Minority Report

Candid Conversations on Race, Culture, and Therapy

The 5 Asian Love Languages

A Cultural Twist

 

 

"Art by Lela Lee, courtesy of Angry Little Girls, Inc." for more info. go to www.angrylittlegirls.com

There's the popular book "The 5 Love Languages" for the general population but for Asians these "Love Languages" have a cultural twist.

1) Words of Affirmation = Lecturing.

Kids need to be praised for who they are. They need to be empowered to trust their instincts. Instead many Asian parents simply lecture their kids and treat them as non-entities.

2) Quality Time = No time to play. You play piano

In the more traditional Asian family, play is usually non-existent. Parents are too busy working and trying to make more money.  There was no such thing as leisure time to "play" like a white family going skiing, hiking, or camping.

3) Physical Touch = You get B+? You get spanking.

Hugs, kisses, and physical signs of affection are scarce. I can only remember vague memories of my dad holding my mom's hand. I've never seen them kiss each other. Consequently, it's almost taboo for Asian parents to display physical affection to their kids.

4) Acts of Service = You have enough to eat? Here, you eat more.

This is the one love language that most Asian parents think overrides the need for everything else. If they feed you, clothe you, and put a roof over your head, they believe they've done their job. Rarely, will they recognize the need for emotional nurturing and oftentimes are dismissive and critical of Americans' desires to give attention and time to their kids. 

5) Gifts = I pay for your tuition. I make you food. What more do you want?

Gift-giving is also big in the Asian culture. If they give you money, buy you things, then they believe that should suffice for caring for you. Why should they need to empathize or try and understand your point of view when they can just buy their way out of emotional entanglements?

*This is not meant to be taken literally.  It's a satirical, tongue-in-cheek commentary.

Follow Sam Louie on Twitter https://twitter.com/SamLouieSpeaks 

Image Courtesy of Lela Lee

Sam Louie is a therapist with a private practice in Seattle specializing in multicultural issues and sexual addiction.
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