How to Show an Act of Service

23 February 2022

Love month isn’t over just yet.

Because we’re feeling all kinds of love this month, we’ve been mulling over the five different love languages categorized by Gary Chapman way back in 1992. The American expert was a marriage counselor and having talked to various married couples throughout the years, he was able to spot commonalities in their issues and arrive with five official love languages.

He released a book entitled, “The Five Love Languages” in 1992, and has since then been a reference of many to understand themselves in terms of how they give and receive love. These five love languages are namely Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and Receiving Gifts.

It’s very easy to understand in theory with each love language aptly named as it is. It is hard to apply though when you’re trying to speak with someone’s love language in order to make that someone feel loved. People are different and there are many instances that our loved ones have a different love language from us. It’s the beauty of love itself, the willingness to understand, adapt, and display in order to make someone else happy.

When you take the time to understand the five love languages and adjust to each accordingly, it creates an environment that is loving, giving, motivating, and inspiring.

Acts of Service

There are many criticisms for each love language. Some say that “Acts of Service” in particular are for people who are lazy. Why? People with this love language feel loved when they are being offered a service and not necessarily doing something that will involve them in the act. This is a misconception. They appreciate acts of service not because they are lazy or want to delegate a task to a willing lover; it is just because they feel loved by seeing the effort. They know that the other person took time away from their personal life to do a service without coercion or request, which means it entailed sacrifice and love.

Another important thing to note is that a person who values of Acts of Service will only feel loved if the particular act was done when it was not or least expected. An act of service that has become regular may decrease in value over time and someone may not feel as loved by the act as before. For example, your wife’s love language is Acts of Service. She would go every Sunday to the market and buy wet goods for the whole household on her own. One Sunday, you decided to wake up early and come with her. You offered to give her your company and carry her basket. The first time was pleasant and she was very appreciative of your time. So you would do it for the next three months. But yet your wife complains that she is still left to her own devices at home. Going with her to the wet market has become a regular activity that she is failing to see the effort while you may feel frustrated that your efforts are not being appreciated. This happens quite often but it doesn’t mean a conflict like this couldn’t be resolved through a heart-to-heart dialogue.

So how do you identify if someone’s love language is Acts of Service? Simply put, it is when a person feels most loved by someone who does something out of their way just to put a smile on their face. A person with this love language may have used in multiple occasions and conversations the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” For you, actions are the true test of someone’s love.

How to Give an Act of Service

An act of service is not a simple act. The service must be something that your loved one finds meaningful. There are ways on how you could plan an act of service for a person you want to feel loved by you.

1. Pay attention to the person’s stressors—what does he or she always complain about doing or feels stressed to finish.

It might be doing the laundry or cleaning the refrigerator. They would surely love it if they come home to an empty hamper or a cleaned refrigerator, surprise. Maybe she started working from home and is so stressed out, she doesn’t have the time to clean her home office. She would definitely smile if the clutter is gone (but just make sure that it’s easy to spot where you’ve placed your things!).

2. Put importance on the little things.

You should be an active listener and observer so that you would know your person to the core. You would notice what she craves during midnight or how frequently he asks for massages. In casual conversations, you may ask about her simple desires or take note of what he orders when you’re in your favorite pizza joint. These bits of information will certainly be handy at some point in the future.

3. Be an active presence when times are stressful.

You shouldn’t wait for your partner to ask. Out of love, you could offer a helping hand and make sure to deliver what you promised. Take care of the small things that can relieve your loved one’s stress or make things easier for them at the moment. It could be as simple as ensuring that they have already eaten because they might have forgotten to in the hullaballoo of it all.

4. Do what you do best.

Give assistance to something that they happen to not know how to do and you do. Use this strength to your advantage and offer your expert hands. For instance, if you have the makings of an interior designer, you can help your partner decide which pieces of furniture will go best for a room makeover. You could offer to help them assemble furniture they ordered, such as a standing desk from FlexiSpot.

5. Take your schedule into consideration.

Be realistic and check your schedule. An act of service takes your time that you may not always have, even if it’s for someone you love. This is why you should plan out your acts of service so that you could really make them happen.