For me, words of affirmation are big. They rank as my second top love language, both on the receiving and reciprocating end.
Being told “thank you” is one of my favorite things to hear. No matter what that “thank you” is for, I always feel good knowing that in some way I’ve helped someone out. And in the same way, I like letting people know I’m thankful for something they’ve done. I haven’t been too good about doing that lately, but I’m going to make more of an effort in the future!
Another thing that I enjoy hearing, but that doesn’t happen too often, is the phrase “I’m proud of you.”
When I was in college, I would get that phrase a lot- in an email from my parents, in a text from a friend, and every now and then I would hear it from someone at church. I liked knowing that people were proud of what I was doing. It didn’t give me a big head, but reassured me that I had people in my corner supporting me in my studies and life choices.
Now that I’m a “big girl” in the world, that phrase isn’t heard much. I know my parents and family are proud of me for the things I’ve accomplished, but sometimes it would be nice hearing it. Just this past Sunday when I was visiting my grandma in the nursing home, she was blabbing on and on about her wonderful grandchildren and how proud of them she was. When she introduced me to her roommate, beaming, she said, “and this is my lovely granddaughter Meredith who I’m so proud of!” Although half the time she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, that time I felt like she really did… like she really was proud of me. And it made me smile on the inside and outside.
That simple phrase “I’m proud of you” can carry so much weight, and can really turn things around for someone. I don’t know about you, but I want to make an effort to use it more often to encourage the people around me. Whether it’s for something education or vocation related, or even something as simple as being proud of your little brother for cleaning the bathroom ;)