By Tawny May
Dr. Chapman tells the following story to demonstrate the potential of affirming words:
Although she was hesitant, Allison relied on her husband’s faith in her, and put herself out there. Ten years later, she had several articles published and her first book contract. She credits her success to Keith’s words of encouragement."
Although I don’t agree with how quickly Allison gave up, I feel that Keith’s role and words amply demonstrated the point Dr. Chapman was trying to get across with this story. Words of affirmation can lift, inspire, motivate, comfort, and remind. Words of affirmation carry a weight and a distinctive power that can change everything.
I realize this may seem directed to our female audience. That is mostly true, only because--as women--we’re more prone to taking any (and almost all) words personally, believing them, and letting them affect us forever and ever (although I’m sure there are some men out there who speak the love language of words of affirmation that can relate). I mean no sexism; please feel free to switch the “she’s” and “he’s” as you wish.
This love language is my favorite slash primary LL (love language)--though sometimes I wish it wasn’t. I feel like I’m vain or needy because I rely so heavily on verbal confirmation to feel loved, valued, or appreciated. Not all of us are like Mark Twain who said, “I can live two months on a good compliment.” Tell me six compliments a year is no where near enough to function properly!
All sarcasm aside, if words of affirmation is your spouse’s love language and not yours, it may take some time (and frustrating experiences) to learn how to communicate properly. Here are some tips for you sweet souls:
I’d like to add one point for refutation: I do think that I (and all the other words of affirmation LL people out there) can cut non-words people some freaking slack. They’re not trying to tear us down or make us feel horrible--they just may not realize how literally, deeply, and personally we’re taking their words. We need to remember that our spouses are patient with us as we learn to speak the LL of time or physical touch or gifts--something soooo foreign to us. If my husband can be patient with me while I’m learning how to speak his love language, I can surely extend the same courtesy to him as he’s learning to speak mine!
Solomon, author of the ancient Hebrew wisdom literature, nailed it when he said, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” With that in mind, let’s be intentional and use our words to build up, encourage, support, and affirm.
You may also like Living the Love Language: Physical Touch; Living the Love Language: Receiving Gifts; or Living the Love Language: Quality Time
Photo Credit: Caitlinn Mahar-Daniels
“Marriage is a mosaic you build with your spouse. Millions of tiny moments that create your love story.”
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