Have you ever thought you were being utterly clear in your communication with someone - and yet somehow they still managed to misunderstand, get the wrong message or completely miss your point?
Or have you ever gone out of your way to do something nice for someone but they just didn't seem that appreciative or thankful?
The likely cause? You're just not speaking the same language!
What languages am I talking about? Gary Chapman calls them the "Five Languages of Love", and while these are indeed important to your personal relationship, these languages simply put, the five different languages are:
Words of Affirmation
Acts of Service
When your language is Quality Time: A friend or relative not being able to stop by and see you because they say they're too busy, upsets you and makes you question whether they really do care for you.
When your language is Words of Affirmation: All you need to feel more appreciated at work are a few words of praise, encouragement or motivation from your boss; it's not like you're looking for a raise or anything (although that would be nice).
When your language is Gifts: You believe it's important to send a gift to show your thanks for attending a function; and when others don't reciprocate having attended one of yours, you feel it's a little rude.
When your language is Acts of Service: You wish your partner would help out a little more - even by just making you a cup of tea every now and then, because it just means they care. It's not like you're asking them to clean the whole house or anything.
When your language is Physical Touch: You give big hugs, frequently touch people on the arm and knee to show your support but wonder if maybe they don't care for you as much as you do for them, if their hug isn't as tight as yours.
How you can apply this to become a better communicator and connect more deeply with those around you...
Identify your preferred language - and if it's really important to you that the key people in your life understand you better, tell them about it.
Identify the languages of those around you at home, work and socially - and in the future when you want to communicate more effectively with people, try identifying and then communicating with them in their language.
We all communicate our love, support and appreciation in different ways; sometimes the signals can get a little mixed and the wires a little crossed. At least now, you can ensure you're all speaking the same language!