A lot of problems and conflicts that happen in relationships among family members, friends and in the workplace often have their roots in feelings of not being valued, respected and appreciated.
When we feel we are not valued, respected and appreciated, when we are taken for granted, when our efforts and sacrifices are not recognized, then we feel hurt, resentful, and angry which can cause misunderstanding and misinterpretation, problems and conflicts, even irrational thinking and behaviors. As the result, relationships and friendships are ruined.
How I wish we can all understand the importance of valuing each other’s strengths, respecting each other’s differences, and loving and appreciating each other by speaking each other’s languages of love and appreciation. If we could do that, we would be able to eliminate most of the problems and frustrations in relationships.
Two books I would highly recommend for everyone to read are:
The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate (see my previous post The Five Love Languages) by Dr. Gary Chapman.
The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People (see my previous post The 5 Languages of Appreciation) by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Paul White.
The 5 languages are the same for love and appreciation:
- Words of affirmation – use words to communicate a positive message to another person: praise for accomplishments, affirmation for positive character and personality traits. It can be done in private one-on-one, or publicly in front of others. It can be verbal or written.
- Quality time – give individual time and undivided attention to another person: quality conversation, shared experiences, small group dialogue, working closely together, having fun together.
- Acts of service – do something for another person. “Don’t tell me you care, show me.”
- Tangible gifts – give the right gift to a person who truly appreciates it.
- Physical touch – communicates a variety of positive messages in relationships – a sense of trust, closeness, connectedness and caring: handshake, high five, pat on the back, hug.
Recently my colleagues and I did the Discover Your Language of Appreciation online assessment. I found it every help. By understanding each other’s primary language of appreciation, we can appreciate, value and respect each other in a more meaningful way.