Gosh it’s been tough to maintain a smile this month. So much violence, so much discord, so much fear. Do you need a hug as much as I do?
Let’s generate some positive energy together! Positivity begets more positivity and we can literally change the world around us by just spinning the conversation to be a “yes and” build, rather than a “but” stop sign.
Imagine these simple statements, replacing the “but” with an “and”:
Your idea is good but why don’t you include these factors?
That outfit is pretty but the colors are so loud.
His son is a terrific athlete but couldn’t get a single to save his life.
She was so tired after working all day, but couldn’t sleep.
Yeah but you…
Notice how cutting the above sentences can be? The shift in tone when replacing “but” with “and” is profound and modest. As a result, the meaning of the statements slightly changes, and hence the:
- idea is built upon collaboratively and with encouragement
- outfit takes on a colorful life and its wearer complimented
- athlete described as a unique hitter
- inability to fall asleep not so final and full of blame…add a “so” to the end of that sentence and you can just see her snoozing
As stated by the “Librarian of Fortune” (it’s amazing what you can find when you Google around), “It sounds like such a small change, (but) and it can make a huge difference in how you approach life.”
That beautiful and humble three-letter word subtly alters the outlook, just like that. Consider how it feels to be on the other end of a constant “but”. Perhaps negative, critical, tiresome, and/or exasperating.
What about on the other end of an “and”? I would suggest it full of encouragement, hope, anticipation, and openness.
For the deliverer, using “and” is more likely to inspire than pull back. I saw this sentence tweak on Reddit:
“Instead of saying ‘your math grades are great, BUT your science grades are bad’, say ‘Your math grades are great AND if you work harder we can bring up your science grades.”
YES! What a difference.
Please experiment with it!
Now you may be sneering at me, saying “C’mon Marjorie. The world is going crazy. Really, you want me to focus on saying ‘and’ instead of ‘but’?” Yes I do. Because it will lead to more positivity and optimism, which in turn according to the Mayo Clinic leads to:
- Increased life span.
- Lower rates of depression.
- Lower levels of distress.
- Greater resistance to the common cold.
- Better psychological and physical well-being.
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress. WHICH IS NOW!
We don’t have to agree with each other, and can still be kind to one another. I’m giving you a virtual hug, and looking forward hearing the “yes and” stories. Please o please.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™