What are Words of Affirmation? | Kudoboard Blog (2023)

“Carbs are my love language.”

It's just a silly joke (no it isn’t), but love languages have become a way to describe the way we feel and communicate love. Sparked by the 1992 book by Gary Chapman, the development and application of love languages has expanded and become mainstream. You’ve probably heard of love languages, even if it’s just the jokes in our current zeitgeist, but the true foundation of the five love languages and their application is powerful.

Today we’re diving into our personal favorite love language—words of affirmation. Read up on the 5 love languages in general, then we’ll show you exactly what words of affirmation might look like in your life, relationships, or workplace.

Why is a Kudoboard a great way to say I love you? ❤️

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

The 5 Love Languages

What are Words of Affirmation? | Kudoboard Blog (1)

The 5 Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate was written by Gary Chapman and published in 1992. In this book, which focuses primarily on romantic applications for married couples, explains that people feel—and show—love in different ways. Through research and personal experience, Chapman shares the five main categories of feeling and expressing love that he’s observed: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, gifts, and quality time.

Many people feel and show love using the same language, but some may feel love more strongly with one language and prefer to show love through a different language. Most marriages will find that they have different and conflicting love languages. An example of this is the hardworking husband who is expressing his love by working to provide for his family, but a verbally processing wife who wants to hear her husband speak love and compliments. Both are valid, but they’re not aligned. Being able to align your love language with that of your partner can create a more satisfactory marriage and partnership.

Love languages are primarily applied in marriage relationships, but in subsequent years, the love languages have been applied to a much broader audience than married couples. Chapman has spinoff books for children, teens, singles, and the workplace. The love languages can be used to communicate appreciation and care in any type of relationship, and help you cater your efforts to the unique needs of the person in front of you. I like to think of the languages more broadly as the validation languages (which makes it less awkward to think about than your employee’s love language).

Let's take a quick look at each of the five love languages.

Words of Affirmation

This highly common love language is all about verbal (or written) communication that is intended to build up another person. This love language may include compliments, expressions of love, appreciation for actions or behaviors, leaving kind notes, and any other ways you might use words to show love.

Physical Touch

Some people feel love through person-to-person contact. It’s much more than physical intimacy between partners, though. It may include high fives, hugs, holding hands, back-scratching, a tender touch to the cheek, kisses, or snuggling. It’s important to understand what types of physical touch make your partner feel loved.

(Video) Words of Affirmation VLOG #001

Acts of Service

Someone whose love language is acts of service will feel especially loved and appreciated when you do something for them that will make their life easier. Acts of service might include doing the dishes, bringing them a donut from the breakroom, covering some of their responsibilities, or running an errand for them. Thoughtful service is a major way to demonstrate love, loyalty, and care for others.


We’re not talking about birthdays. The love language of gifts is all about making offerings to help your person feel seen and special. They may be purchased and wrapped gifts, or they might be buying lunch for your recipient. It’s not about spending money—it’s about offerings that say “I was thinking of you.”

Quality Time

When your love language is quality time, you feel closest with others when you’re able to spend dedicated, quality time with them. It’s more than just being in the same room with them—it’s doing something together. Quality time might mean going on dates, playing games, having deep discussions, traveling together, or doing meaningful work in tandem.

What are Words of Affirmation?

Words of Affirmation is one of the most common languages but can be difficult or unnatural for some individuals. As a love language, Words of Affirmation is using words to show love, appreciation, acknowledgment, and concern for another person. Usually, the spoken word is expected, but words of affirmation can also be through writing or music.

Words of Affirmation is sharing words with another person that may help them feel:

  • Loved
  • Supported
  • Appreciated
  • Capable
  • Cared for
  • Valid
  • Wanted
  • Seen
  • Attractive
  • Understood
  • Worthy
  • Smart

For those who feel love through Words of Affirmation, they may need to regularly hear or read praise and encouragement from those they interact with. They may choose to provide verbal or written feedback for the important people in their lives, as well. On the flip side, they may be more damaged by negative or hurtful words than people who identify with other love languages. You’ll want to be very careful when you provide critical feedback or speak in a moment of anger, because words will affect these people deeply.

Adding this love language into your daily practice, either for family relationships or work ones, can radically change the way you interact with everyone in your life and lead to improved outcomes for everyone. You can’t expect to immediately master the art of Words of Affirmation, but over time you can develop this love language skill that will benefit your life greatly.

(Video) WORDS OF AFFIRMATION | Sadie Robertson

Examples of Words of Affirmation

For people for whom Words of Affirmation is not natural, it can feel incredibly vulnerable and intimidating to share love and appreciation verbally. If you grew up in a home where love and affirmations were not spoken aloud, it might feel awkward to do it in your home or in the workplace.

We get it.

Here are some examples of Words of Affirmation in action so that you can get a feel for ways to use this love language more in your home or workplace. You can steal them (we won’t tell) or use them as inspiration for your own application.

Words of Affirmation for Him

  • You are so handsome.
  • I appreciate your hard work for our family.
  • I love the way you do (task).
  • You’re the love of my life.
  • I’m so proud of you for _________.

Words of Affirmation for Her

  • I see how much you do for us.
  • Your outfit looks amazing.
  • Thank you for helping me ________.
  • You’re hilarious!
  • I appreciate how patient you are.

Words of Affirmation for Kids

  • Thank you for doing ________.
  • I can tell you’re trying hard.
  • There is no one else like you.
  • You are so smart/kind/brave.
  • I love you so much!

Words of Affirmation in the Workplace

  • Thank you for your effort on this project.
  • I knew you’d be the right person for this job.
  • You are so great at ________.
  • We are so lucky to have you on our team.
  • I appreciate how reliable you are.
  • Thanks to _______ for their work on this.
  • In person, when you’re with them
  • Voice memos
  • Videos
  • Phone calls
  • Speaking positively of them to others
  • Handwritten notes or letters
  • Texts
  • Emails
  • Social media shoutouts
  • Group ecards

When Words of Affirmation are Difficult

For some people, Words of Affirmation do not come naturally. If you’re one of these people—we get it—but you can’t avoid it forever. Words of Affirmation is one of the most common and powerful love languages, and an inability to communicate love and appreciation will hold you back.

When it’s uncomfortable to express your feelings to others, you can find more adaptive ways to meet their need for words of affirmation. Writing your appreciation down in a letter, email, online greeting card, or post-it note can help you be thoughtful as you express yourself (and take as much time as you need!). Borrowing the Words of Affirmation you see elsewhere can also be powerful—so long as you truly mean them. Music lyrics or good examples of appreciation you’ve encountered from others can help inspire you.

When in doubt, the formula of observation + effect can serve you well. Start with what you’ve seen from this special person and then state how it has affected you, then finish with a simple “thank you.”

For example, you might praise your spouse by saying “I noticed that you picked up that mess the kids left in the living room. That was such a relief that made me feel more relaxed and peaceful hanging out there later. Thank you.”

(Video) The 5 Love Languages Explained - Words of Affirmation

At work, it could look like this: “You’ve worked really hard on this proposal and it’s incredibly thorough. It makes our team look really good, and took a bunch of work off my plate. Thanks so much!”

Words of Affirmation in Action

The best way to get good at Words of Affirmation (or to see if they have an impact on the people in your life) is to practice. Start looking for ways to provide more positive feedback and appreciation for the people you regularly interact with, at home and work. Start small with a quick observation or written comment on something they’ve done. Or if it’s time to show someone some major love—go big with a Kudoboard. In just a few clicks we’ll get you an easy way to share kind words as a group, no matter how far you may be scattered.

Give it a try. It’s really not hard, and you’re smart and totally capable. (See?)

Related posts:

Why Words of Affirmation Are Such a Powerful Love Language 26 “Thoughtful Thursday” Ideas To Show You’re Thinking of Someone 23 Unique Ways To Say Thank You Ways to Use Words of Affirmation


What are the words of affirmation? ›

Examples of Words of Affirmation
  • “I appreciate it when you. . .”
  • “I love you.”
  • “I was impressed when you. . .”
  • “It meant so much to me when you. . .”
  • “I'm proud of you.”
  • “Thank you for. . .”
  • “You inspire me.”
  • “You look great today.”
Jul 27, 2022

What is the importance of words of affirmation? ›

Affirmations have the power to motivate you to act on certain things, help you to concentrate on achieving your goals in life, give you the power to change your negative thinking patterns and replace them with positive thinking patterns, assist you in accessing a new belief system, but above all, affirmations can ...

How do you write words of affirmation? ›

How to write affirmations
  1. Write affirmations in the present tense. Even if it's something you wish to accomplish in the future, come up with a way to put it in the present. ...
  2. Adopt a positive tone of voice. ...
  3. Make them believable. ...
  4. Ensure they accurately reflect your priorities. ...
  5. Really feel them.
Oct 16, 2018

What does words of affirmation look like? ›

Examples of Words of Affirmation

I just want to let you know how proud of you I am.” “You work really hard for us, and even when things may feel tough, I just want you to know how appreciative I am.” “I feel so lucky to have you.” “I am here if you need me and I want to help support you in any way I can.”

What are the 7 affirmations? ›

7 Affirmations For Your Wellbeing
  • I am enough.
  • I believe in my dreams, myself, and all that I am.
  • I love myself deeply and fully.
  • My life is filled with abundance of goodness.
  • I am relaxed, and I overcome any challenges coming my way.
  • My skin is healthy, glowing, and deeply nourished.
Feb 4, 2022

What is the most powerful word of affirmation? ›

Doing this will set the tone for your day and get you moving in a positive direction.
  • I am successful.
  • I am confident.
  • I am powerful.
  • I am strong.
  • I am getting better and better every day.
  • All I need is within me right now.
  • I wake up motivated.
  • I am an unstoppable force of nature.
Apr 30, 2020

What are the 3 P's of an affirmation? ›

The most effective affirmations follow the 3 P's of affirmations: Positive, Present, and Personal. The most common mistake people make with affirmations is choosing poorly written affirmations.

What are the 9 affirmations? ›

9 Positive Affirmations That Can Change Your Life
  • “I have the power to create the life I desire.” ...
  • “Today is filled with possibility.” ...
  • “I love myself the way I am.” ...
  • “I am strong enough to overcome challenges.” ...
  • “I do my best to accomplish my goals.” ...
  • “I have strengths, abilities, and gifts.”
Nov 30, 2017

What are the 3 affirmations? ›

3 Affirmations Successful People Repeat Every Day
  • I expect to win. I deserve to win.
  • I will not care what other people think.
  • I can't do everything today, but I can take one small step.
Apr 4, 2016

What are the 5 love languages of affirmation? ›

Here's a look at the five languages and how they can be applied and optimized — even during a pandemic.
  • Love language #1: Words of affirmation. ...
  • Love language #2: Acts of service. ...
  • Love language #3: Gifts. ...
  • Love language #4: Quality time. ...
  • Love language #5: Physical touch.
Feb 8, 2021


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