10 Adjectives To Affirm Those Around You

It was the end of the night. Our students had worked hard all day to put together a top notch event. There were numerous details and all of the elements of the event seemed to exceed expectations. As we were milling around the room, cleaning up all of the decorations, I turned to the student in charge and said one word to her, “Awesome!”

She smiled and thanked me. One word had said it all.


Everybody needs and wants affirmation. We all want to know that the hard work we have done or are doing is appreciated. Affirmation encourages us. It gives us the energy to continue to do our best work. Without it, we wonder if what we’re doing is all that meaningful or significant.

Here are ten words you can use to affirm those around you. When you see someone doing something good (or beyond good), take a moment and speak one of these words into their ears. You have no idea how powerful a well-timed word of affirmation can be to someone (actually you probably do…because you like to hear them as well).

1. Awesome!

Maybe it’s overused. But everyone likes to be awesome.

2. Amazing!

Use this word when you want to make someone feel like a superhero.

3. Unbelievable!

Their work is so good that it defies belief.

4. Exactly!

Everyone wants to be right. This word lets them know they hit the nail on the head.

5. Super!

To quote The Incredibles, “If everyone is super, than no one is super.” So use it sparingly and let them know how pleased you are.

6. Fantastic!

This word communicates that something has happened beyond the ordinary. It’s not just good, it’s exceptionally good.

7. Excellent!

Nobody is perfect…so I would shy away from that word. Rather, use excellent in its place. It affirms that the person has done his or her best work yet.

8. Outstanding!

Another way to tell someone that what has happened goes above and beyond expectations.

9. Fabulous!

This one is best delivered with some type of accent (preferably Italian).

10. Exceptional!

There’s what everyone else does, and then there’s what this person has done. He or she is one of a kind.

Bonus: Their name!

Each of these words will pack a lot more punch if you start with their name. It will not only affirm their work, it will affirm them.

In the comments: What other words do you use to affirm the work of others?

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