14 Feb

Most people are familiar with The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, but not all minds are wired the same way to show and express love. With our neurodivergent brains, we show our care and affection in different ways. The way we communicate our love can be often misunderstood or go unnoticed, so what if we look at love languages through a different lens, a neurodivergent lens? Your love languages might take a different shape. 

Words of affirmation = Info Dumping                

What is Info Dumping? Information dump is when we talk about special interests, hobbies, and topics passionately in great length and depth. This type of conversation is a sign that we feel safe enough to nerd out with you. We often feel shame about our “weird” interests or are criticized for talking “too much” about it. Sharing information is our way of welcoming you into our inner world. 

Physical Touch = Please squish me into serenity           

What is deep pressure? Often, we need physical touch in the form of deep pressure from a bear hug or weighted blanket to ground us back into our bodies. We can easily be over or under-stimulated and disconnected from our bodies, so a firm, loving touch can help calm our nervous system. Deep pressure can increase serotonin (the “feel good” neurotransmitter) and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. 

Receiving Gifts = Penguin Pebbling 

What is penguin pebbling? Like penguins, we love to share little cool/weird/interesting “pebbles” as gifts to connect with you. We have an interest-based attention system and easily detect new/cool/weird things in the world that others can miss. We want to share the tiny joys with you, whether it’s gifting you memes, music, or a rock that looks like Danny DeVito. This is a sign that we are thinking of you. 

Quality Time = Parallel Play                

What is parallel play? Parallel play doing individual hobbies alongside your partner where constant interaction or chatting is not required. Sometimes we want company, but we don't have the social batteries to communicate. We simply want to exist with you, free from the expectations of entertaining youThis is a sign that we feel safe and securely attached to you. Being alone together is quality time to connect without words. 

Acts of Service = Support Swapping                

What is support swapping? Support swapping is when we swap skills and strengths to help support one another in accomplishing tasks, regardless of how big or small. What may be easy for you is painfully hard for us due to how our brains are wired. If your partner loves cooking but hates making phone calls, you may offer to make the calls while they remind you to eat. With our powers combined (body doubling) perhaps we can tackle that mountain of laundry.

When identifying your partner’s love language, remember to look through the lens of how they express and want to be loved. Check out the cheat sheet and questions to ask your partner to better understand your love language. 

Click here to see the full graphic on Instagram to share with the people you love.

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