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Becoming a "BUT" Watcher. Saturday April 23, 2016

Susan Scott in her book, "Fierce Conversations" suggests that "Our work, our relationships, our lives, succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time".

This is a conversation that by definition we need to have with ourselves first, before we take it to the world.

The inner critic may be holding us back from having a real conversation that builds a good, compassionate, mindful, kindly relationship with ourselves. Fear is what constrains us for the most part from taking this conversation to the world.

Language is the only thing we humans have to create our own reality. John. B. Keane, a famous Irish playwright once said that "Words have personalities". So often one word can at best limit and at worst completely close down possibilities and lock us in. "I know I should BUT...", "I know it makes sense BUT..." and so on. The current story goes "You're right BUT..."

Today, just try a little experiment. Today, become a "BUT" watcher. Notice how your "BUT" might be getting in the way, and holding you back from exploring the unique richness of your own potential, your own life, your own world.

Beginning to develop the skills of conversation could be as simple as replacing that one word with "AND"

The NEW story goes - "I know I should AND...", "I know it makes sense AND...", "You're right AND..." and so on.

The conversation is about the words you choose. You can always change those words and change the conversation, even learn a new conversation. The conversation is also about the relationship you choose with yourself, the world and those in it.

SLOW DOWN today and choose your words carefully and mindfully, because the conversation you choose is the relationship.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Hopeful One Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 7:20am

Hi Huge - that is a mind blowing blog. You are absolutely right about how words so define the meaning and our relationships. It is important to spend a little time to choose the right word but also perhaps decide how one is going to say it and to whom. But Humpty Dumpty had his own take on it. He said " When I use a word I choose its meaning- nothing more and nothing less"

Today's laugh is a bit saucy again I am afraid.

A lady approaches the local Minister and tells him, "Father, l have a problem. I have these two talking female parrots, but they have somehow learnt to squake 'Hi, we are hookers " Do you want to have some fun?" " How obscene the Minister exclaims "but l have a solution to your problem. Bring your two female parrots over to the church and l will put them in with my two male parrots. l have taught my parrots to pray with a radars and read the bible. My parrots will teach your parrots to stop saying those obscene phrases and your female parrots will learn to worship." "Thank you!" the lady responded. So the next day, the lady brings her female parrots to the church . The Ministers two parrots are holding rosary beads and devoutly praying in their cage. The lady puts her female parrots in with the male parrots and they both leave to have a cup of tea. The female parrots immediately squake , "Hi, we are hookers Do you want to have some fun?" One male parrot looks over at the other male parrot and exclaims, "Put the bibles and the rosary away. Our prayers have been answered!

Lou Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 8:07am

Good morning Hopeful One! thank you very much for making me laugh out loud. I will be sharing this one :)

LillyPet Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 9:32am

Funny! :))

Sally Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 7:48am

Hugh, very good! I particularly like the phrase "because the conversation you choose is the relationship"
So true.

Lou Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 8:05am

"choose your words carefully and mindfully, because the conversation you choose is the relationship."

I very much like this thought and will be carrying it with me today.

"Language is the only thing we humans have to create our own reality."

This is something I have been doing a lot of work around and found your blog timely, helpful and thought-provoking. Thank you.


Chris Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 8:28am

Wow, this is a powerful blog. Thank you.
Thank you also for the reminder/suggestion to

Slow down and choose your words carefully and mindfully, because the conversation you choose is the relationship.

So true and so simple but so often very hard to do and keep doing -
because often there are many other conflicting conscious and subconscious thoughts, motives and emotions that can and do get in the way of being mindful, thoughtful, measured and responsible.

I try hard to keep love as my one and only 'harbour light'/destination to be both my 'means' of getting to and my 'ends'.
I try to keep love as my only modus operandi,
I try and keep love in view at all times so that I can also keep striving to embody it in absolutely everything I say and do.
So I can keep on track -affectively 'be love' and always be heading towards love as my one and only motive for every thought, word and deed.
Particularly when the 'metaphorical 'sea' is very rough and frightening and threatening to knock me off course or,,worse still, knock me overboard or capsize my very small boat.
But most particularly when I feel like giving up.

I will keep your suggestion in my mind all day and recite it to myself (not out loud' though so all you men and women in white coats with strait that's jacket -Back Off!)

Thank you for your blog it feels like I have just been given a gift, a simple but oh so precious gift.

Anonymous Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 8:57am

Good Saturday morning Hugh. It's good to see your name on the blog today. I think this the first one of yours? And what a brilliant way to start. An interesting topic. I agree with you that we should choose our words carefully and I agree with Humpty Dumpty that we should say what we mean. However there are people who impose limitations on what we feel able to say to them. We know for example that if we say what we mean, the other person will react in such a mind blowing tempestuous way that we learn not to say what we mean. or that person will react by arguing for hours until we give in just to escape. However on the whole we must say what we mean otherwise confusion arrises. I don't want to adopt counseller speak however and say nothing for fear of saying the wrong thing. It's difficult to get it right and I do like spontaneity in conversations. But (and?) what a great blog Hugh. Julxx

Sheena Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 9:27am

Welcome Hugh - I don't think that we have come across each other here before! Your blog is so pertinent and beautifully expressed. Yes, our prime conversation is with ourself and we must remember to be kind to ourself and the rest will hopefully follow. I shall look forward to any further blog you write. Sheena

LillyPet Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 9:30am

Morning Hugh,
I'm a but watcher ( that sounds so wrong! :)) It can also really be helpful in making conversations harmonious. People can feel a "but" coming (the puns are getting worse!) AND simply substituting it with an "and" somehow lessens the emphasis on the negative or disagreement, when the meaning is exactly the same! "That's a really interesting idea, but I'd like to do it this way" sounds so different to "That's a really interesting idea and I'd like to do it this way".

In terms of conversations, at work I'm a negatives watcher too! I do notice that in the work place. Some people are very comfortable about being judgmental and critical in almost every point they make at meetings! It's very interesting and difficult not to in turn judge them for doing it!
I'd prefer a more harmonious and positive working environment AND (!) all I can do is do my thing my way! It's still possible to disagree without putting others down. Those that do seem to be heard and respected (or maybe feared?). It is an ongoing challenge for me to not come across as "nice but weak" AND I'm determined to express my views and values whether or not they are respected by others.

Maybe looking for those individuals positive statements may help me to feel better about work! ;)
Anyway it's the weekend! Sorry guys! Love and peace LP :) xx

Ruth Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 9:30am

Dear Hugh, thank you so much for your inspirational blog which is so apt for me today.
I am encouraged to take action and greatly appreciate your wisdom. With gratitude, Ruth

Chris Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 9:58am

Hi Anonymous
I completely agree with you that 'putting your head above the parapets' (so as to speak)
by being open and honest in communication can very often draw totally unexpected, massive, hostile and totally disproportionate 'fire'.

I work in enabling calm, safe, assertive communication -using methods and words that minimise this risk and thus helps both parties feel as safe as possible in circumstances that can often make them feel very exposed and vulnerable and hence more likely to feel threatened resulting in knee jerk reactions and attacking response.
Hugh's blog is so powerful because it addresses this very area.

People sadly often default to the adage 'attack is the best line of defence' with little or no regard for any fall out that may ensue from their conscious or unwitting remarks, non verbal communication or even silences

Sometimes it ifeels just too scarey to open my mouth at all-
Particularly when i know someone has a negative opinion of me or will only listen at best through biased and preset filters.

On such occasions Hugh's suggestion is the only way forward for me -
together with, for me personally being a talker -
sometimes just shutting the **** up:- i.e. telling myself it is actually okay to be quiet for a moment ( or longer) or wait until things feel a lot safer or clearer.

I think I remember it was 1970s singer Murray Head who said in one of his songs
'Silence is a strong reply'

For an opinionated, talkative person like myself (if you hadn't already guessed that!)
sometimes it is good for me to just remember that I do have the option of just keeping quiet or biding my time in order to reflect or make the interaction feel safer or more positive
and in so doing -protect me, the other person and the relationship.

Anonymous Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 10:03am

My father used to say "No answer came the stern reply" Julx

sha Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 10:52am

When i read the words "I know I should AND...", from the article, i had an instant emotional feeling of discomfort.

I have issues with getting things done

Thanks for the Post, interesting & helpful

Ruth Sat, Apr 23rd 2016 @ 10:49pm

I loved your blog and will utilise your wise words.Possibly tomorrow morning when I berate myself for treating myself to some summer footwear.However instead of of getting angry I will chat more positively.Thank you very much.Have a great weekend ????

Eva Sun, Apr 24th 2016 @ 2:00am

Important points, I have tried to challenge certain family members for making mountains with disproportionate negative words. It seems to be getting through which is good as it means hopefully a more positive outlook for them and me. I try not to use negative words if I can help it when I am up and down. Thanks so much Hugh.

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