Understand how to receive and show love

Psychologists have concluded that the desire to feel loved is a primary human emotional need. But there are many ways of feeling and showing love. Understanding how to read that in yourself and others will help your personal relationships immensely.

Author of The Five Love Languages, Dr Gary Chapman, explains that feeling loved is akin to running to capacity, on a full tank of gas. We feel we can tackle anything. But feeling unloved can leave us spluttering along on empty, even making poor decisions based on our desperation to be loved.

We need to remember that feeling loved or unloved doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the small acts of kindness that build friendships and love, and it’s the seemingly small negative actions – like sarcastic remarks and criticisms – that slowly but surely wound people and kill relationships.

In order to build a healthy ‘emotional love tank’ in ourselves and in others, we need to understand how to show and receive love. This works best when you know how a person most naturally feels and expresses love – as Dr Chapman will tell you there are five key types of this ‘love language.’

We talk more about love, kindness, and the many ways to bestow it in my book, but for an immediate understanding of your own primary love language, go to: www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/teens/. We’ll learn more about the details of speaking love and kindness in Smart Way # 32.