The 5 Love Languages: Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation is one of the five “love languages” identified by Dr. Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages. If you’re new to the love languages, we recommend reading our overview of each love language.

This article aims to help you better understand Words of Affirmation. If this is your love language, the following section will help you understand yourself and better communicate with your partner. If this is your partner’s love language, the final section will help you better grasp what this love language reveals about them.

Couple talking in a sunset

Your Love Language

If Words of Affirmation is your love language, this section will help you understand why this type of communication works so effectively for you. You’ll also become better equipped with how to express your needs to your partner. This helps them better understand your love language and develop a more satisfying romantic relationship.

Understanding the Language

No matter who you are, the words of affirmation are amazing to hear when they come from someone you love. That feeling is amplified for you, especially when it comes from the person of your romantic interest. 

Words are not meaningless to you. In fact, they’re one of the most meaningful ways people can show their love for others. You’re the type who values cards and poems, and you enjoy knowing people value you – especially when you hear them say it!

You value words in a variety of ways. A loving voicemail or an impromptu note will be saved until eternity or they disintegrate, but they won’t ever get deleted or thrown away. They’re useful for when you need some encouragement or an emotional morale boost, especially when times get tough.

The right words are life-giving, but the wrong words are worse than dying. Whether good or bad, what someone says to you matters. Your partner’s words could create or crush your mood, and it’s important that they realize the influence of their words.

Talking to Your Significant Other

What good is it to know your primary love language if you don’t teach it to be spoken? Don’t just internalize what you’ve read about it. The information above needs to be passed to your partner.

If words are what affect you, you’ll probably be skilled with them in speech also. You recognize the value of well-timed words, so find a moment that ensures they won’t be wasted words or a skipped speech. Use your moment wisely with your partner and tell them just how impactful their words are to you. 

It’s important to explain your feelings for how their words make you feel. Use both positive and negative examples from your life to help explain. When they hear how their words of affirmation [or non-affirmation] have tangibly affected your day, they’re sure to understand just how precious their words are for every situation. 

We recommend you go as far as to tell them about the five love languages. That way, they can read about it themselves and also discover their own love language by taking the test. You both win in this scenario!

Their Love Language

You should want to understand your partner’s love language. But most often, people express their love to others through their own love language. That’s only natural and it would seem to be a fulfillment of Luke 6:31. 

We definitely want to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But that verse is actually about how to treat your enemies, not your loved ones! How much more should you do for your special someone? Understanding your partner’s love language is something that you should want to do.  

Understanding the Language

Words of affirmation are the best way to demonstrate your love for your partner. But shouldn’t be confused with the only way that they feel loved. Don’t think that kind words are always the solution to everything from now onwards. You should still use a variety of methods for showing your love to them.

The power of life and death for your partner’s emotions lies in the way you use your tongue to speak to them. Words of encouragement and upliftment are going to lift their spirits higher than those same words would do to others. But, similarly, words of beratement or condescension will cause more harm to their emotions than those same words would do to others. Be mindful of what you say to them because it impacts them in powerful ways. 

You are the vital source that contributes to their self-esteem. They judge their standing in the relationship by what you say about them. Affirming words is the best way to provide them with the satisfaction of knowing that they are pleasing to you as a partner. Loving words make them feel appreciated and even needed by you, so don’t spare them!

The Right Words

It’s important to know the right words to speak to your partner. But speaking the right words is pretty dependent on your relationship with them and the situation. 

Reward achievements, even the smallest of them, with words of praise and congratulations. Show your love with words that establish their value in your own perception of them. When something negative happens, address it in a way that leaves them knowing their worth is permanent but this issue is temporary. There’s always a good way to speak to them about any scenario.

Ultimately, in your partner’s perception, how you speak to them is a reflection of your true love for them. If you’re consistently mindful of this fact, you’re going to always have the right words. You won’t say the wrong things during the worst times, and you’ll be sure to choose the right words during the best times.

Learn More: The 5 Love Languages Resource Hub