Some people have a deep felt need for affirmation from family, friends and co-workers. Other people couldn’t give a rip. Where do you stand on the spectrum? If you have a deep need for affirmation, it might just be how you’re wired. But it can also be a stumbling block if you’re not careful. Here are some tips for coping with it.
Tip One: Assess Your Need
Take an honest inventory and ask yourself some probing questions. Why do you need affirmation? Who do you most need it from? When did it start, and what was it always like this? Needing affirmation is not a weakness, but it is important to understand for yourself where it comes from so that it doesn’t become a controlling influence or a roadblock to your success.
Tip Two: Ask for Affirmation
Chances are, the people in your world are not mind-readers. They might not know you need affirmation, and it might not even be on their radar. If you assume they are wired like you – with the same built-in love languages – then you might just figure they are purposefully withholding affirmation. But they just might not be clued in. So help them, and let them know what you need.
Tip Three: Learn to Find Affirmation from God
If you are a follower of Jesus, God’s word has a lot to say to you. Make a habit of reading the Bible and receiving what it says about you. This is the most powerful affirmation you can experience, because it’s based on truth and it’s coming from the highest authority. As you learn to receive affirmation from God, you may find that you need less of it from people in your world.
Here are a couple of examples of affirmation from scripture.
Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Tip Four: Be Affirming
We learn in the Foundations series that we grow spiritually by helping others. The same is true in the area of affirmation. As you put yourself in the place of affirming others, not only are you building other people up, but you will find that it builds you up as well. Do you need affirmation from people? Start giving it to people. Not only will that build those individuals up, but they might start taking the hint and returning the favor.
Who knows, you might even find that this fills the void in your own heart and in someone else’s.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is affirmation to you? Is there another love language that is higher on the list?
- Why do you need affirmation? Who do you most need it from? When did it start, what was it always like this?
- What is the most affirming thing someone has said to you in the last year? How did you respond to it?
- What are some other scripture verses that affirm the believer? Make a list.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.