Criticizing Your Wife's But And

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Have you ever criticized your wife's but? How about her and? Oh wait, you didn't think... no, of course not. I am talking about the type of language used when talking with ones spouse. And language is supportive and encouraging. But language is halting and destructive. Its simple really. When you are speaking to your husband or wife do you bring life to the conversation? Lets say that someone is having a difficult time getting up on time for work. Do you say, "you used to get up on time but now your not." Or do you say, "you used to get up on time and now your not." The difference is subtle but profound. The but statement drives a wedge of contrast between the then and now reality of one's life. It says this but that. It is divisive and detaching. The and statement connects the past and present and connotes a progressive movement through time. It says this and that. Still not convinced about the importance of and or but statements? Assume that a friend is trying to get back in shape. You know that they have the potential to do this but have not been disciplined over the past few years. You could tell them that, "you used to be fit but now your fat." Or your could say, "you used to be fit and..." Complete that sentence. How would you encourage someone by completing this phrase? And I know you can do it again... and you need to bring back those old habits... and I know you got it in you. While an and  or but  statement can be directed towards the positive or negative they definitely lean towards one or the other.

Become known as an encourager and adopt a posture of and instead of but.

 

Brent ColbyComment