Have you ever noticed how many exceptions we place into our communication?
Using the word “but” typically is a red light indicator. We’ll be rattling off a string of nice compliments in our conversation such as: “I enjoy being around you, you always have interesting things to say, BUT…..”. Everything in the first part of the conversation is about to be canceled out by the thing we are about to say following the but.
How could we eliminate the “but” from the conversation? We substitute “but” with “and”. As with most things, the majority of it comes from our thinking process. Many of us have a thinking process of either/or. “I can do either do this or that. I can buy this or that. Either I stay home with my children or I have a career. I can clean the garage or I can play golf. The either/or thinking process is very limiting. I’m not saying that sometimes we don’t have to make tough choices, we do. We have a tremendous need to categorize things, we can put it here or we can put it there, but it has to go in either/or.
What if, instead of “either/or”, we thought in terms of “both/and”?
How can I get this and that? How can I stay home with children and have a career? How can I clean the garage and play golf? I always enjoy being around you, you always have interesting things to say and….
Next time you see a sentence, do not use the word “but”, use the word”and”. Next time you are having a conversation with someone, do not use the word “but”, use the word “and”. Instead of thinking “this OR that”…try thinking “this AND that”. See what a difference it makes in your thinking and in your communication.