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When will you learn to speak your partner's emotional language?

by Bruno Deshayes on 13 Apr 2017 permalink
emotional languageUnless it is packaged in the right format, you are wasting your time expressing love or regret. If you don't hit the right chord for that person, it won't come across as sincere and genuine.

That's an astounding truth but it has caused many relationships to go awry. Why? We blindly assume that everybody else communicates appreciation or apology the same way we do ourselves. Because most of us are self-centred we only realize we have a communication problem when it is too late.

Some people will only take on board your token of love, appreciation or affection if you speak to them words of affirmation. Others simply want you to spend quality time with them. There is a group where nothing registers unless you present them with a gift. (Not necessarily something expensive, but something thoughtful, something you made yourself for them, something that demonstrates you know their taste...) others still really enjoy when you do things for them, help out in a thoughtful way. Finally there are those who need physical touch. If it's a man that can be a hug, a double handshake, a pat on the shoulder, etc...

Likewise when you've goofed something and it is your call to apologize you have also to deliver your message in the right shape. Some people will only forgive you if you express regret by saying to their face: "I am sorry". Others want you to take responsibility for your mistake. There is a group of folks who won't be moved unless you make restitution in some way. Another type are those who expect you to take action to avoid a repeat of your mistake. Finally there are those who simply expect you to ask them for their forgiveness.

As you can see there is quite some variety out there and people don't walk around in life with a sign around their neck telling you their emotional language predilection. Ignore it at your own peril. The default behaviour is to express lover or regret the same way, you yourself like to receive it. When it does not work you have some homework to do. The wonderful thing about falling in love is that you can for a while ignore your setbacks and press on expressing yourself in different ways until you hit that person's hot button. But what happens when the routine has settled in 5 or 10 years down the track? You wrongly assume that because you've known each other for quite some time now you have somewhat mingled in your love and apology languages and yours is as good as mine. Wrong! Danger! You need to fan into flame the first bond that got you started in the first place and re-live each day as a new day.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Rob says:
Bruno, thanks so very much for these insights, very helpful. Hope we can catch up in person the next time you are back in Sydney. Rob



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Bruno Deshayes

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