AND vs. BUT - The Communication Game Changer!

I’m going to share with you a little gem that seems too simple actually to make much of a difference, and yet don’t be fooled by its simplicity. I actually spent about $2K to learn this tool, and it has been worth every penny! 

Today I’m giving it to you for FREE! You’re welcome!

First, I want you to read these sentences and really stop and think about what makes them different:

*I want to go on a family vacation, but it’s expensive.

*I want to go on a family vacation, and it’s expensive.

 

*I understand that you want to play outside, but you have to make your bed first. 

*I understand that you want to play outside, and you have to make your bed first. 


*I want more money, but I don’t want to lose flexibility.

*I want more money, and I don’t want to lose flexibility.

*I want to follow my dreams, but I’m scared. 

*I want to follow my dreams, and I’m scared. 

*I want to go for a walk, but it’s cold outside.

*I want to go for a walk, and it’s cold outside. 

 

So, now we’re going to get a little nerdy and talk English technicalities… Take a look at how we use the words “but” and “and.” Both words happen to be CONJUNCTIONS, aka, a simple way of joining two complete sentences or thoughts together.  

__________________, BUT ____________________. 

__________________, AND ____________________.

Funny thing is when we use the word “but,” we are actually creating an artificial opposition to the first part of the sentence. We don’t realize that we are stopping ourselves from taking action when we opt for “but” rather than “and.” And yet, this is what we are doing.  

Let’s look at the making the bed scenario. When we use the word “and,” it is just fine that your child’s resistance to making their bed stays intact. It’s just fine that they don’t WANT to make their bed, AND they can do it anyway. It’s ok to not want to do something. Not wanting to and doing it anyway builds character. It’s how we grow and get things done. Being afraid, resisting the cold is JUST FINE. We can do it anyway.   

Try this out. Challenge yourself to stop using the word “but!” I rarely use this word anymore, and so many wonderful things have become possible in our life! We are living what many would consider to be impossible. That’s what happens when you are an English nerd. You create possibilities for yourself AND you create the impossible to show up! 


Sue NelsonComment