5 love languages : How to use your words of affirmation

The words you write on paper impact other’s far more than you probably know. I was cleaning out a desk the other day and found a note from a friend. The affirming words from a year ago still build me up reminding me about my character and heart.

In Gary Chapman’s book, Five Love Languages, he explains that people give and receive love through: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. When others love us in the way we best receive love, it hits a sweet spot and fills an emotional love bucket we all have.

This idea of love languages is not particular to men or women – it’s for everyone, and it’s been a guide for me to  strengthen my relationships and be a fiercely loving friend or partner. Take the quiz to learn more about your love language.

Sweet notes or heartfelt letters can be filled with intentional words that send a person who needs Words of Affirmation soaring! Here is Chapman’s definition of Words of Affirmation:

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important— hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten. You thrive on hearing kind and encouraging words that build you up.

I’ve included a few ideas for how to encourage and affirm any person -- especially those who are filled up with love through Words of Affirmation!

Gratitude

Get specific in your words of appreciation toward your partner, parents, friends, and coworkers. Everyone likes to hear “thanks”, but knowing the details of why you’re grateful can change a person’s perspective. Here are some examples of what to say in person, or in a note of gratitude:

  • I appreciate when you…
  • If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have gotten through…
  • I’m grateful you’re in my life because…
  • Knowing you gives me perspective about…

Encouragement

What a beautiful thing to be noticed, witnessed, recognized in our victories and struggles. A note of encouragement is the cheer to keep on being awesome and a recognition of our true character. Here are some examples of how to encourage in personal ways:

  • I believe in you because…
  • It impresses me when you…
  • I learn from the way you...

Respect

Show loved ones admiration and respect by giving specific and sincere compliments. Many times we’re thinking these things and forget to say them out loud -- challenge yourself to say it or write it down! Here are examples of how to write words of respect and admiration to the ones you love:

  • You___better than anyone I know
  • I wish I could___the way you do.
  • I’m proud of you for…
  • I marvel at the way you...

It takes time and intentional conversations to figure out the best way to speak someone’s love language, and there’s no better time than today to start! As you find opportunities to deliver words of truth and beauty, I believe you’re strengthening individuals and your community as a whole...and I just love that about you!

with joy,

Aneta

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Growing Friendships: 3 important times to send cards to your friends

There are many reasons to put pen to paper and write encouraging words to a friend. Big celebrations, sweet simple moments, and difficult times, are all equally worthy of written acknowledgement. That note from you may be a quick pick-me-up to brighten your friend’s day or a deeply meaningful gift that make all the difference in getting through a difficult time.

I’ve found that my words in a card can make a significant impact and inevitably deepens a friendship. Knowing someone slowed down to write  intentional words that affirm, love and celebrate communicates care that goes deep, and we sure do need more friendship and depth in this world.

Here are a few opportunities to encourage and support your community that will deepen your relationships in unexpected ways.

Big Celebrations

A card may be expected but doesn’t go unnoticed for the big celebrations in life! You know the ones: babies, graduations, birthdays, marriages. These may seem like obvious opportunities, but you know what? There are a lot of people in your community, and it’s easy to miss these moments.

For the people you’re determined to “show up” for, mark the big dates in your phone calendar, and set the reminders to repeat a week before the date, every year. Then, order a bunch of cards in advance, so you can respond to those notifications with a note, a stamp, and a walk to the mailbox!

Simple Moments

Those ‘off the radar’ celebrations in life are the best for sending cards, because it’s unexpected. Here are a few occasions worth acknowledging with a quick note or thoughtful letter: an act of bravery, reaching a ‘personal best’ in any area of life, saying thanks for a good conversation (or anything), enduring the first few months of parenthood, buying a new home or moving, taking on new roles or responsibilities...and the list goes on!

These moments may seem average or everyday, and that’s the beauty of it! They each offer a moment to say “I see you, I’m proud of you, and your life matters to me,” at unexpected times. Let’s witness one another’s simple moments, and celebrate at every opportunity!

Difficult Times

We all know someone who is going through a tough time -- sickness, depression, separation, grief of any kind, transition, stress. Sometimes we’re just beat down from a crisis or the long daunting road of life circumstances. Sometimes we need to be reminded of our true character by beloved friends, and a note in the mail can be a ray of light, a breath of air, a reminder that we are not alone.

For example, a friend once told me that the second year after her mom passed away was incredibly difficult. The notes about condolences, thoughts, and prayers had stopped, communicating that others had moved on while she was still coping with deep loss. Think about holidays, birthdays, or anniversaries, when a timely  note acknowledges an ongoing grieving process and may offer your support in important ways.

I believe it’s a huge privilege to hope, pray, and believe for better days ahead when my friends don’t have the strength or vision to do so. Your written word is such a gift because it can be read over and over again, whenever a reminder of truth and beauty is needed. Your words of encouragement are crucial in tough times, and I guarantee it will make a greater impact than you think.

Your Story

Even if I haven’t met you yet, I know you’re thoughtful, striving to love your people well, and watching for ways to spread joy wherever you are. I hope this post inspires a new idea or two for how to encourage and inspire your community!

I’d love to hear about your experiences with sending timely notes too! Leave a comment to tell me your own story about sending a letter in a timely way that encouraged someone and deepened a friendship.

with joy,

Aneta

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