Category: Appreciation

An Autumn Check-Up

How about a little Autumn check-up? Has it been a good year for you so far? Some of you would say, “Well financially, it hasn’t been a good year.” Others would say, “When it comes to my health, no, it hasn’t been a good year.” Unfortunately, many would say, “For my marriage, it hasn’t been a good year.” Some things are beyond our control. That’s true in the area of finances, health, and relationships. But always we choose our attitude. Will we curse the darkness or will we light a candle? Will we trust God, or rail out in anger? Why not decide to finish this year trusting God, and asking Him for wisdom in how you can best respond to your present situation. Life with God is always better than traveling alone.

Learning Love Languages

Recently a wife said to me, I’m sending all of my friends to your marriage seminar.” “Really, why?” I asked. “Before the seminar, Bob never helped me with anything. We both had our careers, but it was always my job to do all the house work. After the seminar he started asking me, ‘What can I do to help you this evening?’ I’ll have to admit that at first there were trying and humorous times. The first time he did the laundry, he used bleach instead of detergent. Our blue towels came out white polka dotted. But eventually he learned. It’s wonderful. And it’s been going on for three years now.” Why was this wife so happy? Because her husband learned to speak her love language.

Q&A: Addapting to Love Languages

Q: Gary, is there a way to change my love language to accommodate my spouse better?

Gary: I don’t think we change our love language, but I think we can come to appreciate the other love languages better. Let’s say your spouse is not a “toucher” and physical touch is your language. They didn’t grow up in a touchy feely family, and therefore, it’s difficult for them to reach out and touch. But if they give you words of affirmation, you can come to realize that they’re speaking love in their way, and you can give them credit for it. I think coming to accept love in any of the languages can begin to fill the love tank, and if you’re positive about their responses to you, rather than negative (“You don’t ever touch me!”) they’re far more likely to come to speak your love language.

 

Words of Affirmation

Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” If we take Twain literally, he only needed six compliments a year. Believe me, your spouse, your child, your friend will need more than that. Verbal compliments, or words of affirmationare powerful communicators of love. Imagine hearing these words, “You look sharp in that suit;” “Wow, you look very nice tonight;” “I appreciate your washing of the dishes;” “Thanks for getting the baby sitter lined up.” What would happen to the emotional climate in your relationship if you heard such words of affirmation regularly? Then why not develop the habit of speaking such words to others? Compliments stimulate compliments.

Q&A: Expressing Appreciation in the Workplace Through Physical Touch

Q: What are some safe ways to convey appreciation through physical touch in a work environment?

Gary: This is a good question. We have all heard of sexual harassment in the workplace and we are sensitive to physical touch. However, there are appropriate touches, even in the workplace: a firm hand shake, a high-five, a light tap on the shoulder. Don’t allow fear to prevent from expressing appreciation through touch, especially to those who’ve indicated that physical touch is their primary language of appreciation.

Q&A: Languages of Appreciation at Work

Q: How can I discover and speak the love language of my boss at work without coming across as creepy? 

Gary: Most of the time in the workplace we call the languages the languages of appreciation instead of love for propriety’s sake. However, even in the workplace the languages speak to an emotional need because all of us want to feel appreciated. I think if you know your boss’ or your colleagues’ appreciation language speaking it may seem creepy to you, but probably not to them because you’re speaking the language that makes them feel appreciated. Don’t worry about how you feel but speak the language that you know will make them feel appreciated.

Q&A: Team Culture between Colleagues who are Far Apart

Q: How do we build a “team” culture when I rarely see my colleagues?

Dr. Paul White: Having team-members work from a variety of settings is extremely common in organizations.  As a result, building a sense of “team” can be a challenge and often needs to be done intentionally.

One aspect leaders often forget is, when colleagues work in the same facility, there is a lot of opportunity for informal, spontaneous interactions. Also, there are occasions for eating together at the office, and going out to lunch together with a small group.  Essentially, there are a number of times when you can interact socially – finding out about their weekend, what their kids are doing, leisure activities they are involved in.

In long distance work relationships, these type of interactions rarely happen unless you are intentional.  Most conversations (telephone calls, conference calls, video conferences) are almost solely work- and task-oriented.  So I have found that it is helpful and important to call and “check in” with team members, to see how they are doing, and find out about their life outside of work.  Sometimes it makes sense to actually set up a call with no work-based agenda, so you don’t interrupt them in the midst of an important task.

This is an important first step. Before you can have a sense of “team”, you need to know each of your team members individually.

Q&A: How to Respond to a Spouse’s Disrespect

Q: My husband disrespects me. How do I deal with this?

Gary Chapman: All of us need to feel loved and appreciated. When we don’t feel appreciated or respected, being put down again and again by our spouse makes us feel that they think we’re inferior. It’s difficult to live like that. There’s two approaches. One is to argue—to tell them you can’t take this anymore and lash out at them. The other is the biblical way, and that is to love the unlovely spouse. Find out their love language, speak it loudly and clearly and regularly over a period of three months and see what happens. Typically, when they begin to feel your love they begin to treat you differently. It doesn’t always work out that way, but loving an unlovely spouse is the most powerful thing you can do.

Q&A: Military Couples in the Church

Q: As a pastor, what can my congregation and I do to help military couples in our church?

Gary Chapman: I wish more pastors were asking that question because churches are often not aware of the needs military couples have. They face challenges that civilian couples do not, and as a result suffer a higher divorce rate. My suggestion would be to give the military couples in your church a time to talk to each other—such as a small group. Identify someone who’s a veteran, who has the ability to lead and let the setting and structure be conducive for conversation. A good book to use as a guide in such a framework would be The 5 Love Languages Military Edition. When military couples start talking to each other about the challenges they face and the practical solutions they read about in the book, they will feel encouraged that they’re not alone and hopeful for the future. It’d also be a great way for your congregation to say, “We care about you.”

Q&A: My wife thinks I’m boring

Q: “My wife says that she doesn’t really love me because I’m not charismatic enough. I agree that I’m pretty bland, but how am I improve things?”

Gary Chapman: Short answer—learn her love language and speak it on a regular basis. If you speak her love language she will feel loved by you. She is using the word charismatic, but really what she is asking for in my opinion is emotional love. She wants this sense that you are excited about her, that you care about her, and that you want to communicate love to her. So if you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages, I would suggest you read the Men’s Edition which includes some additional ideas specifically for the men. Learn to speak her love language and I think you’ll see her whole attitude towards you change.

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