Consider how it feels when someone tries to apologize to you and includes the word “but.” “I’m sorry I forgot our lunch date, but I got distracted with work.” “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, but you shouldn’t have asked my opinion.” The “but” makes it feel like a half-baked concession attached to a poor excuse or qualifier.

In a conversation with your partner, using the word “but” has the same nullifying effect. It tends to brush aside what your partner has just said; it often minimizes what they’re saying.

For example, your partner says, “I really want to go on that trip to New York with our friends.” If you say, “That sounds fun, but we really shouldn’t spend that money right now,” you have essentially said, “I discount your idea and your feelings. I know best.”

Even when you acknowledge your partner’s feelings or ideas, if you attach a “but” to the back end of your acknowledgment, your partner will feel slighted. All he or she will hear is your contradiction or differing opinion.

You can certainly disagree with your partner without shutting him or her down out of the gate. In fact, if you listen open-mindedly without immediately expressing your opinion, you might learn something you haven’t previously considered. You might find a way to a compromise or discover a better solution.

But you can’t do that with a big but in the way. Endeavor to stop using this communication-quashing word when responding to your partner. Instead, try
using connecting words and phrases like, “I understand what you are saying, and another thought is,” or “That’s a good idea. Also we could consider …” In this way, you validate your partner and offer another suggestion for you both to consider 먹튀검증커뮤니티.

You can also use the word “and” instead of “but” to make your point without diminishing your partner’s statement. For example, “I like the idea of going on the trip to New York, and I’d like us to go over our finances to see if we can swing it.” This statement sounds more positive and encouraging while still addressing the concern about the expense.

Once you begin working on this habit, you’ll discover how often you use the word “but” in conversation with your partner. Of course, there are some situations when it is necessary in order to explain a valid caveat (i.e., “I want to meet you for lunch today sweetie, but I have an important client call at 12:30.”). However, you need to be mindful about using it to contradict or undermine your partner’s opinion, idea, or position.

How to Develop This Habit

This habit involves dropping a negative behavior and replacing it with a more positive one. Instead of using the word “but” to qualify or minimize your partner’s statement by redirecting to your own opinion, you should replace it with the word “and” or phrases like,

-“I understand what you are saying, and another thought is …”

-“That’s a good idea. We could also consider …”

-“That makes a lot of sense. Let’s talk about how to …”

-“Tell me more about your idea and how we can do this.”

-“That makes a lot of sense. Let’s talk about how to …”

-“Tell me more about your idea and how we can do this.”

You will need to practice this habit spontaneously, when the situation arises that calls for you to drop and replace the bad habit.

Begin by noticing your “buts.”

The best way to drop this bad habit is simply by noticing how often and when you say it. Use a visual reminder, like a rubber band on your wrist, to help you stay aware of the word slipping out in conversation with your partner.

You and your partner can also make a game of it and remind one another when you notice the other person using the word. This reminder should be playful and gentle?not accusatory or shaming. The goal is to help one another change the behavior in a loving way that helps both of you.

Analyze and rephrase your reply.

As mentioned before, some “buts” are necessary and useful. Others are diminishing and hurtful. When you become aware of using this word, analyze your statement to see if you need to rephrase it to be more positive and affirming.

Take a look at these examples:

“I love the idea of planting a garden with you, and I want to do it, but until my back is better I can’t.” (This is an acceptable “but,” as the speaker is simply relaying a fact that makes the idea presented unworkable for now.)

“Planting a garden sounds great, but it’s a lot of work, and I already have a lot on my plate.” (This is a bad “but,” as the speaker immediately quashes the idea with general negative statements.)

Another way to phrase this statement could be, “Planting a garden sounds great, and I think it would be fun to do together. Let’s look at how much time we think it will take and how we can work it into our schedules.”

Every time you catch yourself using the word, stop and examine whether or not it needs to be rephrased. If so, restate your reply to your spouse or partner in a more mindful way.

Affirm and respond positively in general.

Have you noticed how easy it is to immediately jump to a negative response when your partner presents something you don’t agree with?

We quickly counter with why the idea is bad or won’t work or why our point of view is better or more “right.”

All of us do this from time to time, and it causes tiny paper cuts of pain for our partners to be shut down so quickly. Perhaps with some additional thought or consideration or more information, we might discover our partner’s ideas have more validity than we initially thought. Perhaps we haven’t heard everything we need to hear in order to respond.

A great way to prevent the “buts” from showing up in your responses is by simply delaying your response. Ask your partner to tell you more instead. Explore the idea or information further with him or her. Give your partner the courtesy of considering an idea for more than a nanosecond, and affirm that you have fully heard what he or she has said.

If there are legitimate concerns about why something is wrong or won’t work, your partner will likely reach that conclusion at some point on his or her own.

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