The 5 love languages - The story of Gaby


In our fast moving world, the right form of communication is of key importance in all life situations. In today's article I would like to draw your attention to this based on Gary Chapman's 5 love languages model and a short real life story.

What do we mean by 5 love languages?

  • the model was developed by Gary Chapman American writer and relationship expert in 1992
  • as per Chapman, all of us have personal love languages, which are similar to foreign languages
  • the 5 love languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, gift giving, acts of service (devotion) and physical touch
  • we all have a primary love language
  • if 2 people with the same primary love language meet, the communication between the two people and their relationship will be smooth
  • if the 2 people speak two different love languages, there can be interruptions in the communication between them.

The story of Gaby

Gaby was working hard since her youth to reach her set objectives and one day live the life that she always wanted. She was born in a loving family, where she received a lot of attention from her parents already in her childhood. They often organized common programmes, during which they enjoyed being together and being unconditionally happy for each other. Her family was not considered to be extremely rich, but Gaby was never lacking anything.

Gaby always wanted to become a lead communication expert at a well-known company and she did her best to reach her objective. Since the beginning of her career she proved her talent at more workplaces and she was heading steeply upwards on the corporate ladder. Both her managers and her colleagues were always satisfied with her work. She was in her mid '30's when she got near to living the life she had been dreaming about. She built up a stable financial base and was already working as a leader for 4 years, for two and a half years as a deputy department lead. However, by this time Gaby started to feel that something was not functioning OK and sat down to talk about the situation with her leader. She told Stephen:

  • I would like to express my gratitude for everything that I received from you in the past 2 and a half years. I am grateful for the common results and I know that without your support I would not have been able to reach these. But there is something that would be worth for you to think about.

Stephen was surprised looking at Gaby because he thought that their work relationship was perfect.

  • I would like to thank you for the numerous written appraisals, the year-beginning salary increase, the huge number of training opportunities, the company car, the unlimited mobile use. However unfortunately recently I have had to find out that something is missing from my professional life. I would be happy to continue working with you in the future and to work together even more efficiently, but why don't we set up a 30-minute 1:1 discussion in the beginning of each day, in the frames of which through developing the whole team, we can work together on my own personal development as well.

Stephen thought about Gaby's proposal for a minute and then decided to give in. He realized that until then Gaby and himself had been talking different love languages. Stephen used to prefer words of affirmation and gift giving, while Gaby had been missing the quality time spent together to develop herself properly. Thanks to Gaby communicating her real own needs, their collaboration experienced such a dramatic positive turn that when two years later Stephen was relocated to a foreign office, Gaby would be promoted to Stephen's previous department lead position.

What can we learn from Gaby's story?

We are people with different needs and so due to our differences it can easily happen that the two of us do not speak the same love language. It is important to communicate our needs the right way in all situations, because on many occasions the solution can be closer than we would think.

Károly Vizdák

business and life coach

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