Speaking My Language

Have you heard of the 5 Love Languages? It’s a simple way of expressing your preference for how to be shown and how to express love.

My primary love language is Quality Time, and I used to spend a lot of energy being upset about not being able to find a partner who would give me enough of it. I was frustrated to always be the one making the effort, giving my time, trying hardest to make things work.

Then one day I realized that time was the one thing I never gave myself. The more deliverables, meetings, activities, and people that I could pack into one day, the more successful that day felt.

This insight coincided with realizing that I was the common denominator in all the challenges – personal and professional – I was experiencing. So, I declared (to a few friends) that 2017 would be the “Year of Me.” I would work less, travel less, date not at all, do things alone, and stop volunteering myself in time-consuming ways.

This freed up an exceptional amount of energy and focus.

At first it was awkward, uncomfortable, scary, and sometimes sad to have un-programmed time. Time alone. It often felt selfish, too – spending time with myself instead of doing things for others felt “wrong”.

But eventually, as my mind cleared, I did better work. I deepened connections with friends. I began working with a coach to understand (and change) the workings of my mind and emotions. I began writing creatively again.

By giving myself the gift of Quality Time, I discovered a pretty awesome person to spend time with: me!

What’s YOUR language?

If you haven’t already, take the 5 Love Languages Quiz.

Internalize your primary love language by asking yourself if you fulfill that need for yourself.

  • If you don’t, what’s keeping you from doing that?
  • If you do, could you do it more, or better, than you are now?
  • If you do, are you also teaching others to speak to you in that language?

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