The Five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation

Gary Chapman, a doctor in philosophy, did all couples a huge favour by writing the book “The Five Love Languages”. This book breaks down the 5 main ways to show your partner love, & explains that different people have different love languages. Pendotalk will write a series of articles based on these love languages, each article focused on one language. We would like to advise anyone, single, dating or married, to take the love language test, as it will help you to understand yourself better and improve your relationships with others. Interestingly, the same concepts can be applied at work with employees or subordinates. You can take the test here.

While doing the test, please note that couples rarely share the same love language. Hence if you’re in a relationship, it would be best to know both you and your partner’s love language. This will help you grow in understanding and even your intimate life will be better.

Today we focus on words of affirmation. To the Swahili speakers, a summary of the impact of words of affirmation is “Maneno matamu yalimtoa nyoka pangoni” (Sweet words made the snake come out of hiding). Those whose love language is words of affirmation can actually be wooed more by one’s words than their actions. It appears to apply mostly to women, who often need reassurance.

We will break down the 3 key areas in which one must give their partner words of affirmation:


You have probably mentioned to your husband that he is handsome many times when he wears that blue shirt, so is there a need to keep telling him? The simple answer is YES.

Compliments on appearance make your partner feel attractive and confident. They are best given in the morning, to make them feel good throughout the day. For the men, never under-estimate the power of telling your lady she is beautiful, & never tire of doing it either. Keep surprising your spouse by praising their appearance in different ways

“Your bum looks great in that red dress”

“Your beard is so sexy”

“You simply look gorgeous today”

Say it when they are not expecting it & say it often. It is an automatic confidence boost.

Motivation & Encouragement

I recently read an article written by an entrepreneur who owned a successful company with 35 fortune 500 corporate clients and over 2,000 individual clients.It was during the financial crisis and business was low. They were in debt and could not afford to pay their employees’ salaries. He was considering closing the company. He shared his concerns with his wife. She responded softly with kind, re-assuring words that she knows he is doing his best and that she supports whatever decision he makes and that everything will be OK. That was enough for him to keep his hope alive, which helped him keep his business alive, which is now even more successful than it was then.

Words of affirmation play a big role in motivating your partner through their struggles at work or in their business.

“I am proud of you”

“You can do it, I believe in you”

“You are an excellent marketer!”

“Your boss is lucky to have you working for him/her”

You’ll be surprised the level of drive your partner will get to pursue their ambitions having received positive affirmations. That’s part of the beauty of having a partner, that they show they believe in you even when you yourself may doubt your abilities.

Gratitude & appreciation

Men, has your lady ever asked you “Why do you love me?” By the time such a question is asked, they are desperately looking for affirmation. To avoid this ‘desperation’ from your partner, show them appreciation for all the little things they do. When they cook, clean, take out the trash, repair the light bulb…show appreciation. Say

“The food was tasty, thank you so much”

“You tidied our bedroom, I am so lucky to have you…”

This will encourage them to keep doing acts of service to show you love. (acts if service is another love language, we will discuss it in detail in a separate article) & when they really go out of their way more than usual to do something nice for you, be sure to show enthusiasm about it.


It is not about the length of the words, it is about the depth of them. A (seemingly) little insult can totally demoralise someone, & it is quite hard to recover from. On the other hand, a little compliment can go a long way.


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