How to Use Words of Affirmation to Boost Your Relationship

The power of language can enhance your communications.


Love, Happiness

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The power of words to express love and satisfaction, kindness, and gratitude goes a long way to enhancing your communication with your partner and conveying your love to them.

According to Cosmopolitan, words can help us understand how people in our lives both give and receive love. Family therapist Rachel Wright, MA, LMFT, told Cosmopolitan that it is important to determine the way our loved one prefers to receive love, by asking “Does it mean more to someone to give them a compliment or clean the kitchen? What about buying a gift versus spending an hour without phones together?”

What are words of affirmation?
Words of affirmation are a form of communication that express love, appreciation, and respect towards someone else. They consist of positive phrases and words that uplift and encourage others. These compliments and affirmations don't always have to be delivered directly to the person, as a simple text or hand-written note can be just as meaningful as a personal phone call or a one-on-one encounter.

Individuals who value words of affirmation in their relationships are often attentive and caring toward others’ lives. They are observant and may be the first to notice a loved one's new outfit or ask about a neighbor's health. They may even extend kindness to strangers, such as asking a cashier how they're feeling, or helping an older person through a doorway.

Some of the most positive words you can say to bolster your partner and express your affection include saying, “I love you,” “You look great today!” or even “I appreciate it when you…” You can also convey your love by saying, “It impressed me when you…” or “It meant so much to me when…” Saying, “thank you” for simple acts like washing the dishes or folding the laundry is also a good way to show appreciation and shower your partner with affirmation.

Five ways to show your affirmation
According to Masterclass, there are several ways to utilize words of affirmation, ranging from small gestures to grand declarations. There are many ways to affirm your partner.

When you keep the communication flowing, even text messages to your loved one throughout the day is a great way to show you care. Likewise, offering compliments is an effortless yet effective way to encourage growth in your relationship.

Another suggestion from Masterclass is to demonstrate your gratitude by writing a thank you card or small note and leaving it in a place where your partner can find it like the bathroom mirror or in their packed lunch. Longer love letters can also be a touching way to convey your love, especially for birthdays or special anniversaries. You can also express your love and feelings for someone by simply telling them how much you appreciate and care for them. 

Words of affirmation
Need some help getting started? Even the dictionary is a good place to turn. For example, appreciate is the perfect word to start off your affirmation campaign. Meaning “to be grateful or thankful for,” appreciate comes from the Latin appreciātus, or “valued, appraised.” To use this one in an affirming way, be specific with your praise. You can say, “The thing I appreciate about you the most is…,” or “You make me feel appreciated by…”

Another idea is to think about what impresses you about the people in your life. According to the Dictionary, impress is a verb that entered English in the 1300s. It means “to affect deeply in mind or feelings; influence in opinion.” When you tell someone you’re impressed by them, you’re letting them know they’ve caught your attention and have your admiration. Try saying, “It impresses me so much when…” or “Your ability to do [blank] is so impressive.”

Ultimately, words of affirmation are a way for you to voice verbally the feelings of love you hold for another human being. Take it slow, but practice every day. Before you know it, you’ll not only be a pro, but you’ll be rewarded by a deepening relationship and a whole new outlook on how to value yourself and others.

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