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How to Express Gratitude Through Different Love Languages

10/31/2023 12:55 PM | Anonymous

A simple "thank you" can mean so much more when you express it in just the right way.

  • Gratitude is a powerful emotion that can strengthen relationships and make people feel loved and appreciated. But how do you show it in a way that is meaningful to your care partner, friends, or loved ones? It’s actually simpler than you think: learn how to speak their love language. 

    What are Love Languages?

    A love language is the way a person prefers to express and receive love. The five love languages are: 

    1. Words of affirmation
    2. Quality time
    3. Receiving gifts
    4. Acts of service
    5. Physical touch
  • Once you identify someone’s love language, you can tailor your expressions of gratitude to speak to them in a way that they will understand and appreciate. People can have anywhere from one primary love language to a combination of two or three that resonate the most with them.

    Here are some tips and examples for showing gratitude based on each of the five love languages:

    Words of Affirmation

    People with this love language value: verbal acknowledgments of affection, compliments, words of appreciation, verbal encouragement, and frequent written communication (like texting or social media engagement)

    Tips for Expressing Gratitude

    • Tell them how much you appreciate them and all that they do 
    • Mention specific things they’ve done or said to you 
    • Write them thank you notes
    • Send them random, unexpected texts expressing your gratitude to brighten their day

    Examples & Ideas:

    1. “Thank you for being so patient and kind on my off days. Your support means more to me thank you know, and I wouldn’t be able to get through them without you.”

    2. “I’m so lucky to have a friend like you. You always know how to make me laugh and feel better when I’m down.”

    3. “You’re the strongest person I know. You inspire me to be a better person, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.”

    Quality Time

    People with this love language value: spending time together, active listening, eye contact, undivided attention, and full presence during meaningful conversations or while participating in recreational activities together

    Tips for Expressing Gratitude:

    • Put away your phone and minimize other distractions while spending time with them
    • Make plans for dates or other activities that you can enjoy together 
    • Give them your undivided attention during conversations 

    Examples & Ideas:

    1. Attend a YOPN Community Gathering or Speaker Series Event together, then go out to dinner afterward.
    2. Make plans for activities outside of your normal routine that fit their interests, like trying out a cooking class or visiting the local museum.
    3. Set aside a little bit of time each day — even if it’s only 5-10 minutes — where you can leave your phones in a different room and be present together.

    Receiving Gifts

    People with this love language value: visual or tangible symbols of love, the deliberate and meaningful process behind gift-giving, and objects bearing sentimental value

    Tips for Expressing Gratitude: 

    • Don’t be afraid to give small gifts, even if it’s just a token of appreciation
    • Consider their unique interests or hobbies when choosing a gift 
    • Take extra time to pick items that are thoughtful and meaningful
    • Gift them something you’ve noticed they want but won’t get for themself 

    Examples & Ideas: 

    1.  Surprise them with a small care package of their favorite   snacks and drinks “just because.”
    2.  Save a small reminder of your last activity together to give   them later. It could be anything from a pretty rock you spotted on a hike to movie ticket stubs.
    3.  Notice when they’re going through a rough patch and cheer   them up with something small — like a cozy sweatshirt   featuring their favorite sports team, or a keychain they can  carry with them as a reminder of your love and support.

    Acts of Service

    People with this love language value: when someone goes out of their way to make life easier or more comfortable for them, being helped, and favors, no matter how small

    Tips for Expressing Gratitude: 

    • Help them with chores or errands — especially the ones they don’t enjoy doing
    • Do things for them without being asked 
    • Offer to take care of things that would otherwise require them to get up 

    Examples & Ideas:

    1.  Cook one of their favorite meals, then take care of the dishes and clean up while they sit back and enjoy dessert.
    2.  Notice when they’re stressed and offer to take over their least favorite chores to ease their workload.
    3.  Try to do one small thing for them each day — like throwing away their empty coffee cup, retrieving their mail, refilling their water bottle, or clearing their plate. 

    Physical Touch

    People with this love language value: warmth, comfort, and physical signs of affection like holding hands, cuddling, hugging, and kissing

    Tips for Expressing Gratitude:

    • Initiate touch during conversations with them 
    • Reach for their hand when you’re walking together 
    • Greet them with handshakes, hugs, kisses, or pats on the back

    Examples & Ideas:

  • 1. Reach across the table and squeeze their hand(s) as you express your gratitude for them. (See Words of Affirmation for inspiration.)

  • 2. Display playful physical affection when you’re out together, like punching them lightly on the shoulder, playing with their hair, or bumping your leg into theirs.

  • 3. If you’re in a romantic relationship, initiate frequent intimate touch like caressing, snuggling, and kissing.

Gratitude Ground Rules

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that these tips and ideas won’t work unless you abide by the following ground rules:   

  1. Always be sincere and genuine 
  2. Be specific and avoid generic statements 
  3. Show gratitude consistently, not just every now and then.
  4. Don’t keep score
  5. Remember to be just as grateful for the little things as you are for the big ones

Sometimes expressing gratitude can be tricky, especially when it's to the ones we care about the most. Learning their love language and how to speak it can help us show appreciation in the ways that are most meaningful to them.

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