How words of affirmation can change your relationship game forever

6 minutes read -
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Summary: If you’re struggling to express yourself, words of affirmation can be the secret ingredient to a powerful bond with your partner. Discover how to use them.
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Think of a time when someone said something to you that turned that frown upside down. It could be a simple one like “I appreciate you.” Or one that’s more complex, like “I’m grateful to you for supporting me through this difficult time.”

That’s how words of affirmation, especially in love relationships, can truly make a person feel seen, valued, and loved. It’s so simple. Yet so profound.

As Donna Eden, a well-known energy medicine expert, points out in her The Energies of Love Quest on Mindvalley, “it also keeps you on the alert for what you truly appreciate in the everyday flow of your lives together.”

What are words of affirmation?

More than just compliments or flattery, praise, encouragement, and compliments can be the golden ticket to your partner’s heart. It’s one way to tell them that you see them, value them, and care about them—that’s the “words of affirmation” meaning, in a nutshell.

It’s so impactful, in fact, that psychologist Dr. Gary Chapman listed it as one of the five love languages (the other four being acts of service, physical touch, quality time, and gifts).

People who thrive on words of affirmation often feel the love when their partner appreciates them for their personality traits like kindness, humor, or intelligence. What’s more, they might even feel validated by how they make their partner feel—”I feel safe when I’m with you” or “You always make me laugh.”

Sharing positive affirmations can act as a shield against stress, leading to better conflict resolution. Not only that, but, incredibly, these words trigger reward pathways in the brain, much like receiving money.

On the flip side, however, the absence of these affirmations can be deafening. If your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, the lack of them might leave them feeling unappreciated or even insecure.

How to find out your love language

Some people naturally gravitate towards positive communication. Others might find expressing or receiving compliments awkward.

So figuring out your (and your partner’s) love language can be a game-changer for your relationship

Here are three simple ways to find out if words of affirmation are yours:

  • Think about what makes you feel most loved. Does a heartfelt compliment make your day, or do you crave quality time spent together?
  • Consider your communication style. Do you naturally express affection verbally, or do you prefer acts of service?
  • Take a quiz. There are plenty available online, like The Love Language® Quiz created by Dr. Chapman, to discover how you and your partner feel most loved and appreciated. Alternatively, you can take the Mindvalley Love Styles Quiz so you can better understand your comfort level with closeness, independence, and vulnerability in relationships.

Share your discoveries with each other. It’s a great way to open new paths to deeper intimacy and connection.

Benefits of using words of affirmation

Regularly delivering appreciations is powerfully affirming for your partner,” says Donna. And she’s got a great point.

According to neuroscientist Andrew Newberg, the author of Words Can Change Your Brain, language holds surprising power. For one, positive words like “peace” or “love” have a way of influencing our moods and perceptions. And for two, his research suggests these words may even trigger genetic changes throughout the body, potentially reducing stress levels.

In addition to that, a study published in PLoS One found that those who expressed love in the way that their partner liked saw greater satisfaction—both in their relationships and their sex lives.

It can boost self-esteem and self-confidence and create a more positive and supportive environment. As a matter of fact, research shows that receiving affirmations activates brain regions associated with self-worth and motivation. And that makes them an incredibly powerful tool for personal growth.

30 words of affirmation examples to get you started

Beyond romantic relationships, children, friends, and even colleagues can benefit from receiving validation. Heck, even words of affirmation to self can be good for your psyche.

So if you’re looking for ways to effectively communicate them to those around you (or yourself), here are some examples that may help:

To your partner

  1. I appreciate all you do for us.”
  2. Your love makes me a better person.”
  3. I’m grateful for your support through tough times.
  4. Seeing you smile brightens my day.”
  5. Your passion for your hobbies inspires me.”
  6. You look fantastic today.”
  7. I love how you always surprise me.”
  8. Thank you for listening to me patiently.”
  9. I love spending quality time with you, no matter what we do.”
  10. I feel so safe and secure with you.”

To your child

  1. You’re so thoughtful.
  2. I’m amazed by your curiosity.”
  3. Your ideas are incredible.”
  4. You make me proud every day.”
  5. I love how you help your friends.”
  6. Your laughter is my favorite sound.”
  7. You’re so strong and capable.”
  8. I appreciate your kindness.”
  9. I love your creativity! Keep exploring your artistic side.”
  10. Thank you for helping out around the house. It makes a big difference.”

To yourself

  1. I’m capable and resilient.”
  2. I’m proud of my progress.”
  3. Happiness and love are things I deserve.”
  4. I forgive myself and learn from mistakes.”
  5. I honor my needs and feelings.”
  6. My unique talents and abilities are a gift.”
  7. I have the courage to face challenges and keep growing.”
  8. Love and happiness are mine to experience.”
  9. I’m learning to accept myself, flaws and all.”
  10. I am enough.”
A billboard with words of affirmation

How to give words of affirmation

Showering your loved ones with compliments might seem straightforward, but there’s a knack for making this form of emotional support truly impactful.

Here are some suggestions on how you can go about it:

  • Be specific. Generic compliments like “you look nice” can fall flat. Instead, highlight something specific you admire, like “Wow! You’re WEARING that dress!
  • Be sincere. Empty flattery can feel disingenuous. Make sure your compliments come from the heart and reflect your genuine feelings.
  • Focus on the positive. Even when the going gets tough, find something to affirm. This can help shift the focus from the problem to the solution.
  • Tailor it to them. Consider your partner’s personality. Some people might enjoy public praise, while others prefer something more private.
  • Be timely. Don’t wait for a special occasion to express appreciation. Acknowledge their efforts and positive qualities in the moment.
  • Change it up. Don’t get stuck in a rut with the same compliments. Find different ways to express your appreciation.
  • Actions speak louder than words. Sometimes, pair your words with a small gesture, like a hug or a helping hand.
  • Consistency, consistency, consistency. When you make it a regular part of your conversations, Donna explains that it trains you “to keep yourself attuned for what you truly appreciate about one another in a way that helps the love between you to blossom.”

What to avoid

While you may have the very best of intentions, there can be times when compliments or encouragement backfire. Here are a few pitfalls to avoid:

  • Empty flattery. You’re the best!” might sound good, but it lacks substance.
  • Using words of affirmation as a weapon, like withholding compliments as punishment or doling them out like rewards.
  • Focusing solely on physical appearance. Sure, “You’re gorgeous!” can perk up anyone’s day, but focus more on personality traits and achievements for a more lasting impact.
  • Negating affirmations with a “but” afterward, like “You cooked a delicious dinner, but maybe next time we can try a different recipe.”
  • Overdoing it to the point where it loses meaning. A constant barrage of compliments can feel overwhelming or even manipulative.
  • Using backhanded compliments, like “You cleaned the kitchen, and it actually looks good this time!

Remember, as Dr. Chapman, says, “Words of affirmation are simply true statements affirming the worth of another person.” That’s coming from the creator of The Five Love Languages himself.

So avoid falling into the traps mentioned above. Instead, focus on genuine compliments that celebrate the unique qualities and contributions of those you love.

Love deeper, connect stronger

Words of affirmation are a powerful tool, for sure. But the reality is, they’re just one piece of the puzzle.

Relationship experts at Mindvalley like Donna Eden and her husband, David Feinstein, Ph.D., can help you unlock the secrets to deeper connection and communication in your relationships. 

The great thing is, you can take advantage of the free lessons from their Mindvalley Quest, The Energies of Love. It’s filled with powerful techniques and insights to…

  • Deeply understand each other,
  • Feel heard, respected, and appreciated,
  • Interpret and work with each other’s unique energetic patterns, and
  • Resolve any conflict, as you return to a state of sublime energetic harmony with each other.

As Donna says, “Love is everything it’s cracked up to be… It really is worth fighting for, worth being brave for, risking everything for.” But if you don’t take that chance, “you risk even more.”

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Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
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Donna Eden is the trainer of Mindvalley’s Energy Medicine and The Energies of Love quests. She also happens to be the world’s leading energy medicine pioneer and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author whose books on energy medicine are often used as reference material by other energy healing and health practitioners.

With the life mission of bringing energy healing to public consciousness, Donna Eden has certified more than 5,000 people as “Eden Energy Medicine” practitioners and more than 100,000 students (including many physicians, nurses, and other mainstream health professionals) have been impacted by her wisdom.

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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.

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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.