Most of my career transition coaching clients come to me because they are facing the challenges with work. They talk about not being happy in their jobs, not doing meaningful work or not being appreciated.
Sometimes these are the only issues that are addressed.
But more often than not, as we get deeper into the coaching, the topic of relationships comes up. And suddenly we have switched to relationship coaching or work life balance coaching. I love these aspects of life coaching.
Today is Valentine’s Day and I’d like to talk about the importance of personal relationships and how we treat our loved ones. To me, every day should feel like Valentine’s Day.
We should think of it like New Year’s, where we resolve to be loving for the entire year ahead.
Recently I discovered a book called The Five Languages of Love, by Dr. Gary Chapman. It shares the idea that each of us has very specific triggers that help us feel loved.
I know some people like to receive gifts. If they don’t receive jewelry or flowers, they don’t really feel special.
But personally, I would rather have a few heartfelt words than a new Coach purse.
This is because my top language of love is “Words of Affirmation.” When someone says something deep, or writes me a note it triggers something inside me that says this person really cares.
I have a friend who, above all else, enjoys spending time with the person she cares about. It doesn’t matter what the activity is. It could be skiing, or going to a movie or simply a walk down a snow covered street. Her language of love is “Quality Time.”
When you discover your language of love, and pay careful attention to what your partner appreciates, you can quite easily begin building better relationships.
These are the five languages of love and some great life coaching tips when it comes to communicating with your loved one:
Words of Affirmation
One of your deepest needs is the need to feel appreciated. Verbal compliments, words of appreciation, encouragement, kind and humble words are all ways to show love to you.
You enjoy doing things TOGETHER! We aren’t talking about just sitting in front of the T.V. together but really giving each other undivided attention. This means looking at each other, talking to each other, sharing your life with your partner.
You are happy to receive things from your loved ones. They don’t have to be expensive. The gift is a symbol of “s/he cares about me” and “s/he thinks of me”.
Acts of Service
For you, actions speak louder than words! You prefer your partner to do things for you such as cooking a meal, giving a massage, cleaning the room… You like your partner to initiate the acts of service and put efforts into doing them to show that s/he cares.
You love to receive a hug, a kiss, squeezes on the shoulder, a pat on the back, a touch of the face, and an arm around the waist… Touches can be 10 times as powerful and comforting as any words!
As I said earlier, my personal opinion is that expressing love should be done every day. It should not be left to Valentine’s Day or “Date Night.”
I challenge you to really think about these languages of love and ideally, you should share this with your partner. By simply opening the conversation and asking what is most important, you might be able to build something special by honoring some deeper, unrealized desires.
Oh yeah… and as promised… here are ten things you can freely give to your loved one each and every day of the year…
1. Ask deep questions
2. Do something kind
3. Write a few words of affection
4. Give an unexpected hug
5. Let go of all expectations
6. Be present and listen without judgment
7. Go for a walk outside in nature
8. Express gratitude
9. Share a good laugh
10. Send a simple text: “I’m thinking of you”
Have a beautiful Valentine’s Day, everyone. Let this be the start of a new, wonderful journey of love that lasts the entire year and more to come!
All my best,