How do the people in your life know they're loved?
Love is a word used a lot in the English language, yet for each of us, it means something slightly different, and so we send and receive it in different ways.
When we first start a relationship, our feelings are really strong and we’re keen to communicate how we feel to our partners, so we send out our love on multiple channels – we send flowers, give gifts, wear our nicest clothes, do nice things for them, make sure we smell good, brush our teeth more often, and say all the right things. However, after time when we’ve settled into the relationship, we continue to send out messages of love, but we tend to do it only on our preferred channel.
NLP tells us that there are three main channels on which people send and receive love – visual (sight), auditory (hearing) and kinaesthetic (touch). To discover your preferred channels, consider a time when you knew you were really loved or valued. Thinking about that time, what was it that told you you were loved? Was it the look on someone’s face, the words they used or the way they said something, or them giving you a hug or touching your arm? It may be that seeing someone doing something for you, and hearing them say something in a certain way is what tells you you’re loved – that means you send and receive love in visual and auditory ways. Or perhaps you don’t need to see anything or hear anything – you know you’re loved when you are touched in a certain way, i.e. kinaesthetic is what’s really important to you.
Knowing your way of sending and receiving love is important, but even more important is this. Who needs to know this about you? And who do you need to know this about? So many relationships consist of people who love each other but send their love on different channels and constantly miss each other, resulting in two people who wonder if they are loved and valued. Having this knowledge about your partner is crucial. It means you can adjust your own communication as well as interpret theirs, and helps you keep your relationship strong.