The Happee Times
Invest In Your Happiness
Love & Fight Languages
What comes to your mind when you hear the term “language”? Hindi, English, Marathi, spoken languages… right?
But did you know that we also express ourselves through our love as well as fight languages?
What do these terms mean?
Well, starting with the relatively dated concept of love languages, a concept that has been around for approximately 30 years now. It has received a lot of appeal and has become a fun icebreaker for first dates.
Our love language is the way in which we prefer receiving love and affection from our close ones. These are ways in which we feel most loved by others. According to Gary Chapman, there are a total of 5 love languages. We all stand somewhere along the line for all these 5 languages but prefer one of them the most.
Following are the 5 love languages, try to guess your own
Words of affirmation: receiving compliments, letters, words showing admiration, appreciation.
Quality time: spending a good amount of time together with minimal to no distractions around and giving each other your complete attention.
Acts of service: your loved one doing something helpful for you, actions done to help the other person, sometimes even without being asked to.
Physical touch: feeling loved through physical affection like holding each other, hugging, etc.
Gifts: feeling loved when someone gives you gifts that demonstrate thoughtfulness, expense or effort.
Were you able to guess your love language? If not, there are numerous short quizzes on the internet. It could be a fun idea to take the test with your significant other and get insight into your own as well as the other person’s love language.
The Secret to Long-Lasting Relationships
Something else that is very natural in our relationships is disagreements, arguments or conflicts, trivial or huge, they do happen.
As human beings, we’ve all grown up differently, we have different learnings, different perspectives and different triggers. Moreover, we tend to process life differently and when you combine this with spending a significant amount of time together or living together, disagreements are bound to happen.
Hence, it isn’t these disagreements that are unhealthy for a relationship, it is how the partners plan to deal with them.
Healthy long-term relationships are based on the skill of conflict resolution which is something that wouldn’t come naturally to most of us. It is something that requires time, patience, communication and effort from both ends.
Jay Shetty beautifully articulates that “just as there are love languages, there are also, fight languages”.
As compared to love languages, it is comparatively more effortful to get insight into your fight languages. Let’s clarify what this concept means through a short reflective activity.
Try to recall the last time you got into a disagreement with someone. Try to think about the entire situation clearly and ask yourself the following questions.
How did I react in this situation of conflict?
How was it different from the other person’s reaction?
How did I deal with the conflict?
Do I usually tend to follow this pattern in dealing with conflicts?
The answer to these questions must’ve given you somewhat of an idea of what fight languages are. Our fight language is the usual pattern that we follow in situations of disagreement or conflict. These are basically different ways that people respond to fights. There isn’t a fixed theory about the same, yet, but there are certain patterns that can be noticed.
How do you usually respond to fights?
Quiet, reflect, process: this pattern includes needing quiet time to process the disagreement, reflecting and then coming back to resolve the concern.
Urgency to resolve: this pattern involves feeling an urgency to resolve the issue then and there. Wanting to speak it out, have a conversation and move through the issue immediately.
Avoidance: this pattern involves avoiding the emotions, the conversation and the situation as a whole. Here, the person might beat around the bush and avoid engaging in dealing with the concern.
Silent treatment: this pattern involves going silent in times of distress and conflict. In this situation, the person tends to bottle up their emotions and ends up getting frustrated later.
Free communication: in this pattern, the person would be open to communicating about the concern. This is different from urgency to resolve because here, the person would be flexible to listen to and understand the other person even if it takes time, effort and patience.
It is important to note that these are a few common patterns that we note. It doesn’t necessarily mean that our fight languages are restricted to these patterns alone. There could potentially be other ways that people deal with conflicts. What is important here is to gain insight into your own as well as the other person’s response style.
Why it is essential to know each other’s and your own fight language?
Understanding yourself and your significant other better: knowing your fight language increases self-awareness and knowing the other person’s fight languages helps to understand their patterns better and make conflict situations increasingly predictable.
Giving each other space: since there is a high possibility that your and your partner’s fight language might differ, the awareness about this difference allows you both to give each other the space to slow down, reflect and then respond, mindfully.
Avoiding mind reading: the more you know your partner, the more predictable their reactions become. The more you become aware that this is their usual pattern and this is how they deal with fights, the less your mind tries to read into their actions and the less likely it is for you to misread their intentions.
Smooth sailing through disagreements: knowing each other’s fight language and having an open conversation around it makes navigating through conflicts a hundred times easier. This happens because you get settled into the idea that “this is how the other person would want to deal with this situation and this is how I would want to deal with it. So, let’s take the time and come back and talk when we’re both ready”.
Not letting minor disagreements turn into full blown conflicts: think about a disagreement you had with your partner, parent or sibling. Think about how they responded to it and how it is different from how you responded to it. Did you go silent and needed some time to process? Did they keep pushing you to talk right then and there to solve the matter? Sometimes, when we have different fighting languages and aren’t aware of this concept, the difference in how you deal with situations itself adds to the conflict. It is important to know how to navigate small disagreements so they don’t turn into full blown conflicts.
Like we expressed before, disagreements, arguments, conflicts are natural and they are bound to happen. The important point is not to try and avoid disagreements altogether since that’s an unreachable goal, it is to know how to navigate through these conversations.
Note that anger is an emotion just like any other. If you feel angry, don’t suppress it because that only leads to frustration and it won’t be good for your relationship, eventually it will have a negative impact. Instead, communicate the fact that you’re feeling angry, to your partner. Let them know that you feel this way and what makes you feel this way.
Furthermore, learn about each other’s fight language and have that conversation. Talk about how you prefer to navigate through fights. Both partners understanding each other’s patterns makes these patterns familiar and you already know what to expect in terms of the other person’s reaction.
Lastly, through free communication, come up with a conflict resolution system that is healthy and works for the both of you. Decide on the fact that yes, we’ll express our emotions but then this is the pattern that works for the both of us and it is how we’ll deal with conflicts, going forward.
A great perspective to have during these conflicts can be to remind yourself that you both are on the same team and have the same goal: maintaining and flourishing this relationship. Winning against each other won’t do any good. Hence, you’ve got to work through this, together.
Even though these terms might just sound like concepts to us, there is no doubt that they enhance the quality of our relationships. Yes, they take effort but they could also be a fun way to gain insight into your own as well as your significant other’s patterns.