Learn 10 easy ways to show your family you love, cherish and appreciate them.

Acts of service. Quality time. Words of affirmation. Receiving gifts. Physical touch.

According to New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Gary Chapman, these are “simple and practical ways to communicate love.” 

In his book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, Dr. Chapman details each language (and the tools to apply them), one of which is our primary way of communicating (giving and receiving) love. 

An online quiz designed by Dr. Chapman is intended as a tool for strengthening relationships by helping to identify the love language most used. The quiz was rather accurate in its ranking of the ways I understand and communicate love:

  1. Acts of Service
  2. Words of Affirmation
  3. Quality Time
  4. Physical Touch
  5. Receiving Gifts

I was first compelled to give it a try after experiencing growing pains in some of the most important relationships in my life. I desired to be more intentional about loving and being loved, and so there I was clicking away. 

In the process of practicing intentionality in this area I learned this: love is not just about expressing it in a way that feels organic but delivering it in a way that is meaningful to the recipient.

For example, because my organic way of loving is through acts of service, I’m likely to express it this way too. But what if the recipient’s primary love language is words of affirmation?

Picture it: they’re stressed about a project on deadline. To express my love (and hopefully ease their stress), I decide to knock off a few items on their to-do list (an act of service). A loving gesture, yes? Sure. Absolutely. For this recipient, though, giving words of encouragement and praise (i.e. affirmation) would ease the area where their stress is felt the most: in their mind.

To be intentional in the way I love, I’ve had to practice mindfulness first by recognizing and seizing the moments to express it in a way they understand.

Speaking of mindfulness, the ‘Month of Love’ is here to offer 28 days of opportunity for us to practice loving intentionally!

Here are some simple ways to let your family know they’re loved based on their primary love language.

Acts of Service:

  • Do something. That household chore or recurring errand that they really don’t like doing? Yeah, do it.
  • Help them make time. That favorite pastime they never seem to have enough time for? Be intentional in changing that by taking on some responsibilities that’ll free up more of their time—even if for only a day.

Quality Time:

  • Make time for them. Want to kick it up a notch? Plan something they’ll enjoy…and fully submerse yourself in their joy of the moment. While you’re at it, let this sink in: you helped bring that smile to their face.
  • Listen actively. Take your eyes and mind off the screen and give them your full attention. This can be challenging in the Digital Age, I know. But it’s not impossible if you’re serious about being intentional.

Words of Affirmation:

  • Say “I love you.” Sounds simple enough but it’s an organic expression for everybody. If that’s you, remember that it’s beautiful to show your love, however, saying it can be just as meaningful too.
  • Compliment them…often. Who doesn’t like to feel like Beyonce? And I don’t mean the Beyonce who “woke up like this.” I mean the Beyonce who slays red carpets and owns every stage she steps on.

Physical Touch:

  • Add a touch of love. I mean that literally. If they’re stressed, rub their back or kiss their forehead. If they’re crying, wipe their tears or hold them close. If they’re nervous hold their hand or waist. The human touch is a reminder that we’re not alone. Your touch reminds the person you love that they’re not alone.
  • Hug a little longer, squeeze a little tighter. All too often, we take our loved ones for granted. We expect them to answer the phone or walk through the door—to be there. Time is not promised. The next time you hug them, hold on a little longer and squeeze a little tighter. 

Receiving Gifts:

  • Don’t let Valentine’s Day slip pass your radar. On this day especially, focus your energy on gestures of love, no matter the size.
  • Give them a gift. Whether store-bought or handmade, inexpensive or not, its an extension and thoughtful expression of your love.
About Syreeta Martin

Sincerely Syreeta is the mother of two daughters who remind her to Empathize, Empower, and EVOLVE every day. She is a freelance journalist, talk show host, life coach, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur based out of Philadelphia, PA.

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