Ways to Use Words of Affirmation

Are you looking for ways to improve your relationships with others? Whether it be a romantic, familial, friendship, or work relationship, words of affirmation can be a great way to start. Keep reading to find several ways you can use words of affirmation in any relationship.

What are Words of Affirmation?

Have you ever heard of the 5 love languages? It is the thought that people show and receive love in different ways. The love languages include physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, and gifts. The idea behind love languages is that if you can find your love language (how you give and receive love), then you can connect more deeply and grow closer in your relationship.

Maybe you love to hug and cuddle with your partner, that would mean that your love language is physical touch. Words of affirmation as a love language are any words, either spoken or written down, that make your partner feel good, supported, and uplifted. Before we get into some examples of words of affirmation, let's first discuss how to know if your partner’s primary love language is words of affirmation. 

Is Your Partner’s Love Language Words of Affirmation?

Now that you know what words of affirmation are, how do you know if that is your partner’s primary love language? Let’s look below and see some examples: 

  • They love when you compliment them, their faces light up with joy. 
  • They get excited to read a text or email from you and respond as soon as they are able. 
  • They struggle with criticism. 
  • They get excited over handwritten notes or cards. 
  • They feel fulfilled when someone shares appreciation for them. 
  • They usually notice the small details about people’s lives, and can be good at reading others’ emotions. 

If you are still unsure, you can always ask. As they say, communication is key in a relationship. If you want to strengthen your relationship, then communicate with them and what they need from you (and what they can give to you in return). You can also take the 5 love languages quiz together to find out what your love languages are.

Why Do Some People Need Words of Affirmation?

To those who do not feel fulfillment from receiving a kind or supportive message, it may seem difficult to understand why others seem to need words of affirmation to feel uplifted. Words of affirmation can help build bonds and strengthen relationships if that is the person’s primary love language. Everyone needs their emotional tank filled, and for many, sharing positive words fills theirs. It is also important to note that people who crave words of affirmation do not respond well to harsh criticism that involves saying hurtful words (it isn’t kind to do this to anyone, but people whose love language is words of affirmation take those harsh words to the heart).  

Read more: Why Words of Affirmation are Such a Powerful Love Language

Ways to Show Words of Affirmation

Remember, when sharing words of affirmation, the person you are sharing with can tell if you aren’t being genuine. Be authentic with your words, let them come from the heart. In a world where everyone is sharing their "perfect" lives on social media, authenticity is valued. Follow up with them through your actions, if you say you care about the person but act another way, then your words will do more harm than good. It is also important to show your appreciation for the person. 

People who crave words of affirmation need to know that what they are doing is making a difference. Let them know you enjoyed the dinner they made, or how much you appreciated them folding your laundry. Showing your appreciation through verbal affirmation can make a big impact, especially when it is genuine. Now that we know what words of affirmation are, let’s dive in with different ways to convey words of affirmation with your partner, friend, family member, or even in the workplace.

Why is a Kudoboard a great way to show words of affirmation?

It’s a thoughtful and heartfelt way to show a loved one how much they’re cared about and appreciated! Learn more

Ways to Use Words of Affirmation With Your Partner

Now that you’ve determined your partner's love language is words of affirmation, how do you show them? There are many things you can say (I love you, I appreciate all you do for me, thank you for loving me). Instead of going over a long list of things you can say, read this list of different ways you can show your partner or spouse affection through positive words. 

  • A handwritten note sharing how much you appreciate and love your partner or spouse. Be specific as possible to achieve maximum results. 
  • A quick post-it sharing positive words left in their car or wallet, as a surprise to find later. This helps them feel loved and will guarantee a smile. 
  • Compliment them, and be specific! This will mean more if you share a genuine compliment with them about something other than their looks. Such as a certain quality that you admire about them.
  • Send a text to let them know you are thinking of them. This is especially thoughtful if you don’t normally text them throughout the day. 
  • Leave them a voicemail and let them know you can’t wait to see them. 
  • Send a love card using kudoboard. This will definitely get their attention and help them feel loved. 
  • Tell them you love them in front of other people. This helps them know that you value them and are proud to be their partner. 
  • Give them a card for a special occasion, and write down more than just “Love, (your name)” at the bottom. Really let them know how much you care about them through your words. 

Ways to Use Words of Affirmation With a Friend 

The 5 love languages don't just apply to romantic relationships. Love languages can also be used in friendships. If you want to really make your friends smile, and strengthen your friendship, sharing kind words with them is a great way to go.

  • Tell them you appreciate their friendship.
  • Compliment them on something other than their looks (their listening skills, how they can always find a way to brighten someone's day).
  • Send them a text sharing a fun memory you had together (bonus points if it includes a picture). This will help them know that you value the time you spend with them.
  • Give them a shout-out on social media. This shows that you are proud to be their friend.

Ways to Use Words of Affirmation With a Family Member

Family members also need to feel the love. Whether you get along with your family or not, it never hurts to share some kind words with them. Here are some ways to show words of affirmation to your loved ones. 

  • Acknowledge something special about them, like how they can always make you laugh or know the right words to say to make you feel better. 
  • Thank them for always having your back, despite any family drama that may come up. 
  • Share words of gratitude with them. Take note of something they either do every day, or something that took a lot of work, and let them know how much you appreciate them.  
  • Let them know how much you admire them. 

Ways to Use Words of Affirmation In the Workplace

Finally, there are also many ways to show words of affirmation in the workplace. Letting your co-workers, boss, or employees know that you value them is a wonderful way to make the office a more positive environment.

If you are the boss, here are some ways you can show your employees how much you appreciate them. Performance reviews are always a great place to give positive and constructive feedback. However, positive words can be shared more often as well to keep morale up. For more ideas, check out this article on how to use words of affirmation as a boss. 

  • Give praise for their performance, this is especially meaningful when you are specific. 
  • Give praise for specific character traits, such as leadership skills. 
  • Let them know that they have a future in the company.

Bosses also need positive recognition! If you really appreciate your boss, let them know with these ideas. 

  • Thank them verbally for their hard work and leadership. 
  • Send them a group thank you card (Kudoboard makes this easy with Boss's Day cards!)
  • Acknowledge everything they do with a team effort Boss’s Day 

Be Genuine

However you decide to use words of affirmation, just be sure that you are being genuine and authentic. Whether it be a family member, a romantic partner, a friend, or a colleague, they will be able to tell if you aren’t being authentic in your delivery. Share from your heart and your relationship with that person will be strengthened. 

Jenni Berhold

Jenni has been married for over a decade, and is a mother to three children. Jenni loves to help others by offering words of encouragement, advice, or a listening ear. Jenni loves to spend time outdoors, play the ukulele, and be with her family. She believes that every day is worth remembering, especially the good days.