If you have not taken the The Enneagram evaluation, I strongly suggest you do. It is very revealing regarding how we are wired. Knowing how those in your life interpret actions and words can help you communicate with them in a way that speaks to their heart. https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/.
If you are a Type 9 with a one-on-one subtype, chances are you speak the love language of quality time. If you are married to someone who ranks high for quality time, then what they most want from you is…wait for it…your time! Thirty minutes here or there, dinner together each night, and a weekend away will speak volumes to this person.
Notice the language is called “quality” time. Your attention requires the right kind of focus. Put your phone away and be fully present to meet the needs of the other person. When you are interacting, maintain eye contact and pay attention to emotional fluctuations. Listen with the intent to understand and clarify by reflecting what you have heard by asking questions.
A quality time person wants assurances that you are “with them” and they are not alone. Whatever the struggle or victory in life, they want to share it with you. If you are emotionally unavailable, whether it be because of fatigue or stress, tell them. But follow up by saying, “I would like to set up a time to listen and connect.”
The quality time person will look forward to and treasure the scheduled event if your intentions are sincere. Just like a quality time person wants you to know them by hearing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions, they are usually just as interested in learning about you and your perspectives. They need the conversations to be two-sided. If opening up does not come easily to you, learn from your quality time partner what it looks like to be vulnerable. Humans connect in deep and meaningful ways when we share our hearts, and this comes naturally to those who speak the love language of quality time.
Another aspect of this language is shared activities. Activities can range from visiting National Parks together, cleaning the garage, hosting a dinner party, or taking a walk as long as the intent of the activity is to be together and strengthen the relationship. This will tell your loved one you care for them. Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, says one of the by-products of quality time activities is they provide a memory bank from which to draw in the years ahead. You will remember the experience when you wall papered the nursery together or took a stroll along the seaside. Quality time is not meant to be one-sided. You need to be present to fully show your love for the person in your life whose top language is quality time. Embrace it!
Patti Hatton, MA, LPC