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Two Words That You Should Not Use – “But” & “Why”

Posted on : 09-02-2011 | By : stargaterich | In : personal development


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Napolean Bonaparte, the French conqueror once said that the word ‘impossible” is not in his dictionary. When his generals told him that it is ‘impossible’ to cross over the Alps with loads of heavy war equipments and that there is no way to get the horses up, he had most of the horses shot and then force his army to march on foot over the Alps!

People who are successful in life sees obstacles as opportunities while pessimist sees it as “impossible” tasks. Thus certain words which are not helpful and which may prevent us from achieving our goals,plans and aspirations are best discarded from our mind completely. After all  it serves no purpose for you to use words which trigger human subconcious mind to associate the surroundings and situations which they are in with feelings of doubts, lack of confidence, fear or sense of hopelessness isnt it?

Likewise  there are two words which you should not use because they serve no purpose other than getting people to be on their toes and in defensive mood. These two words are “BUT” and “WHY”.

No “BUT” Please!
Let’s consider the word “BUT”. The word “BUT” communicates the message tone of disagreement, division or disapproval. For some reasons, the human mind is condition to be sensitive to the word “BUT”.

So what do you do if you disagree with your customer on a project proposal and you wish to offer alternative viewpoint? It is easy, just subsititute the word “BUT” with something else such as “nevertheless” or “may I suggest” or etc.

For instance, observe the following statement;
” Mr A, your proposal is good indeed, BUT I think we should consider plan B before making the final decision on which path to take.”
” Mr A, your proposal is good indeed, may I suggest we also consider plan B before making the final decision on which path to take?”.

Which of the above statement sound less hostile ?  The answer is obvious isnt it?  You can get someone to agree with your suggestion if you do not raise their “internal biological and emotional defense radar” behaviour.

No “WHY” Please!
The “WHY” is another useless and trouble inviting word which I think you should not use at all. Simply because when you pose the question in the form of “WHY” to someone, you will only get the person to find a reason to justify their reasoning and thoughts. Unless you want to enter an argument with someone, it is best to replace the word “WHY” with something else.  For instance, it is a meanigless to ask the question “Why do I exist in this world” or “Why do you do the things you do?”.

You will lose the edge and advantage in any negotiating deals if you trigger your customer subconcious mind to find a reason and justification to their thoughts for instance;
Let’s say a potential customer is not happy with the price of a product which you are promoting. 

Instead of asking the customer why he or she thinks the product is too expensive, it would be more beneficial for you to emphasize  the additional benefits which comes along with the  increase product costing. If you ask the customer why they think the product is too expensive, they WILL find excuses and justifications for their concerns and argument regarding the cost of the product.

Words such as “BUT” and “WHY” triggers human defensive mood and complicates selling with regards to negotiating business deals. It is best not to use them at all.It wasn’t easy for me to figure out the unnecessary troubles that I self inflicted upon myself ; unitentionally through the bad choice of words that I used when communicating with people. 

Words are powerful indeed, it can build or tear down a nation! Thus be very careful with your choice of words, more so if you are in the business of selling (which we all do in one way or another.).

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