Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Learning the language of affection

By Tiffany Tan  (China Daily)

16:59, January 21, 2013

It seems that doing, rather than overtly expressing, is the language of care in many Asian cultures, whether parent for child, or grown children for parents, according to clinical psychologist Alfred Chambers, from the Beijing United Family Hospital and Clinics.

"Every culture and every individual has a different language of love. Understanding each other's language is very important for healthy relationships."

Chinese parents are often skeptical when they hear the words "I love you" from their grown children for the first time - perhaps because such directness is not common, and there is always a risk of loss of face or rejection if one is too open.

Saying the words back is "not complicated. We just don't learn. The behavior is not modeled so we don't know how - like learning to use chopsticks in Germany," he says.

"One thing we understand about human development is that right from birth we truly need care and safe contact with others in order to grow strong and confident in the world and comfortable within ourselves.

"That sort of contact can take many forms, and verbal expression is only one part of that. Nurturing contact is healthy for all of us and can come in as many forms as there are people, and it is craved for by all of us throughout our lives.

"Recognition can take many forms - but noticing and unconditional caring are needed - verbal or not.

"Simply saying 'I love you', which may or may not really mean anything, is not the answer.

"Authentically accepting and valuing the whole person, in whatever form it takes, is much more fulfilling and important. Deep down, this is what we all want."


Related Reading: I love you, really.

We Recommend:

2012 year in review: Steps of growth

2012 year in review: Say goodbye

2012 in review: Questions on responsibility

China’s weekly story (2012.12.27-2013.1.4)

New Year Wishes from left-behind children

Kazak's wonderful falcon game in Xinjiang

Food is the paramount necessity of life

Dense fog causes serious air pollution

Twisted, ugly ‘Tower of Large Intestine’ found


Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. WZ-8 armed helicopters in training

  2. UN's equipment verification

  3. Mumbai in lens

  4. Lanterns fly from low to high

  5. Photos: Chinese Style in 2012

  6. They made 2012 warm and beautiful

  7. Characters of 'Journey to the West'

  8. Chinese animation films getting stronger

  9. Most transparent multinationals

  10. Elegant beauties in your eyes

Most Popular


  1. Don't buy a house before 35 years old?
  2. Anti-pollution plan gets mixed reviews
  3. Emotional abuse to child cannot be neglected
  4. US' dangerous stance
  5. What election means to Israel
  6. Beijing economy expected to grow
  7. London's Great Smog has lessons for Beijing
  8. Top 10 news items for Chinese firms in 2012
  9. Inflation rise 'on the horizon'
  10. Software gives travelers advantage

What’s happening in China

I love you, really : Photo Story: Love of a girl and her father

  1. Beijing population tops 20.69 mln
  2. Snowfall hits Taiyuan City
  3. Website launched to promote drug control
  4. Sales of travel kits soar before Lunar New Year
  5. Death toll rises to 3 in coalmine accident