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4 Languages of Communication: How speaking the same one improves conversations

Every conversation is in one of these languages of communication.

In a difficult conversation, it can feel like your partner is speaking a different language. Turns out, they might be.

Studio 5 Relationship Contributor Dr. Matt Townsend claims in every conversation, we all use one of four languages of communication. This makes it our job to talk as effectively as possible by speaking in the language our partner is most likely to use! Matt shares an example using each of the languages of communication.

Check out Matt’s REAL Communication Couple’s Workshop June 4th from 9am-4pm at


The 4 Languages of Communication

Language of Meaning

Meaning is when we are just giving content, data, the ideas we’re trying to convey, the information, the history.

  1. Many people might constantly be trying to tie down or understand by what you meant by something or another. Meaning is about definitions, understandings, words used and the greater context of what is going on.
  2. They get more tied up in the facts, the rules, the literal realities of what were said.
  3. People express interests in values, theory, philosophy behind what is happening.
  4. Passionate about ideas, or have a clear set of principles that want to be known for and followed.
  5. They may prefer a concept more than they care about the feelings behind it.
  6. They tend to be more logical, literal and
  7. They probably want to know what any situation or circumstance may “Mean” for them rather than get too caught up in the emotions behind.
  8. People seeking meaning ask a lot of questions and can tie you up on the nuances of language, meaning and .
  9. They can find the holes in your arguments.
  10. Meaning is much more discerned by your ears.


Language of Feeling

Feeling is about emotions, “feeling deeply”, hurt, subtleties, nuances, the relationships and connections with others.

  1. People who speak the language of feeling need to know that you are taking care of their what they are feeling.
  2. They see the world as a network of relationships, people and connections.
  3. They want you to know how they feel, they want to know how you feel and they want their feelings taken seriously.


Language of Action & Change

Some could care less about what something means or what someone feels, they just want to know what people are going to do about it.

  1. The need to take action.
  2. The goals is to not get too wrapped up I the logic or emotion of anything and just keep moving and getting done what needs to get done.
  3. These people tend to have less energy to want to argue and instead want to just move the idea forward and use the energy to fix the problem.
  4. They also see that their action and movement and


Language of Identity & Power

This is all about how what is being said or done is impacting my hierarchy, status or identity.

  1. Power is about one’s status authority or hierarchy.
  2. Power is about one’s rights, abilities, judgements, and sense of goodness.
  3. When you’re having a conversation about Identity or power you might get hung up on people correcting you because it always seems like they’re decreasing your power or diminishing your identity.
  4. The language of power is about whether we will look better or worse after this discussion.
  5. What will this do to how I will be perceived? Will I get more? What you are saying is affecting my ideal image and identity of myself.



Wife wants to talk about the tone he is using with the kids. After the wife asked the kids to go clean up their room and brush their teeth and get ready for bed and they didn’t respond, the husband yelled, “get upstairs you lazy bums, I’m sick of us having to ask you 10 times to do something you know needs to be done!.

  • She thinks when he gets mad he is too hurtful. That it makes the kids feel “bad” and that by calling them names it is going to break them going forward and they won’t want to be close to him when they are older. (Language of Feelings)
  • He argues back that the he didn’t call them names, he was just stating facts. They are too lazy to listen and if they wont act immediately then they’re either lazy or deaf. (Language of Meaning.
  • She argues only 8 year old kids call each other names. Does he like acting like an 8 year old kid? Shouldn’t you just grow up and be the adult in the room and stop acting like a child? (Language of Power and Identity)
  • He argues well as least I’m doing something that gets them to move! You told them 10 times and nobody moved. I yelled once and they immediately got things going. (Language of Action and Choice).

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