- “I love you, but I hate it when you do that.”
- “Thank you, but you really shouldn’t have…”
- “You’re a really thoughtful and caring person, but I don’t think we are right for each other.”
- “I hear what you are saying, but I think my way is much better.”
Have any of the above statements every been expressed to you?
Which part of that statements do you actually hear and internalize?
If you are like most other people, you are more likely to only have heard and internalized the latter half of the statement.
The reason for this is that the word “but” raises the latter part of the statement above the former part of the statement. Instead of “I love you”, you are most likely to walk away with only hearing “I hate it when you do that.” The same is true for the rest of the above statements.
What is a better way, then, for you to express your feelings and desires to others?
Use the word “AND” instead.
The word “and” (unlike but) creates even ground. “And” gives an equal amount of respect and weight to both halves of our statements. When we use the word “and” instead of “but” we are letting others know that both parts of the statement are equally valid and important.
And If we really want to make sure that the person with whom you are speaking internalizes what you want to express, leave out the second half of your statement altogether and save it for another, more opportune time.
Let’s give it a try and give the above statements this “and” language upgrade (with a little bit of tweaking) so that you can see how the use of “and” works in practice.
- “I love you AND there are some things I want to discuss with you about how you do certain things.”
- “Thank you.” (For this statement, I believe ‘Thank You’ suffices and you can let this person know that ‘they shouldn’t have’ or that they are not obligated to…at another opportune time.)
- “You’re a really thoughtful and caring person AND, at the same time, I do not think we are a good fit together.”
- “I hear what you are saying AND here is my perspective…”
Do you see the difference?
What do you think?
Practice replacing the word ‘but’ with ‘and’ in your interactions this week in either your personal or professional relationships (or both) and let me know how it goes.
As always, please be in touch with any questions or comments.
In support AND in awe of all that you are,
Source: Dr. Susan Heitler, author of “The Power of Two” & Dr. Susan Campbell, author of “Saying What’s Real.”