Posted on

Affirmation and Approval  

Affirmation and approval are powerful needs in most people throughout their lives. The need we have for someone to tell us “well done” or “good job”, “great idea”, or “you look nice today” among many others, is strong in us and for some people it can even be a driving force. 

In most marriages, it is often a powerful part of what we do for each other. It’s part of our caring and our affection and why we become happy to be together. And it seems that whether it’s out front and obvious or tucked away and hidden, there is a glow that comes over us when our loved one tells us these things. 

The affirmations we share with our loved ones and how often we made each other feel good with compliments and affectionate approval throughout our lives together is an important part of our love and our lives together.

It may be rare or it may be often but it always makes us feel good to hear or to know by words or actions or a special look that our loved one thought we had done a good job at some task we had undertaken or something we had done or said, something that they liked and took the time to tell us so.

And with our bereavement, that important part of our emotional lives is gone! 

Loss of those affirmations seems to be an often unrecognized but potentially significant part of the “missing you” and emptiness that becomes part of our grief. Though in some ways it may have been a fairly subtle component of our lives, it may well have also been hugely important and may now be a much bigger part of the sadness and emptiness we feel than we might realize. 

How much of what we do, how we act or how we interact with others in our bereavement may be a search for that missing affirmation? How much of our sadness comes from the absence of that affirmation?


  • Does the lack of affirmations play a role in your grief?
  • Do you find their absence something you’ve noticed?
  • How important is that absence to you if you do recognize it?
  • What types of affirmation do you miss?
  • Do you think you are seeking affirmation in things you do now?
  • Do you think you are seeking affirmations now to replace the missing affirmation from the past?
  • Would finding new types of affirmation and/or new ways to find affirmation help your healing?