Like, That, But…Sure if you were walking down the street with your significant other and you combined the words into the phrase “like that butt” as someone walked by this could cause some jealousy. However, These words used separately in communicating your feelings with your loved one is not recommended either. This is why. These 3 words can keep someone from actually expressing their feelings. These words keep you from being vulnerable and owning their feelings. These words allow you to be emotionally safe. for example: If someone were to ask you how you felt towards an insensitive co-worker you could avoid sharing your feelings by saying: “I feel like he/she is a jerk” or “I feel that he/she is a jerk”. Neither of these statements represent a feeling at all. It is an opinion.
If the person actually owned their emotions they could say “I am angry and feel powerless when he/she undermines my authority.” this is a feeling statement. They feel “angry” and “powerless”. The clearer we are about what we are feeling the easier it is to get to the root of the problem. The “like and “that” statements are also blaming someone. These are not empowering statements. The phrase that states “I am angry and feel powerless…” address how you feel and you have the power to change this. You are owning your emotions and can find creative ways to take charge and not be angry and powerless.
This word “but” is a bit misleading as well. When people say the word “but” they are negating everything that was said before it. for example “I love the painting you did but do not hang it up in our living room”. What is the message? Do you feel the love for your painting…no. Another example is “You are so smart but I do not believe you will get that raise”. The message is you are not smart or at least smart enough to get a raise. So you may feel defeated and dumb.
So in short avoid the words 1. Like, 2. That, 3. But – when sharing and owning your feelings with people. Also, be aware of when people use them when they are talking to you. This will allow you to have healthier communication skills. Enjoy!