Whether you have grand plans or not, I think it’s important to play small every day—even while keeping your eye on a larger goal. The little things make a huge difference, both for us and the people whose lives we touch. Lori Deschne, 5 Ways To Make A Difference In Somebody’s Day
Life can be overwhelming. We all want to leave our mark on the world.
But the world can seem so big. We can feel so busy.
What can you do to make a difference fast for your friends and loved ones?
Speak Your Loved Ones’ Love Languages
Gary Chapman, in his best-selling book, The Five Love Languages, teaches us that each of us feels most loved when someone expresses it a certain way.
Here are the five love languages:
Acts of Service
Does it mean a lot to you when someone goes out of their way to help you move; or just wash the dishes for you?
Doing practical acts of service, whether small or large, goes a long way for many people.
I could wash your dishes, walk your dog, and do all sorts of things for you. But if I don’t spend quality time with some of you, you will not feel loved.
Quality time means that someone takes a whole day off just to be with you. It doesn’t always matter what you do together, but that you spend lots of time to be together.
Words of Affirmation
Acts of service and quality time may be okay for some. But to truly feel loved, they need to read it and hear it.
Birthday cards, anniversary cards, letters, and notes of encouragement mean the world to these people. And they want to hear the words, “You’re a great friend. I appreciate x about you. I love you.”
All of the above are nice, but gifts will really communicate love to others of you. Friends and/or spouses/lovers who carefully study your tastes and interests, then take the initiative to buy you gifts, small and large, are speaking your love language.
And then there are those of you who just want a hug, a squeeze of the hand, a kiss on the cheek. Many feel most loved when they are touched.
Think about love languages. Think about your friends and loved ones.
Our tendency is to speak the language we’re most comfortable with. For example, I am a words and touch person. My wife is an acts of service and gifts person. If I hug Vicki and tell her how much I love her, she’s okay with that. But if I work on a home project and buy her a gift, you should see her eyes light up!
Unfortunately, I’m often too lazy or selfish to “speak her language”. Any cross cultural resident will tell you that the more effort they make to learn the language and customs of another culture, the greater they will connect with the people of that culture.
Study your friends and loved ones. Make the effort to speak their love languages. You’ll make a big difference in their lives!
photo credit: ferran pestana