Here’s how to figure out your custom love language. You can use this for yourself and share it with others, and also use it to love friends, family and even your children in a way that they will best receive it. Use your discretion when asking these questions, but I think you’ll get the hang of it, soon enough.
List 1 way each, that your Mother and Father loved you best, under the age of 8. Go for answers like, “She played with me” or “He told me I could do anything I set my mind to.” If you really have a hard time with this, I’m sorry. Try, “He or she gave me freedom” if you can’t think of anything nurturing that they did for you.
Now, list one way each, that your parent’s hurt you worst, under the age of 8. (Try not to delve too deeply into this.) It could be, “He was never around” or “She has a short temper”.
Your custom love language would be (from the above examples) Someone who plays with you, or goes on vacations and adventures with you, or does things with you and someone who has very powerful and supportive words of praise for you often.
Your definition of a bad person and/or a bad parent (from the above examples) would be “Someone who is never around” and “Someone who is short tempered.” This is essentially the OPPOSITE of how you would love others . As a result, the way YOU would love, is someone who tries to always be present for others and to be infinitely patient. Also, you would likely be one who keeps your commitments, no matter what.
Interesting, huh? While these love languages are powerful and deeply ingrained, letting them rule your life can be detrimental. I once knew someone who’s parents “never bought them anything” growing up. As a result, she bought “everyone gifts” and put herself into bankruptcy from over spending. She had a belief that she had to do this for others, to be a good person. Also, if you set strict standards with yourself, you might beat yourself up extra hard if you fall out of integrity with one of your personal rules of “Never do this because it’s what a really bad person does.”
Some of these patterns are great, some are not so great. If you require space, you may confuse your lovers with a push-pull response. Or you make seek people like your parents, and never receive the love you seek.
We love what is familiar to us-not functional. So, essentially, what you saw is likely what you will replicate in your life.
If you found this interesting and helpful, I’m available for coaching. I often begin my sessions with this exercise. Send me an e-mail or message me.