I forget where I heard about The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but I’m very glad I bought a copy.
I read it way back in 2014 and it really resonated with me.
As a school teacher I was taught to use different learning strategies in my lessons so that all my students could access the curriculum. I would plan to include visual, verbal and practical ways of learning.
The 5 Love Languages is similar, except that it applies to our personal relationships. I read it initially to get some insight into my relationship with my husband.
The five love languages
Gary Chapman presents a convincing theory that we all have one main way of showing our care and affection for others. This is our primary love language. We also have a secondary one.
The five languages are:
- Words of kindness
- Gifts and tokens
- Quality time
- Acts of kindness
- Physical affection
I learned that my primary language is words of love and my secondary language is gifts. My husband’s primary language is acts of kindness and his secondary language is quality time. Clearly our love languages don’t match.
What I learned from reading the book was to ensure that I included acts of kindness towards my husband, as well as words and gifts.
I also needed to make sure that I set aside time for the two of us, as he really appreciates the time we spend together.
Using this idea in my homeopathy practice
I went on to apply this to my work as a homeopath.
I realised that my natural ways of building a personal relationship – kind words and small gifts – would not resonate with everyone.
I spent some time reflecting on how I could relate to all my clients through their primary love language and tried to incorporate some of these aspects into my practice.
1. Words of kindness
I take time to write thoughtful emails
I offer acknowledgements and recognition during consultations
I write messages on cards to go with remedies that I post out
2. Gifts and tokens
I take time to present my remedies so they look and feel nice
I use a sticker to seal the envelope so it feels more like a gift
I give samples and travel size Neal’s Yard products
3. Quality time
I offer a 30 minute free call for people to find out more about working with me
I offer a 15 minute free check in between appointments
I make sure that my phone is on silent and put away inside my bag during consultations so I really focus on my clients during their time
4. Acts of kindness
I order products such as probiotics and skin care on their behalf
I send out regular newsletters with blog posts and links that I think they will enjoy
I offer a glass of water or a cup of tea at the start of each consultation
5. Physical affection
I always shake hands the first time I meet someone
I shake hands with male patients at every appointment
I gently touch everyone on the arm when I say goodbye at the end of the session
I enjoy including each of these ways of communicating into my practice and I feel that it helps me make good connections with people from the start. I try to notice how they respond and give some thought to which might be their main love language.
You can find out more about The 5 Love Languages here.
When you’ve discovered your love language, think about how you naturally convey that through your practice. How can you adopt ways to speak in languages that are not your primary way of showing care?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop me a line if you’d like to share.