Words of affirmation are pretty fantastic. A good compliment or an expression of appreciation can make the reciever feel invincible, special, loved, beautiful, strong…etc. Giving a compliment feels pretty good to the giver, too – so why do we give so few? Why do we let silences and negative words take up all the space? Your words have power! Try throwing out a couple affirmations per day and watch them work their magic on the people in your life.
Here are a few places to start!
1) I appreciate… how you always do the dishes; your dedication at work; that you talk to my mother when I don’t want to. Show gratitude for an action or behavior, especially if it was something done for you, and especially especially if they did it to show appreciation for you.
2) Thank you for… cleaning the litter box without being asked; picking up milk; this new 70″ flatscreen. This is intended for a gift or an action, and I would hope you’d be saying “thank you” anyway because you’re a kind and conscientious person. Bonus points if you send a handwritten thank-you note!
3) You look really nice in… that new bikini, t-shirt, work uniform, etc. The key is telling the person he or she looks good in the item, not that the item looks good.
4) You did really well… with that new recipe; in school this year; on your first open-heart surgery. If you know someone has made the leap to try something out of their comfort zone, like taking a class or sharing the results of a craft project, be extra sure to praise them. I don’t care of their craft project wound up looking like it was made by a blind one-armed gorilla – the point is they tried something new, and reinforcing their decision can lead to the choice to try more things (or at least practice the one they already started).
5) You’re so good at… playing guitar; saying the right thing to an upset customer; baking. Almost nothing makes me happier than when Kevin tells me out of the blue that he likes my cooking. Give someone you know a few jolts of high self-esteem by praising them on something they do often, but might not get attention for.
What’s your favorite way to affirm someone’s awesomeness?