Words of affirmation can be incredibly powerful for people who received a lot of criticism as children. For them to hear that they are appreciated and loved for who they are is deeply affirming and healing. It allows them to know that they are seen and valued, something we all need as human beings.
The trick with words of affirmation as a love language is that they are genuine. One of the easiest ways to find things to affirm is to think about what you appreciate about your partner. It might be their commitment to your family, the way they help you with your assignments, how they are with their friends, their thoughtfulness, their ability to empathise, or their baking skills.
If giving words of affirmation feels strange at first, try this:
Think of ONE thing every day that you like or admire in your partner.
In a quiet moment, let your partner know.
This might sound like:
“Earlier, I noticed you talking about how to help your mum. I really value your love and concern for your family.”
There are so many words of affirmation that can be given in a genuine and meaningful way, once you get started, it is fun and easy. Learning to give yourself words of affirmation is part of the re-parenting process. I found that as I learned to give more to myself, affirmations for others were easier to give.
It would be wonderful to experiment with words of affirmation with everyone we see, in person or online.
Much love, Jen
Reference: Chapman, G. (2015). The 5 Love Languages. Northfield Publishing; Chicago, IL.