In conjunction with Valentine's Day, last week we had a great Relief Society activity on the 5 Love Languages. It was a lovely dinner with friends; the committee went all out. Everyone took the love languages quiz and then a sweet young man who is studying marriage and family therapy at UNLV talked about the results. (I remember when this man was a teenager so . . . yeah, I'm old.)
If you don't know, the five languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. These are ways that we all feel and communicate love. To have good relationships with people (especially our spouse and children) it is crucial to understand how we and they "speak" the language of love.
I scored highest on words of affirmation and quality time. Those two were almost tied. Next for me came acts of service, also high. Low on the list was gifts. And I scored a big fat zero on physical touch. (That makes me sound like a weirdo, eh?)
So yesterday I decided to give Mary the quiz, the one designed for teenagers. I felt like I understood her pretty well but though it'd be interesting to hear what she had to say.
I gave her the quiz and to my surprise, she wrote a full-page analysis of her results.
My results were that I really like gifts and acts of service, but I also had a high score for quality time. However, in many cases, it was only sometimes. I enjoy spending time with you, but am uncomfortable if I spend too much time with you. I don't really like attention. One of the questions was watching TV or a movie with me. I like that very much. We don't have to talk or even look at each other, but there's still a feeling of companionship. I especially like shows that make us laugh. I like to laugh with you. I did not get many A's [words of affirmation]. Again, I don't really enjoy attention. I know you think it's crazy, but most of the time I don't want you to acknowledge my accomplishments. Or at least, not verbally. It is nice to receive gifts or presents from you. I like to know you're there, even if I prefer to be alone. I don't like to be hugged or touched. To be honest it's often annoying and invasive and makes me uncomfortable. I like to be independent and I want you to trust me. I prefer quiet. When things get tough and I struggle, and I know it might be hard for you, but I don't want you to hug me or hold my hand. I don't want you to tell me it's okay. In my experience, limited though it is, things are rarely "okay." But that's all right. I just need to know you're there.
Man, if we could all express ourselves so eloquently we'd have a lot fewer misunderstandings in this world. I love that girl.