Friday, January 07, 2011


Steph and I were talking about stuff the other day and before we knew it we were fussing about whatever it was we were talking about. I don't remember exactly what our subject was. What I do remember is how the fussing started. I said something to the effect of, "I agree with you, but..." That one little word had a huge impact on the direction of that conversation. Had I not used those three letters I would have saved a lot of time and energy trying to explain myself.

See, the word "but" has the power to throw a conversation into reverse in under a second. When we say "but" we negate everything we said prior to that word. For example, "That show was great, but I wish there hadn't been so much singing." Even if the singing in the show were the best ever, the person who made the comment wasn't a fan of singing (shame on that person!).

In the case of my conversation with Steph, I ruined the good vibe by using that word. Even though I was giving my opinion - and my opinion is highly valued by my wife - the fact that I had already agreed with her was completely overshadowed (and nearly nullified) by "but." I'm learning that if I can keep the "but" out of the conversation it will end much better for me. Of course, "but" is appropriate in some situations. We have to be careful how we use "but," though, so it doesn't cause us problems. In other words, keep your "but" out of the way and you'll be just fine.

How has your "but" gotten you in trouble? How did you correct it?

Peace, Love, and Good Speech

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