No “buts” about it…
Want to show your partner that they are truly seen and heard by you….?
Want to improve your relationship by throwing out one small word from your conversations…?
Let’s think about this…how does it feel when you are sharing something very important and your partner says “I agree with that but….” Or “That makes sense but….” Or even, “I am sorry but….” Or “I love you but…”
Do they really get you?
Are they truly listening to you and understanding your perspective?
Think of it the other way around too. If you respond with the word but are you truly validating what your partner just shared with you?
Chances are NO. That is not how this word works. The word but negates what was said before it.
Were you truly listening or were you planning what you wanted to say?
When we sincerely plan to listen to our partner and validate their perspective, even when we disagree with them, we find ourselves in a safe place for our partners to truly share their deepest selves and also deepen our connection with each other.
Disagreement is ok, don’t get me wrong but sometimes that’s not what it’s about. Sometimes a conversation is learning more about each other and finding a place of understanding and validation. This opens us up for more vulnerability and the willingness to share more next time.
To keep this short and sweet, next time you find yourself wanting to say but when talking with your partner try changing it to and instead.
Let’s try it:
-I agree with you AND I also see this perspective.
-That makes sense AND…
-I am sorry AND I respect your perspective… or even I am sorry AND I disagree- (that’s more respectful and still validates their point-of-view instead of negating it.)
-I love you AND….will be there for you…
Maybe you won’t say all of this exactly this way but for now let’s just start with taking BUT out of our vocabulary when we are disagreeing, arguing or even vying for connection with our partner. Let’s see how that feels.
Let me know how it goes 😊
~Katheryn Barton/UpLift: Counseling and Mediation