Today I used an enhanced version of Chapman's love languages in the lifeskills lessons for my two teenage daughters. After our discussion I realised it may also be helpful for those who are not too familiar with the concept. So below a summary:
Chapman's proposed Five Love Languages categories are as follows:
1. Words of positive affirmation: compliment, verbal encouragement, and verbal statements of love. Written notes.
The opposite which we must avoid is unfriendly or coarse language, derogatory or demeaning language, verbal violence and language that puts the other down.
2. Quality Time: face-to-face conversation, mutually enjoyed activities, and uninterrupted time together.
The opposite which we must avoid is living apart-together, long periods of absence, spending more time with others or other things instead of together, avoiding oneanother. Superficial chitchat instead of open heart-to-heart conversations.
3. Gifts: tangible items as well as the gift of self.
The opposite is always being on the receiving end, demanding more and more or giving others more than oneanother, neglecting to give or give grudgingly or only out of duty. Give in a manipulative way such as bribing, guilt communicating, or in order to get.
4. Acts of Service: selfless deeds, domestic service, and acts of kindness.
The opposite is enslaving, using or exploiting someone. Also laziness, disinterest in helping or neglect or taking the things the other does for granted. Failing to appreciate and reciprocate selflessly.
5. Physical Touch: holding hands, massage, and sexual intimacy
The opposite is withdrawing or avoiding touching eachother. Treating physical contact as dirty or wrong. Negative labelling of physical affection.
A 6th can be added namely allowing someone his/her space/independence and freedom the opposite of which would be control/isolating someone/imprisoning someone
The underlying idea is that all of us have our preferred ways/methods for receiving and showing love, appreciation and affection. But if we don't understand this in oneanother we may not understand oneanother. One may be showing love while the other feels unloved and vice versa because we do not "speak eachothers language". Discussing these languages can be a helping starting point to remove misunderstandings, to appreciate the other's efforts more and to grow closer by learning to express love at eachothers level.