Just one small word...
WHO WOULD think that a simple little word like `but' harms relationships and spoils conversations? Here's why it does.
`But' butts into the other person's point. It is a verbal hammer that wipes out what went before it and screams out `I disagree!' or `Look out! Here comes bad news.'
`I take your point, but... '
`I understand what you're saying, but... '
`That's a nice outfit, but... '
This small word is responsible for a great deal of tension and disagreement. The same is true for `however', which is just a longer version of the word `but'.
Drop both from your vocabulary! Substitute them with `and'.
`I agree and... '
`I appreciate your views and... '
`That's a nice outfit, and... '
`But' blocks while `and' builds. `And' shows that you have listened and heard. It acknowledges what someone has said. With `and', you're working on a person's comments; with `but', you're dismissing them. `And' helps prevent arguments because it allows two points of view to stand. `Here is what you think and here is what I think'.
KRIS COLE (Kris Cole is an industrial psychologist)
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