Recently I listened to someone give a compliment only to leave a bad taste in my mouth when they finished. How? They used the word “but”. Think about when you compliment, support and/or encourage someone. They have put themselves out there, giving us an offering. We are excited, pleased and maybe embarrassed if we feel we do not warrant this gift. At this point all we have to do is say thank you. If it is an item tell them you appreciate it or where you will be placing it in your home. If it is something not tangible thank you still applies. What doesn’t apply in both these cases is thank you this is lovely, but……
Really? But? What is there to “but” about? Someone gave you a gift or compliment. Accept it. Period. The recent event made me cringe in that it was so negative. The other person doesn’t have to hear how you would have made this or that, or when you were there what you did that was better, or that your spouse or friend saw the item and well they didn’t like it. If the person is telling a third party hoping to get attention that is bad enough. To the artist/individual who shared, gave a piece of their-selves, this is totally unacceptable behaviour.
I know we have all done it. Just slipped that but in. I wanted to do this post because I felt raw from the experience and I wasn’t the one who had made the overture. I had original included the exact details of what happened but reading it I realised I was potentially being hurtful.
So if we are creating the life we want and growing into more compassionate, open individuals – which I think we are – than the use of “but” after a compliment/offering is not in our new vocabulary. I don’t mean we should not help people weigh the pros and cons or give constructive criticism when asked. What I mean is that when someone is sharing something, that is not the time for us to say “but” I would have, you should have, did you think about. It is the time to say well done and/or thank you.
When someone uses the word “but” after a compliment what we usually remember is the negative. Everything said before the word but dissolves away. Do we really think success and happiness is that scarce we have to take it away from others? So be more aware of your speech and words. We can be that person that keeps that smile on someone’s face. WOW that is terrific. Period. Full stop.
You can always start now !