Acts of Kindness in the Office with 5 Love Languages

November 12, 20212:27 pm2149 views
Acts of Kindness in the Office with 5 Love Languages
Creator: cienpies | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Have you ever heard about the 5 love languages? Gary Chapman classified how people can express their love, which are through words of affirmation, quality time, giving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Often attributed to romantic relationships, actually these love languages can be acted upon in workplace settings. In commemoration of World Kindness Day, HR in Asia will show you how to give acts of kindness in the office with these 5 love languages.

What Exactly Are 5 Love Languages?

Simply put, the idea of love language refers to the many ways in which people receive and express love. Words of affirmation are expressions of affection expressed through spoken words. Kind words and encouragement are appreciated when this is someone’s primary love language. Meanwhile, for those whose love language is quality time, love and affection are shown via undivided attention, such as putting down the phone to fully spend a devoted moment. People whose love language is physical touch feel loved when their loved one holds their hand, hugs them, or simply pat them on the head.  For people with acts of service love language, they enjoy it when people do modest things for them. Lastly, people with a receiving gift love language recall every small gift they have received from their loved ones since it has such a deep influence on them. 

Love language does not necessarily translate into romantic infatuation; you can remain platonic among your coworkers and show them acts of kindness. Here are some ideas to show your kindness to people with different love languages.

1 . Words of Affirmation

Show an act of kindness to your coworker with something as simple as giving them positive encouragement when you bump into each other during work. Give them small compliments like “Hey, you have been working so hard these past few weeks, so let me thank you for doing your best!”. Even if you are not in charge of the HR, such a random yet sincere encouragement can make them feel ‘seen’. If your coworkers look like they are very tired, you can assure them by saying, “Just so you know, I will not let you suffer on your own, okay? So please hit me up if you ever need to vent or simply talk to someone”.

2 . Quality Time

Kindness can be reflected through something as simple as listening to your coworkers being vulnerable without throwing some judgement. Many people are actually tired of their day-to-day job routine, but only a little dare to show their feelings. If your coworkers may need more than just reassurance, which is an actual time to relax from work a bit, you can give them quality time. If the regular one-on-one with HR is not enough, you can offer them a quick time off the office to have a friendly chat over a cup of coffee. The emphasis should be on the quality of the time instead of the amount of time you give to them. You have no idea how a 30 minutes talk can actually make your coworker’s week feel lighter.

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3 . Physical Touch

It can be a little bit tricky and require careful boundaries to show kindness for your coworkers whose love language is physical touch. Not everyone is comfortable with physical contact, since doing this recklessly may come off as harassment. This is not mandatory if you do not feel comfortable with physical contact as well. So, if you are okay with this love language, make sure that your coworkers show a consent that they do not mind this or simply let them do it first. For example, if they often lean towards your shoulder, you can provide for them by patting their head in return. Remember, you can still show your kindness while keeping the physical contact is appropriate and modest among your coworkers, so no harm will appear.

4 . Acts of Service

Acts of Service are among the easiest ways to show your kindness towards your coworkers in the office. There are many day-to-day activities in the office that may use a helping hand, even the smallest ones. For example, you can help your closest coworkers by doing the dishes for them after lunchtime so they do not have to. You can also offer your coworker a ride home or to the nearest MRT station, since finding an Uber or Grab during rainy seasons can be quite a problem. As long as you know the boundaries, enacting kindness by providing service sincerely will surely nurture a better relationship with you and your coworkers. 

5 . Receiving Gift

Receiving gifts could just be everyone’s favorite’s acts of kindness, including your coworkers. They value not just the gift itself, but also the time and effort you put in it. They do not demand expensive gifts; rather, it is the meaning behind the gift that appeals to them. In fact, giving them gifts that are too expensive or too extraordinary may even raise suspicion, which surely is not going to be translated as kindness. For example, you can give a mid-week snack package to your closest coworkers or simply grab two or three extra cups of coffee for them to enjoy. 

Understand Your coworkers Love Language

Rather than risking the likelihood of giving the wrong impression, it is best to truly understand your coworkers’ love language prior to doing acts of kindness. You can start by asking if they know this concept of 5 love languages and get to know what they prefer in general. There are plenty of online quizzes to understand this, so you can ask them to try. Regardless of what your coworkers’ love language is and which one you will act upon, all kindness matters. Happy World Kindness Day!

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