Friday, November 23, 2012

Communication in Other Languages

After our mess earlier this week, communication has been on my mind. The whole mess came down to simple miscommunication. I thought I was saying one thing. He thought I was saying something else. Clearly our communication skills need work.

But that wasn't our only miscommunication. I was upset with Steve for not apologizing or seeming to make a move. In hindsight, though, he was making some moves that just didn't make it through the communication barrier.

You see Steve's never been one to dive right in after a fight. He starts picking at me trying to get a response or he talks about other stuff to try to get me talking to him. Only after I've started talking do we get down to what's really going on. That's one of his ways of communicating.

And while I was waiting on him to say sorry or he loved me, he was doing that too. I just couldn't see that because I was waiting on the actual words, but he was saying it in a different way. He cleaned the living room and got down on his hands and knees to scrub the kitchen floor.

A while back I took the quiz on the 5 Love Languages website and I asked Steve to do it as well. The results were enlightening for both of us. If you haven't taken the quiz with your partner, I highly recommend you try it (it's free). You may be surprised at the answers.

I rank highly on touch. I need to be touched to feel love. I don't necessarily mean sexually, although that intimacy is important to me, but the little touches. The hug when he comes in from work. Holding my hand as we walk through a store. His hand on the small of my back as we walk through a crowd. The pat on the butt as we pass in the hall.

When he's not touching me in some way, I feel lost. Even if he's not willing to say a word to me, I need for him to reach out for me. I need it to feel his love.

My next highest love languages is actually two of them. I tied on words of affirmation and quality time. I need to hear him say he loves me and appreciates me. I light up like a Christmas tree when he compliments me on something. On the flipside of that, I feel hurtful words more deeply. Of course some of that can also relate to me being a cancer sign, but that's another post.

Quality time with Steve is very important to me. I get frustrated some times when I'm trying to talk to him and he's busy texting or watching TV. To me, if you want to show someone you love them, you give your full, undivided attention. You care about what they're saying. When he's busy doing something else when I'm trying to talk to him, it hurts.

A lot lower on the list of languages is acts of service. While I do like it when he does things for me, it doesn't rank as high as other things on my love meter.

I ranked the lowest on gifts. Don't get me wrong. I like gifts as much as the next woman, but I don't really see them as a way to say I love you. To be honest, the best gifts Steve has ever given to me are things that he got for free or little money. Him bringing me flowers he picked on the side of the road meant more to me because they were a sign he was thinking of me than because he actually brought me flowers.

In some ways, Steve's love languages are similar. Like me, he doesn't assign a lot of importance to gifts and touch is important to him. However, his highest rank language is acts of service. He sees himself as proving his love every time he goes to work. Every time he fixes my car. Every time he takes out the trash.

The flip side of that is that he looks for acts of service from me as a sign of my love. I never looked at keeping the housework up as a sign of my love, but he sees it that way. When I let the dishes pile up or don't wash his dirty clothes, he feels unloved.

Sometimes we can save ourselves a lot of trouble if we just learn to speak our partner's language, or at least translate it into a language we understand.


  1. Thanks Dana!

    The quiz is very interesting. I may even take it as the husband to see how far off base I am with what _I_ think is important to him, before he

    I am happy you are able to see areas of growth emerge from your difficult few days

    Feel better soon!

    1. It definitely opened my eyes when we took it. All along I thought I was showing my love by telling him I loved him, making time for him and touching. I knew he got frustrated when the house was a mess or I let the dishes pile up, but I never realized how much importance he gives to those things. I was hearing "be my maid" but he was saying "show your love."

      It's been a while since we took the quiz, before DD even, and I had forgotten about it until this week. Now I'm looking at housework in a whole new light.

  2. How interesting - if Ian and I can ever get 5 minutes - I am going to ask him to take this quiz, and I will as well. Thanks for your insights.

    1. I hope it helps you too communicate better. As long as we remember what we've learned and don't fall back on expecting the other to respond to our language, it does make things easier on us when it comes to showing our love.

  3. Hi Dana - Interesting how two people can view the exact same act so differently isn't it. Thanks for sharing how it impacted you and Steve and for sharing the link to the quiz.


    1. It is interesting. It's a great tool for learning each other's language rather than going at it blindly hoping you're doing it right.

  4. Oh, This is awesome, Dana. Thanks! Mine was:
    Your Scores

    5Words of Affirmation
    8Quality Time
    0Receiving Gifts
    7Acts of Service
    10Physical Touch

    But I found some of the questions hard, because Ward doesmost of the stuff, so I changed the focus of the question, instead of - I wish he would do more of this, I interpreted it as this is more important to me than this. I asked Ward to take it,too :)

    1. I found some of the questions difficult as well, especially the ones where I felt pretty strongly about both options. I had to figure out which I liked more.


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