loved when someone gives me a gift. But, the monetary value of the gift is not The Thing.
Once, when we were really (really!) poor, Adam and our young children gave me a carefully wrapped present for Mother's Day. Inside were a drawing by Emma of a dress and a homemade rain check that said when we had more money, I could buy a new dress for Mother's Day. I loved it! I couldn't not have been happier with my Mother's Day gift. I felt loved. They had thought of me.
When you understand your own love language, you can explain it to other people (and have them explain theirs to you). It makes everyone happier.
(And maybe makes you have fewer fights on every holiday.)