Discover Your Self-Love Language
I bet you’re used to showing love to others. It’s a beautiful thing that you do. Keep on doing it. The world certainly needs it and so do you. Just be sure that that love doesn’t only face outward. Take the finger that’s pointing at the object of your care and affection and turn it to you. Make sure that in the list of people to love, you don’t forget yourself. Because showing yourself love is not a ‘nice-to-have’; it’s a ‘must-have’.
And all the love you show to others? You are worthy and deserving of it too.
I am not of the mindset that you have to love yourself fully before you can love someone else, because we all have the capacity to love of ourselves and of others in many, many moments and stages of our lives. But it sure makes it easier to create a love of others that is pure and sustainable if you practice and integrate it with yourself first.
And not just integrate it into this moment, but ground it in the language of your body, mind, and soul’s unique signature (also known as your ‘love language’) and integrate it into your everyday life– so that loving yourself becomes just something that you do…
Let’s begin by learning the vocabulary contained within the pages of your unique dictionary of love.
First, take this LOVE LANGUAGE quiz.
Read through the five questions below, and choose the letter with the statement that applies the most to you.
1. Which of the following describes you best?
A. I take pride in buying groceries, filling up the gas tank, or picking up clothes from the dry cleaners for the people I love
B. I am a “hugger”– I really enjoy physically connecting with people
C. I really like surprising my loved ones with thoughtful and meaningful gifts
D. Whether a chat or some activity we do together, I make it a point to make time for the people I love
E. I’ve been known to tell the people I love that they are amazing and that my life is better with them in it
2. Which of the following statements most screams “that’s me!”?
A. Love is an action that requires effort and actively going out of your way to help someone
B. Physical connection is essential to emotional intimacy– when there isn’t physical intimacy, it isn’t long before the emotional intimacy is gone too
C. Some say that presents aren’t important but they are– not always because of how much they cost but because they create an opportunity to say “I understand you”, “I appreciate you”, or “I love you”
D. The gift of someone’s time and attention means more to me than any material thing someone can give me
E. Whether a simple compliment or a note left on the counter, words have meaning and I need to hear someone tell me they love me
3. If your partner did the following things, which would frustrate you the most?
A. Not following through on a task
B. Physically neglecting you
C. Not being excited about a gift you thoughtfully bought for them
D. Being distracted while you are spending time together
E. Not thanking you for all that you do for the relationship
4. You and your partner are going on vacation together. Which of the following would make you the happiest?
A. Your partner says “Hey, I planned the details of our entire vacation!”
B. Your partner reaches for your hand while you’re seated next to each other on the airplane and doesn’t let go until you arrive at your destination
C. Your partner surprised you with tickets to the vacation destination
D. It was your partner’s suggestion that you go on a trip and spend 5-7 uninterrupted days together
E. Your partner tells you “Thank you for clearing your work schedule for us. You mean the world to me”
5. If someone wanted to show you that they love you, which of the following would you prefer they do?
A. Help you by “lightening your load” of to-dos in some way
B. Hug and kiss you
C. Give you a thoughtful gift
D. Do something with you, like take a walk or go out somewhere
E. Encourage you with a text, note, or card
Now for your results…
If you answered mostly As, your primary love language is ACTS OF SERVICE.
If you answered mostly Bs, your primary love language is PHYSICAL TOUCH.
If you answered mostly Cs, your primary love language is GIFTS.
If you answered mostly Ds, your primary love language is QUALITY TIME.
If you answered mostly Es, your primary love language is WORDS OF AFFIRMATION.
Can you have more than one love language? Sure, but for the purpose of our exploration today, simply keep in mind your top or primary one.
TAKE YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE AND TURN IT INTO YOUR SELF-LOVE LANGUAGE
Your love language reveals the ways in which you easily, naturally, and preferably give and receive love. Your self-love language, then, reflects the gestures, words, and actions that your body, mind, and soul most easily recognize as an expression of self-love. So here is what your love language says about the ways that your body, mind, and soul want to hear “I love you” from their absolute favourite person– you.
If ACTS OF SERVICE is your primary love language…
Your self-love language looks like doing things for yourself that make your life just a little bit easier… Planning your day or week, delegating responsibilities to reduce your list of “to dos”, setting boundaries, cleaning the house, buying groceries and cooking yourself a nice meal, going to therapy to work through an issue you’re having that’s making it difficult for you to get things done, meal prepping for the week, making sure you eat and hydrate regularly. It’s all the ways in which you show yourself you love yourself… Loving yourself not with words, but with actions.
If PHYSICAL TOUCH is your primary love language…
Your self-love language looks like taking a dance or yoga class, giving yourself a shoulder rub, massaging your own hands or feet, taking a long shower, taking some extra time to apply oils or lotions, and spending time getting to know what your body enjoys… It’s using touch to let yourself know that you love and appreciate yourself. A few of my favourite forms of physical self-love are rubbing the area just below my navel to stimulate the release of oxytocin (the hormone associated with bonding and trust), laying my hand on my heart when I can use some self-compassion, and gently massaging the area in between my eyebrows to relieve mental fatigue and open up to insight. Absolutely any and everything goes!
If GIFTS is your primary love language…
Your self-love language looks like giving yourself things– big or small– that are meaningful to you in some way. Buying yourself a small gift to serve as a token of appreciation, buying yourself clothes, flowers, a sweet treat, your favourite morning beverage (like this one or this one, perhaps), or tickets to a show or event (like a personal development workshop). It can be buying yourself an object (e.g., a candle) or an experience (e.g., tickets to a show) to give yourself a pleasurable sensory experience. It can be getting yourself a personal trainer because staying fit makes you happy, shelling out the big bucks for a professional cooking class because food and working with seasonal high-quality ingredients is your passion, or making a playlist for yourself that you know you’ll enjoy at the gym or on the way to work the following week.
IF QUALITY TIME is your primary love language…
Your self-love language looks like setting aside all distractions to spend quality time with yourself. It’s relaxing, scheduling a date night with yourself, taking a long drive, running yourself a bath and dropping in your favourite lavender bath bomb, listening to music that speaks to your soul, taking yourself on a local adventure, taking an evening to “Netflix and Chill” by yourself, watching a sunset, gazing up at the stars, waking up early to watch the sun rise, or doing anything else that you love to do and that nourishes your body, mind, and spirit. It’s taking time to ask yourself how your day was, to self-reflect, to be curious, stay present, create a space where you can get honest and vulnerable with yourself, and ask follow-up questions when you learn about needs and wants that you have. It’s an opportunity to avoid interruptions, and to pay focused attention to and love being around yourself.
If WORDS OF AFFIRMATION is your primary love language…
Your self-love language looks like encouragement, appreciation, and building yourself up. It looks like waking up in the morning and thanking yourself for being exactly who you are. It’s prioritizing positive self-talk and leaving self-doubt and self-criticism behind. It’s using plenty of self-affirmations to tell yourself “I love the way you…”, “I’m proud of you”, “You are capable of great things”, “Your courage is so inspiring”, “You are so loved, loving, and loveable”, “I am so glad you are who you are”, “You’re right”, “I hear and I see you”, “I believe in you”, “I am rooting for you”, and “I love you”. It’s talking about all that you are, instead of all that you are not. It’s posting sticky notes around the house with affirmations to remind yourself of how truly beautiful and powerful you are. It’s writing yourself a love letter and reading it aloud. It’s looking in the mirror and verbally declaring “I love you”. When you mess up, it’s speaking to yourself with words of kindness.
TURN YOUR SELF-LOVE LANGUAGE BACK INTO YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE, EVEN MORE READILY AND EASILY
Having helped yourself accomplish what you want and need to accomplish, having shown yourself physical affection, given yourself the gift of a thoughtful purchase, having devoted time to just being with you, and/or having told yourself the positive, uplifting, and true words that you needed to hear, it’s likely that you are more ready than ever to show love in many new and wonderful ways to someone else.
I know that you are– because the love that you show others begins with the love you show for yourself.
So go on, show love to whomever (partner, friend, colleague, family member) happens to be the lucky object of your affection in whatever ways feel most natural for you right now.
And in whatever way you choose to, keep on showing love to yourself in consistent, full, and thorough doses so that the cycle of self-love and your love for others can naturally perpetuate itself, leaving you, them, and all of the world better than you found it.
What’s your self-love language? How are you loving yourself this week? Let us know all about it in the comments below.