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Monday, March 20, 2023

The Language of Love

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Good relationships thrive because there is effective communication. Effective communication goes beyond mere talk; it means you communicate well. Superior communication with your partner does not imply there is no misunderstanding —it means you have clear lines of effective communication. And there is effective and harmonised communication for everyone and anyone who cares about — and works towards — a thriving relationship. The answer to a great relationship is about learning a language, the language of love.

The language of love is about adoring your partner, devotion and taking a keen interest in their welfare. This includes what they find significant, and of course what they do not like. In addition, find out how your partner likes to be loved, touched (sensitive and insecure areas), their favourite words, meals, hobbies and such. Some people like a soft hand touch, while others would like you to warmly and caringly grab them or guide them. Some people like a lovely warm tender touch, others want you to hold their hand, hair, a finger, whole hand or massage their body or legs, while yet others prefer a hug or a kiss.

Loving using appropriate language also implies you must be understanding and kind to each other. In effect, you have to find out what your partner expects and fulfil their needs in rather spontaneous ways. 

A new language, newer language, a renewed language

It is not a bombshell, but true love is not just about loving; it is also about knowing the language of love and communicating in that language in an affectionate way. Loving is spontaneous, but only if you denote it and thus synchronise your love together. You then converse with one another in an understanding, caring way

Love is spontaneous and you will find a lot of joyful moments if you synchronise your love together.

The language of love is honest, committed, faithful and purposeful. It includes body language, posture, facial expressions, eye contact, hands, gestures and dressing. Body language is used especially to express feelings. Here are the top ten (10) tips on the language of love.

(1)       Choice of words. The language of love has certain words, just like the world of sports has athletics and ball games and politics in Kenya is full of defections. The choice of words is meticulous because it is meant to communicate your love. Thus, love has words like: ‘Hi honey’, ‘Hi babesy’, ‘I love you’, ‘Miss you’, ‘You are my sweetheart’.

In the same way that true love communicates devotion, care and concern, sincere love must carefully weigh on certain words like ‘I hate you’, ‘I don’t like .. (you)’, ‘ I am sceptical about .. (our love, your lack of trust)’. Indeed, some of the words, insults and statements are so devastating that once spoken, it is difficult to retrieve them.

The reason why choice of words is deeply significant is because love has a lot of emotions since it is about cherishing one another. Love must communicate devotion, trust, freedom, joy and happiness. It is about finding excitement and contentment in each other.  This is what the language of love must communicate.

(2)       Moods and emotions. You or your partner may be moody, tired, troubled, quiet or distressed. If you feel low, or your partner is down, it is important that one finds time to process any hard feelings. That way, you let go of the ‘bad’ emotions or feelings. You can also give your partner time to deal with any anger, hate or hurts. If your partner feels low and does not wish to open up, allow them adequate time to process their feelings. You can wait till he or she is ready. It is also significant that you are there for them when they are ready to share, or your partner may request your presence and want you to be there for them.

In the same way, do not project your anger on your partner or burst out, hurling words at them. Also, do not keep to yourself for too long — because your partner is there and they too need your attention.

(3)       Smiling. Our Face is one of the most expressive parts of the body. You should always be aware of your facial expressions. If you are anxious, unhappy or angry, your facial expression outwardly expresses it. This may imply you are unapproachable, serious, or disinterested. Smiling is a very important reaction. Smiling a lot helps the other person to feel comfortable and happy.

You need to learn to break any misrepresentation by making a conscious effort to smile to your partner. This makes the other person feel welcome, relaxed and comfortable. Your partner will feel confident in you and in turn reciprocate your warmth by being open and friendly. Even when you are stressed and upset by others, you should always make effort to keep your face cool, calm and smiling because your partner is sensitive to your feelings.

(4)       Positive Talk. The language of love is positive, not negative. You must seek to compliment your partner and avoid too much negativity, even when it exists. You also need to hear positive things about yourself but not only the negative. A person who loves another sees a lot of positive in them and is quick to highlight them. A person who only sees the negative should be careful since they have a problem with loving and appreciating others. In such instances, where a person is so pessimistic, it is also good to learn self and appreciate oneself, including raising their self-esteem.

A person who only sees the negative should be careful since they have a problem with loving and appreciating others. In such instances, where a person is so pessimistic, it is also good to learn self and appreciate oneself including raising their self-esteem.

(5)       Listening. Listening is two things: it is the ability to receive, and at the same time interpret information. Listening is essential to any relationship. Listening is a cognitive act that requires you to pay careful attention to, and focus on what is being said. Your partner requires you to genuinely listen to them. This helps build a relationship because it ensures effective understanding. A major complaint among many marriage partners is that the companion does not listen ‘to me.’ An important way to demonstrate listening is paying attention. This requires you to be attentive, not busy with other activities. You must also maintain eye contact.

(6)       Voice and Tone. Our voice, volume and tone communicate a lot in addition to the choice of words and their meaning. It is good to learn to control your voice and tone.  This is because a raised voice implies anger and resentment while a soft voice is calm and loving. Some people react badly to a raised voice because it is often scaring, especially in an environment where one was brought up by commanding parents, harsh teachers, bullying colleagues and other harsh people within their vicinity. Your partner is your best friend, and the last thing you want to hear from them is that insensitive callous unwelcoming voice. Your partner will love and cherish you because you are different, that is, sensitive, caring and welcoming.

(7)       Motivate your partner. Everyone feels good when they are told something positive and polite about themselves. Thus, we need to avoid ‘fire-fighting’ and concentrate on love and relationship building. Say something or do something enjoyable to both of you. That way you make life worthwhile. Also, you and your partner feel encouraged and motivated. For example, have a happy meal together — whether at home or on an outing. Additionally, you can make and have a nice meal together (a nice meal is not necessarily expensive– even githeri, ugali with spinach, matoke or rice can be lovely if the hearts are warm). Furthermore, praise each other and mention positive values and character in your partner.

(8)       Time, Timing, and spending time together. Time is of essence in a relationship. Be willing to spend time together. This includes giving up your time for the purpose of activities that are meaningful to the two of you, or to your partner. You can also do various activities together such as shopping, walking, jogging, swimming, prayers, watching television, travelling or watching a movie. It is also possible to do different things, but do them together so that you synchronise your activities and create harmony in purpose, for example going to work in different places but travelling together, going to salon and meeting (ladies and gentlemen meetings are now often put together to enable spouses wait for each other).

(9)       Talks and Discussions. The language of love is effective in communication. Let your moments together be ‘building up’ not ‘crushing’ times. In that case, do not keep bickering about trivialities, and whining. Instead, if something or someone annoyed or upset you, speak it out. If it is not as significant or worthwhile and you can let go, just keep quiet or shelve it until a later, more appropriate time. In any case, your talks and discussions should not always be about complaints, frustrations and disappointments. Instead, let your talks and discussions also build you up.

(10)    Kindness, politeness and sincerity. ‘Love is gentle and kind’. Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, describes love in such wonderful words. This includes an astonishing choice of words that are kind and polite, as well as the volume and tone. That love is extended to language in form of presents and gifts. These include clothing, flowers and several other small hand-outs from one another. Gifts and presents demonstrate appreciation, kindness, gentleness and concern. As much as you can, take time to demonstrate kindness and appreciation — even with the smallest things, like taking your partner for a walk, a handkerchief, a cup of tea, movie, playing a song, a hug or a kiss.

A life of sharing and full of meaning

Effective communication takes a relationship from one level to a higher level. The language of love enhances devotion and confidence in one’s relationship and ensures that there is mutual understanding between the two of you. It involves sharing by spending time together. Ultimately, love involves a lot of sharing of good and bad emotions, anxieties and worries, nice times and great moments. You need to establish what you share, why you share and how you share.

There must be an overt demonstration of mutual love. This involves how you interact, and more importantly how you listen to each other. This includes the tenderness in your voice, eyes and smile. There is the affection in the tone, the empathy in each other. The language of love is interpreted by your conversation, including your discussion, your questions and answers and the calm dialogue. As mutual partners, you understand each other clearly and coherently.

In the end, we must communicate with both our body and language. This is because our body, words and face expresses what is going on in our mind. Therefore, we must demonstrate love by using kind words. Also, by orienting our body towards our partners, we show openness and attentiveness. At the same time, we must maintain eye contact with our partners. Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest in what they have to say. The eyes also give clues to our emotions, for example fear, confidence or lack of it and interest in the person and matter being discussed. Making very little eye contact can either convey that your partner is not giving much importance to the issue, that they are not sure or unclear, that they are nervous, or that they are not telling the truth thus creating feelings of mistrust or uneasiness. It is very important for you to maintain eye contact as it helps your partner to develop trust in you and in your relationship. At the same time, avoid staring, glaring, or looking away.

Learn the language of love and speak it. It is the secret of your love. It enhances your communication, so learn to use it well.

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Dr. Geoffrey Wangohttps://counsel-lingmagazine.co.ke/
Many people often ask me about my personal stand, my passion in life and how I got into Counselling Psychology and why in particular the establishment and writing in their favourite publication, The Counsel-ling Magazine. Colleagues and students, participants in various seminars and others suggested that I should include some information that would assist clients, practitioners and students to perhaps establish a career, or even assess and evaluate their ethical, moral and professional standards. Well, this allows for personal reflection and I feel it wise to include a few remarks about my fervour on counselling, mentoring and education as well as various aspects of life.
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