To affirm or acknowledge someone is to value them – the person they are.
It involves pausing to appreciate something about the other person, and then expressing our positive thoughts or feelings to them. It shows our respect and appreciation of who they are. This is different from a compliment or praise.
A praise or compliment mentions something the person did or has. “Beautiful shirt.” “Great job with the kids.”
An affirmation or acknowledgment is much deeper; it talks about the person. “You are so dedicated to the children….” “Your energy is magnetic; I always feel reenergized after spending time with you….” “You inspire me to be my best…”
The most touching affirmations are those that are specific and sincere. They describe the quality or strength in detail with examples.