“I’m proud of you.”
“Your leadership has brought this organization to new heights.”
“Thank you for being my rock.”
If you know someone who melts when they hear these words, chances are their love language is words of affirmation. They thrive on encouragement and verbal support! But what happens when you need to find a gift for someone who simply loves…words? Understanding how someone receives love is actually one of the best clues to finding them the perfect gift. Here’s everything you need to know about love languages and how to find the best words of affirmation gift for every occasion.
What You Need to Know about Words of Affirmation
If you’ve never heard of a “love language” then we’ve got you covered. In his 1992 book titled The 5 Love Languages, author Gary Chapman introduced the premise that everyone gives and receives love in different ways. These preferences, or love languages, are summed up in five key categories:
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Acts of Service
4. Quality Time
5. Physical Touch
We experience love through all five love languages, but the idea is that one stands above the rest as our primary love language. Do you love surprising your co-workers with treats each morning (Gifts)? Do you feel the warm fuzzies when your partner unloads the dishwasher (Acts of Service)?
While his original work was geared toward couples, the concept of the five love languages has expanded over the past 30 years to encompass every type of relationship. By understanding your own love language, and the preferences of other people in your life, you learn how to better receive, but also express love and value.
Someone whose love language is words of affirmation loves to both share and receive encouragement using affirming words. Hearing “I love you” is like food for their soul. Finding a note on their desk telling them to “Have a great day!” or “You are appreciated!” means the world.
Not sure who in your life receives love through words of affirmation? Consider the way those around you share their appreciation. Does someone at work leave encouraging notes on your desk? Do you have a friend who often texts to remind you they value your friendship? Chances are, their love language is words of affirmation!
Once you are able to identify a person’s love language (and your own!) it becomes much easier to find the perfect gift. Whether you need a gift for a colleague, something for your best friend or spouse, or a way to say “thank you” to a volunteer, knowing their love language sets you up for gift-giving success.
20 Best Words of Affirmation Gifts for Every Occasion
Now that you can identify who in your life has the words of affirmation love language, it’s time to find the right gift for that special occasion. Birthdays, retirements, golden and silver anniversaries for parents, graduations, achievement awards at work or just because — there’s something out there for everyone. Let’s get started.
Affirmation jewelry is a great way to give the gift of loving words and a tangible token of your appreciation. Some examples include a bracelet engraved with your sister’s favorite quote. A necklace for a colleague that encourages them toward their goals. From custom-engraved pieces to ones that use morse code or a poem, there are so many options when it comes to the combined gift of jewelry and words of affirmation.
A Collaborative Memory Book
Sometimes the best words are the ones that come straight from the heart. That’s the beauty of creating a custom memory book. A memory book allows you to share your own personal photos, thoughts, stories, and encouragement all in one place. Take it up a notch by creating a collaborative memory book where an entire group (family, coworkers, friends, small group members) work together to combine their favorite memories into the perfect words of affirmation gift. Platforms like Newlywords make it easy to share access with others, upload photos, write personal messages, print, and ship a unique memory book.
“Love Letter” Blanket
There’s nothing quite so cozy as words of affirmation on a personalized blanket! The “love letter” blanket makes a great gift for teacher appreciation week, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, or just a fun way to share some love with a friend. The best part is, you can handwrite the note you want to be printed on your blanket, making it extra personal.
For those who love words of affirmation, sometimes the best gift isn’t a gift at all. It’s words! If you need a way to share some group love with a coworker, boss, pastor, or teammate — consider working together to speak words of encouragement throughout a specific day or week. For example, assign each team member a specific day of the week to either text, call, or share words of affirmation with the recipient in person. In this way, the gift of words will be showered on that person over and over throughout the week, boosting them with love and appreciation.
A Handmade Card
Sometimes it is the simplest gift that speaks volumes when it comes to the words of affirmation love language. A handmade card with a personal message is exactly the type of present that makes your word-loving friends feel special. This applies to everyone in your life who loves to hear encouragement and affirmation. Consider skipping the store-bought card and writing your own.
Why You Make Me Smile Journal
Don’t worry, we understand that writing from the heart can be difficult. For those who struggle with words but want to find the right way to share affirmation, this is the perfect compromise! The Why You Make Me Smile Journal offers prompts and fill-in-the-blanks to help you create a personalized journal for someone special. The instructions are pretty simple: think of a person who makes you smile, fill in the blanks, give to the person who makes you smile, and grab a tissue.
An Engraved Watch
A watch is a popular retirement gift or a great way to celebrate Dad’s milestone birthday. For those with the words of affirmation love language, you can turn a watch into a treasured memory by adding a special engraved word, message, or quote.
Always Remember Keychain
Sometimes the right words just seem to escape you. If that’s the case, this might be the perfect gift. This keychain comes engraved with an encouraging statement to “Always remember, you are braver than you believe…” It’s a great way to encourage a grad, a coworker, or a friend who just needs that reminder that they have what it takes.
I Wrote a Book About You Series
This is another great fill-in-the-blanks option when you need a little help finding the right words. This book series includes options for friends, parents, and romantic relationships. The book prompts you to write things that are special about the recipient, providing an extra special dose of affirmation.
Daily Affirmation Cards
Sometimes we need to give ourselves a little bit of affirmation! These cards are daily reminders that we are loved and valued. They make a great gift for a friend or coworker, especially one who you know could use a boost of self-motivation now and again.
It stands to reason that often those with words of affirmation love language also love to write. If that’s the case for your recipient, consider gifting them a personalized journal. Custom notebooks and journals vary in what they offer, but many options allow you to include a special quote, message, photo, and name. You can give the gift of affirmation, while also giving your recipient a place to jot down their own thoughts and words.
Kudoboard Group Card
Need a great idea for a group gift? Kudoboard is a way to make a collaborative gift card for any situation: Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary, a milestone birthday, retirement, and more. Your words of affirmation recipient will love receiving a digital “card” covered in photos, messages, and GIFs. Not familiar with Kudoboard? Check out these 8 alternatives. Popular collaborative greeting card options include GroupGreeting, which gives the appearance of an actual greeting card, and Recocards, a mostly free alternative.
Positive Affirmation Wall Art
Does your neighbor have a favorite quote? Maybe your newly married friend spent hours writing his vows? Now you can take those special words and turn them into wall art. From wedding vows to poems or favorite sayings, all it takes is the right words to make a great gift.
Inspirational Coffee Mug
Sometimes all it takes is a simple mug to provide a word of affirmation! Companies like Zazzle let you create a personalized mug with a quote, phrase, or word that’s perfect for your recipient. Or if you aren’t feeling entirely creative, they also offer premade inspirational mugs (here’s one of our personal favorites).
Do you know someone who loves words of affirmation and plants? Combine the best of both worlds with a motivational planter. These can range from sentimental to absolutely hilarious, depending on your recipient. While some come pre-potted with a plant, others are empty so you can find the perfect plant to go with the motivational quote.
A Handwritten Letter
For someone who thrives on words of affirmation, there’s really only one thing better than a handwritten note or letter: a handwritten letter sent through the mail. Hardly anyone uses snail mail anymore, which is all the more reason to consider writing a heartfelt message — for a loved one’s birthday, a milestone celebration, or a thank you — and sending it through the mail.
Affirmation Desk Calendar
Maybe it’s just us, but it seems like work is a really great place to provide encouragement. This is especially true if any of your coworkers have words of affirmation as their love language! Since they likely spend a fair amount of time at their desk, consider getting them an encouraging desk calendar. These come in all shapes and sizes and offer some great daily inspiration and wordy wisdom.
A Giving Key
The Giving Keys is a company that stamps keys with encouraging words. The keys are made into everything from necklaces and earrings to keychains. The idea is that you give someone a key with a word that is significant for their season of life. They are then encouraged to “pay it forward” by eventually giving their key to someone else who needs the word more than they do. This is a fantastic gift for your words of affirmation friend, coworker, or loved one. Not only will they feel cherished and known, but they will get the opportunity to do what they do best: share a word of encouragement with someone else.
This is a great way to spread some love and encouragement around the office or workplace. And it doesn’t need to be a gift for only those with words of affirmation love language. We all need some encouragement now and then. Put a jar in a common area and give everyone 2-5 strips of paper. Each person should write a positive quote, words of encouragement, or a fun message on the papers. Place them in the jar and let everyone in the office grab an encouraging word when they need it. They can either read it and place it back in the jar, or keep it and replace it with a new word or quote. In this way, the jar keeps on giving. While everyone will love it, we promise your affirmation-loving colleagues will feel all kinds of special because of this simple jar.
A fun way to share encouragement with anyone from your kids to your coworkers is using a simple whiteboard. Whether it’s hanging on a bedroom or office door, or outside a cubicle, the whiteboard is a great space to leave little notes of encouragement and appreciation. For a more personalized look, consider a custom message board.
Make Your Loved One Feel Special with the Gift of Words
The five love languages offer incredibly helpful language when it comes to understanding how we give and receive love. There may be times your words of affirmation friend also needs quality time or simply needs help around the home, but at the end of the day, they get the biggest boost of love from words.
There are so many ways to shower someone with the encouragement they deserve, whether it’s a simple handwritten note or a collaborative card or memory book. If your loved one thrives on words, imagine them opening a book designed entirely for them — full of affirmation, memories, and messages of appreciation. A collaborative memory book that speaks directly to their heart. However you choose to show them your love, remember, at the end of the day, it’s the words of affirmation that speak louder than any other gift.