Do you listen to yourself when you speak?
I have started listening to myself when I speak in order to notice my use of certain words. I noticed how many times I used the words ‘but’ and ‘because’ up until recently.
Using the word ‘but’
It was interesting listening and noticing what had me use the word ‘but.’
What I noticed was, it was my way of justifying what I was about to say after the ‘but.’ The but, was the joining word for my justification. I spoke it so naturally that I didn’t even realise I was using it. It wasn’t until noticing I was saying it, that I was able to then consider my thinking in that moment and question what was happening for me at that the time of speaking it.
For example “I’d love to come with you but… I can’t.” My truth in that moment was that I didn’t really want to and I didn’t feel able to speak that for fear of the other persons response.
Using the word ‘because’
Because is different. What I notice when I use because is that it also about justification and just as easily defence. I noticed that I used because when I don’t really agree with something and yet I am not open or honest enough to speak my truth. I also notice that in using because I am seeking approval in ways that are subversive.
For example “We need to go shopping because the cat doesn’t have any food.” What I’m really saying is that I need you to go shopping, and I don’t want to go. I’m wanting my partner to think that I’m wanting to go with him. I can feel myself in my pity me space when I use these words.
Both of these words stop the conversation
But is a very hard sounding word. I notice that the conversation doesn’t flow when I use that word. If I listen to the sentence, it stops at that point and is no longer friendly.
I’ve loved noticing when others use these words too. Noticing how I react to them using them. What goes on in my mind at the time that I hear these words and what a difference it makes to my response to the other person in that moment. I notice that it does change my response.
Do you notice when you use these words and why?