The highly popular book The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman was written in 1995 to teach us how to express and experience love primarily by romantic partners. If you’ve never had the opportunity to take The 5 Love Languages test, take it here, it’ll change your life. https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/
According to Dr. Chapman, there are five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Receiving of Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch, and Quality Time.
When I first took the test many years ago, I was so amazed how much it made sense and how I was able to use it effectively in my relationship. Since this is the month of love, I started thinking about this test again and how it related to self-love.
Self-love and self-care have been buzzwords that have gained popularity in the last few years as women begin to engage more in living their truth, getting what they want, and need to be successful.
Just like The 5 Love Languages, I believe we can use these same markers to identify how we relate to the experiences we have with ourselves. For myself, Acts of Service is my primary love language, but when I measured these in terms of self-love, my primary was quality time.
I want to deep dive into the five love languages and my interpretation when it comes to self-love. I believe when we better understand what self-love means to us, we are better able to replenish ourselves.
Words of Affirmation
How do you speak to yourself? Is it harsh or with a loving, kind voice? Words of affirmation are words, statements, or phrases that you tell yourself. They should empower, edify, and build you up. They should speak life into every situation. So, I will ask you again, how do you talk to yourself? Do you trash talk to yourself, deflating your spirit, and making yourself believe that you are not enough? When you do speak life over your circumstances, does it make you feel like you can move mountains and conquer the world?
For me, physical touch in self-love, it’s more about my appearance and well-being. How do I feel each day as I take care of my body? Some days it’s a struggle because I work from home. I drop my kids off to school, and I don’t always take the time to do my hair or get fully dressed. How important is your appearance to you? How does it make you feel when you haven’t put on your makeup? What do you experience when you don’t allow yourself enough sleep? When you are dressed and feeling sexy, does that change how you show up for yourself?
This one right here is for me. Self-love = give me my time. When you are in a space when you give so much to others, this is so important. My quality time is vital because it’s the time when I can recharge and think. I can be present with myself and without distraction. I can get clarity for my life and what’s next. How do you feel when you can give yourself quality time? How intentional are you about scheduling time for yourself? When I check myself into a hotel alone for the weekend, I am so renewed when I check out. What are some things that you’ve done alone that you would do again?
If you find that you feel energised after spending quality time alone, this might be your primary language.
Acts of Service
So, in the usual sense, this would be someone doing something for you as an expression of love. Action speaks louder than words. What steps can you take for yourself to show kindness to yourself? How can you get the support you need to do more meaningful things for yourself? So one of the things that come up for me in this area is just getting someone to come to clean the house monthly. When I don’t allow myself to push myself to burnout, I am kind to myself. Acts of service may require you to be creative, especially if you need support, but the finances aren’t there to get everything you want. Alternating with friends to watch each other’s children or carpooling are great ways to get additional support.
Receiving of Gifts
Gifts can come in all shapes and sizes. When it comes to giving yourself gifts, this can mean time, money, health, love, and material possessions. My daughter reminded me the other day that there was once a time when I wouldn’t buy myself anything, even if I could afford it. Somewhere along the way, I created a rule for myself that I didn’t deserve gifts from me. Crazy, right? Over the years, my rule has diminished, and I no longer feel like I need permission to give myself anything. I get what I want. As a mother, I know all too well how we forget to do for ourselves and often over give to our children. If you could give yourself one gift right now, what would it be? How would it make you feel?
Self-love is about creating a state of well-being and happiness for yourself and on your terms. If you had to pick from the 5 mentioned above, which one resonates with you the most? I know I said quality time is my primary, but words of affirmation are my secondary. See my personal declaration I wrote below that hangs in my office.
How we love ourselves is so much more important than how we love others. Loving ourselves in a profound, intimate way empowers us to share that love authentically with others.
I encourage you to take the time to journal some of the questions I included and discover what makes you feel most loved by you. Leave a comment and let the SheHub community know what’s your #1 self-love language.
Telanna is a life and leadership coach and the founder of the Purpose Minded Woman a personal development company dedicated to seeing women achieve their biggest goals and change their life so they can fulfil their purpose. Find her on Facebook and Instagram @purposemindedwoman and on Twitter @PurposeMWoman.