19 November 2015

A "Language Of Love" Can Change A Life

PHOTO: Chris Ulmer, a special education teacher from Jacksonville, Florida, starts each day by complimenting his students.
From Danny

To me, there are few skills more important than learning how to use a "Language of Love." It's amazing to me how just a few simple words, sincerely spoken, can change a moment, a relationship, or a community.

What is a "Language of Love"? Well, Mara and I teach a whole class about it. I first learned it from a mentor of mine about 15 years ago, and have been studying and applying it ever since in just about every area of my life.

Let me give you an example of someone who has mastered sincere compliments, boldly spoken. His name is Chris Ulmer, he is a special education teacher that works with children with autism, traumatic brain injury, speech apraxia, or a host of other challenges. He spends the first 10 minutes of class EVERYDAY offering sincere compliments to each student individually. It has transformed them. See for yourself.

A+ TEACHER: Special education teacher begins each day by complimenting students, one by one. http://abcn.ws/1X5GWuY
Posted by ABC News on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

He started doing this three years ago when he created a theme for each day of the week. Tuesdays were "Toast Tuesday", and involved him complimenting, or toasting, each of the students. Chris said "I noticed the kids were always more motivated, happier and better behaved on Tuesdays. So we started doing it every day." He says their confidence and self worth has skyrocketed. After a few weeks of doing this, his students started complimenting each other. They never insult each other, and actively work to help one another.

All this from starting the day with sincere compliments and love.

The key here is sincerity. No flattery is allowed. Flattery isn't designed to empower or uplift someone, it is designed to manipulate and control them with your words. The goal of flattery is to gain power or favor of some kind. The goal of sincerity is to give power away and freely empower others.

I suppose a blog post about sincere compliments wouldn't be complete if I didn't offer one to each of you.

Mara and I absolutely LOVE you. And I'm not just talking about the collective "you". I'm speaking to YOU specifically, whoever has graced the pages of this blog today, or any day before. You amaze us! We're blown away by the kind of community YOU have helped to create. Because of the Love YOU bring to this page and to the comment section, this is a place where difficult things can be discussed with love and compassion and respect. Thank you for doing your part to make this space sacred. We are grateful for your presence.

With Love,

P.S. Our new mentoring/coaching practice has been growing and we've been LOVING it. For all of November, we're offering 2 for 1 mentoring sessions (by Skype, GoogleTalk, phone, or email). And if you don't love the session, we offer your payment back in full. Sign up HERE.


  1. Aw shucks guys thanks :)
    You meant me personally right?
    l amaze you guys right??

    Lol. Seriously though thanks for keeping the posts coming! With all the disheartening news bombarding ever screen we own, it's so important to have a place on the internet to go for some love. And I'm uplifted when I come to ABAL and find some new gem to read through and to be inspired by.

    So, all that super sweet stuff you said...right back at you and Mara!

    1. Of course we were thinking of YOU. How can we not have your smiling face popping up in our minds? And yes, you DO amaze us. I can't wait for a reunion some day in the near future.

  2. I love this post so so much! Sincere compliments have a powerful impact on my kindergarten class! This school year I have been spending a few minutes each day complimenting my students and our class feels so loving and positive! I feel like a happier teacher because I am looking for the good and my students are responding in really awesome ways!

    1. Amazing!! So cool to hear this. I'm sure the kids will never forget that.

  3. Love this post and that video. What a great example. I need to be more conscience of doing this with my kids every day! Thanks for this.

    1. YES! Parents everywhere should do this! We've tried to do it with a few of our nieces and nephews and they just go NUTS and walk around beaming. It's really cute.

      For now I try to do this with our doggies. I learned that from a trainer. She said to always be careful about what you say and what energy you feel towards the dog. Instead of saying, "this dog is crazy or a bad dog" - you say, "This is our very special dog who loves to be loved or who is especially curious and adventurous" - stuff like that.

  4. I came across this video just a few minutes ago and immediately thought of you and the message you both are sharing through ABAL. So I opened your blog with the intention of sending you a link ... and found this post. Not that I'm surprised :) Thanks for spreading the love!

    1. That is too much. haha. Love it. A couple of other retreat guests sent it along, too. XO

  5. Beautiful! There is nothing more encouraging and hopeful than kind, sincere words of love. I'm going to implement this with my husband and kids starting now!:) I just found your blog a few days ago, and I've had the words "I choose love and connection" flooding my internal self talk ever since. It has already brought about wonderful changes in my relationships. Thank you most sincerely for sharing your love with us!

    1. Lindsay! Welcome to the blog :) and that sounds like a great script to have flooding your internal self talk.


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