Stay with me.
There’s a thing called signaling theory that says a lot of the things we want to know about each other are not directly observable (like emotional states, natural abilities or how we might act in the future). Instead, we have to rely on, essentially, people’s actions (signals) to determine plenty of things about them.
Much of our communication consists of signaling cues about who we are and what we are thinking.
In extremely basic terms, as far as I can tell, this means that Talk is Cheap.
One study about the theory involves primates (monkeys).
Now, I’m no primate specialist, so don’t call me on any of this, but for chimps, grooming one another serves many purposes. One is that grooming demonstrates commitment to the chimp family. Chimps can sit for hours grooming each other, picking nits and dirt out of each others fur.
Key word there? Commitment.
Think about it. Would you pick nits out of somebody’s hair if you weren’t committed to them? I think not.
The point again? Talk is Cheap. Actions speak louder than words.
I kind of loved learning about signaling theory and chimps and nit-picking (so that’s where it comes from?!) because it makes good sense.
The funny thing I realized is that ‘nit-picking’ is a Love Language!
Love Language? Love languages are ways to express love rather than just saying, “I love you.”
I can tell my people I love them until I’m blue in the face and I’ll keep getting blue because I won’t think they’re really hearing me, but if I understand their love languages and demonstrate them, they’ll feel loved.
I found the Love Language Profile on 5 Love Languages to be a really fun way to confirm what my and my husband’s love languages are.
The five Love Languages (according to the program) are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Services
- Quality Time
None of these involves simply telling somebody we love them. That’s not usually good enough. We like action!
The way I feel most loved by others is through their actions—not necessarily their words. Spend some quality time with me and let’s do things together. According to the Love Language Profile, though, my love languages are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time.
My husband’s are Physical Touch and Quality Time. It’s a good thing we share Quality Time because my Words of Affirmation language means he has to talk to me (a lot) and his Physical Touch language means he needs lots of hugs!
Knowing what somebody’s love language is goes a long way to understanding why they act they way they do and can be really helpful to improving relationships.
No cheap talk or nit-picking involved!
Have you done a Love Language Profile or do you already know what some of your love language are? Tell us what you think!