Words in the form of genuine compliments, encouragement, praise or acknowledgement can make a world of difference in how love is expressed and received a relationship between two people. Likewise, words that tear down, berate, dismiss or cause doubt will obviously not have a positive effect and can even be hurtful or damaging.
The brain has a way of taking inputs and turning them into beliefs.
So, as an example, if you tell your boyfriend he’s lazy enough times, he will begin to believe it. As his beliefs drive his actions, he may even become lazy. On the other hand, if you tell him how much you appreciate what a hard worker he is, he will feel encouraged, supported and loved and driven to continue the behavior that elicited the words of affirmation. And, the cycle continues.
Words have power. The timing, tone and delivery of words spoken will also impact the way those words are received. For instance, let’s say your girlfriend asks you how you like her new haircut. You might respond with the same statement, “It looks great,” but in two different ways. One way might be from the couch, staring at the latest James Bond movie in a monotone voice without looking at her. Another way would be to notice her haircut before she even mentions it, and say with genuine animation, “Wow! It looks great!”
Most people respond well to authentic words of affirmation. The question is, how do you know what they are hearing? Here are some great tips on checking your word delivery and adjust accordingly.
Would you have received those same words spoken in the same way? Pay attention to how you speak the words that are meant to encourage someone. Your tone might be sending a mixed message. Smile when you say the words so that the visual and audio are in harmony.
Did you speak when the other person was open to hearing? Test the mood and wait until the right time to deliver the encouragement or praise. Timing is everything.
What was the intention behind the words? Was there a motive or agenda behind your words? It is important that words of affirmation do not come with any conditions or an ulterior motive. Words should be freely given with no expectation of keeping score.
Words of affirmation are an important part of letting someone know how much you care. Just because you think an encouraging thought, does not mean the other person heard it. Use your words!