Simply loving someone might not be enough at times.
We all receive and give love in different ways. Essentially, we all speak different love languages.
Jay Shetty believes that knowing others' love language can get us very far. We often ignore the other person's needs simply because we can't identify with that need. But being aware of how others want to be loved is crucial for a happy relationship.
Based on Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages, this episode gives the listener a glimpse into what a mutually understanding relationship could look like. The idea applies not only to romantic couples but is also valid for friendships.1
We think our partners or friends should know what we like. We tend to believe we are predictable enough for our loved ones to respond to us according to our needs. We expect them to meet our expectations. But do we know what they are?
“The way we get our love languages is often how our parents did or didn't love us,” Jay Shetty explained.
He urged the listeners to ponder their preferences. For instance, how well do you know yourself? Do you always know exactly what you need at any point in time? Or do you sometimes struggle to pacify yourself simply because you aren't aware of your current needs?
As we are constantly evolving, our preferences change with us. It is a massive challenge for a relationship. Both parties need to keep up with each other.
Another challenge is honesty. Many people find it hard to voice their needs. Jay Shetty explained that previous experiences may have left a bitter taste, and you might try to protect yourself this way.
“We think if we say what we need, it somehow makes us vulnerable. And it makes us weak because now we feel like the other person has power and control over us.”
Experiences constantly shape us and our personalities. But they also heavily impact our behavior. Jay Shetty shared a popular inspirational tale of a mother teaching her son how events can influence us.
The child was being bullied and opened up to his mother about it. She then put a potato, an egg, and coffee beans into boiling water. The potato softened, the egg hardened, and the coffee beans colored the water. The moral of the story is that hardships will change us. We either become soft as the potato, hard like the egg, or we can alter our environment like coffee beans.
In Jay Shetty's opinion, taking baggage from older relationships into new ones is detrimental. Instead of starting fresh but cautious, people usually base what is supposed to be a new beginning on previous experiences. If the relationship ends on a hard-hearted note, the new one will begin the same. Similarly, if we were left weak and vulnerable in the past, this is how we would approach new beginnings.
Repeat Your Needs
Another challenge when expressing your needs is that they might be forgotten. Everyone is caught up in their own world. Therefore, it is important to voice your needs repeatedly to have them heard.
What we fail to realize is that human memory is tricky. For example, we can remember song lyrics from our teen years but cannot recall what we ate last week. This is why Jay Shetty believes reminders play an essential role.
The Love Languages
Learning the love language of your partner, friends, relatives, or even colleagues is beneficial. It will save you from misunderstandings. For example, you may think you are loving, but if you don't give love the way the other party needs to receive it, they might still feel unloved.
With this idea in mind, Jay Shetty encouraged listeners to make an effort to learn the love language of the people around them. Doing this exercise will change the depth and quality of your relationships.
Imagine how much more connected you would feel if you knew how to approach the other person. Suppose you knew how to approach them in different situations. Or if you could gift them the perfect present.
Jay Shetty invited the listeners to rank the five languages from the most to the least important. He also assessed his love languages. His ranking will be uncovered below. According to Gary Chapman, the five love languages are words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, quality time, and acts of service.
Words of Affirmation
To Jay Shetty, this love language is the most important. “When someone takes the time to tell me how they feel through words, it touches my heart,” he explained. In addition, hearing and reading positive reviews makes him feel like his work is worthwhile.
If someone dear to you needs words of appreciation, you must focus on communication. Connect through words, Jay Shetty advises. “They need words, to have appreciation, acknowledgment, to feel seen, to feel understood, to feel heard,” he added.
For this category of people, words can make or break their day. They might appreciate you taking chores off their list or gifting them something thoughtful. However, what they need the most is for you to communicate verbally.
Spoken and written words are paramount for those whose love language is words of affirmation. So slip them a handwritten note, and send them a random message to let them know you are thinking about them. Use words in any way you see fit to convey your affection.
However, not receiving this type of attention might make them feel unloved. They won't feel acknowledged for their efforts or seen for their hard work.
This category of people thrive on reassuring and encouraging words, and it comes naturally to them to say those to you. You may not notice it, but people tend to give the type of attention that they need to receive.
This love language comes fourth for Jay Shetty. But this doesn't mean it is less important to him than the others.
We often associate physical touch with sex. But it is so much more than that. It implies a comforting touch, a hug in the morning, a kiss on the forehead, or even giving someone a massage. There needs to be a physical connection between the two parties involved.
People whose love language is physical touch love to walk down the street hand-in-hand or feel you wrap your arms around them. It's all about the playfulness that comes with it. Intimacy is nurtured with this type of touch, and some may feel disconnected because of a lack of physical contact.
For the people whose love language is receiving gifts, thoughtfulness matters most. They might seem difficult to choose a present for, but to them, the gift must show you put some thought into it.
Not receiving something they wanted makes them unhappy. A random gift is not going to sit well with them. They expect you to put effort and energy into doing something meaningful for them.
This love language is second on Jay Shetty's list. He grew up receiving rare but meaningful presents from his mother. This exchange earlier in life impacted his love language.
If your love language is quality time, you appreciate living in the moment. Phones or any other distractions may upset you. Quality time doesn't mean just being in the same place and hanging around. What matters is making that time together count and create beautiful experiences.
People who need quality time enjoy the other person's presence. They need to feel connected, share experiences, and feel the other person's energy. This love language ranks third for Jay Shetty, but is still important to him.
Give your loved one your full attention if this is their love language. Put your phone away and stop checking your emails or being distracted by other minor interruptions. Be fully present, and they will feel loved.
Acts of Service
This one ranked fifth on Jay Shetty's scale of love languages.
Helping your friend move and preparing breakfast in bed for your partner are acts of service. For those whose love language is precisely this one, receiving your support matters the most.
There is no need for grand gestures. Everyday activities, and doing some favors for the other person means the world to them. You can tell them that you love them a thousand times, but they might not feel it. Show it through acts of service instead.
Speak Their Language
The language we ranked in the last spot is the thing we find the most challenging way for us to show we care. However, it is crucial to understand that we are all different. We all receive love in our practice and feel unloved when this isn't happening.
Jay Shetty strongly suggests that we all look closely at our love languages. Then, compare them with your loved ones and friends. Try to get better at speaking their language, and your relationship will have an excellent chance to improve.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “3 Mistakes We Make in Relationships & Why the 5 Love Languages Can Transform Your Connection” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.