No ifs ands or BUTS about it

Let me start out by saying this page of Chocolate Mother is different than the Mommy Moments Page. The Mommy Moments category is warm and fuzzy.  It’s me tackling  or fumbling through the most difficult assignment I’ve been given. There’s no passing of advice or judgement there. I just share. This category is not designed to be warm and fuzzy. It’s going to be raw, it’s going to push you to think. It’s going to challenge you and how you do things and conduct yourself.  It’s going to be full of advice, judgement and prayerfully redemption. So if that’s not your thing you can stop reading now.

Oh, you’re still reading? Good. Technically,  I guess I should list my professional accolades that lend me the right to speak on particular topics. Let’s just say that I have studied and taught Communications for a very long time and God has a way of using you when and where he wants you, if you are open to receive him.

If you’ve known me longer than six years then you have undoubtedly witnessed a change in how I communicate. This change did not come easy, nor without much prayer, studying and practice. I was a firecracker. Say it wrong, I’d curse you out. Say it at the wrong time and I still might curse you out. My motto was to fight back.  Frankly it’s all I knew.  It’s all most Black women know.

However, everything is not a fight. Stop making it hard for people to love you. I said, stop making it hard for people to love you. That kind of leads me to today’s topic. African American women have been coined “angry” we are perceived as being “angry” in the workplace, “angry” with our men and “angry” with our friends. I think this misconception is directly related to how we communicate. We have been reared to speak our minds, tell it like it is, but rarely do we learn the difference between aggression and assertion.

I can tell you first hand that when we learn assertion, we are powerful.

Most disagreements happen because we need practice owning our feelings and being less aggressive. We will have lots more on owning our feelings, because it’s tough for adults to learn.  However today I suggest you do one thing, stop using the word BUT. When you use the word BUT, you totally negate everything you said prior to its use. I’m sorry I cursed you out, BUT you made me mad. So you took away any and all responsibility for losing control and said it was their fault. In other words, I’m sorry I stepped on your foot, BUT your foot was in my way. I challenge you to stop using the word BUT. Seems simple, BUT it will force you to recognize an opportunity to take responsibility for hurting and misunderstanding those closest to us when we communicate. If it’s so easy, then do it. Commit to one day of not using the word. If you use it more than twice in a day, you have some work to do.

If you find yourself in confrontations a lot, I guarantee you use this word way more than you aware. The next time you and your spouse or even your girlfriend have a disagreement, stop, listen and leave the BUTS out of it and I guarantee it will end better than the disagreements before. BUT is accusatory, BUT excuses your behavior, BUT tells the other person their issue or feeling is invalid

So how do you get your point across if you can’t use BUT? I’m glad you asked. You simply make your statement and craft how to say what the real issue is. For example, I’m sorry I cursed you out. I know that offends you. I was wrong for that. I was frustrated and I was angry when you did….or when you said…

Yup, that’s it. Instead of using BUT as an excuse to NOT say what your true emotion was, take it out of the equation. And if it seems simple, then do it….I dare you and once you do, leave a message below about your experience.

 

BUT

 

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