In this article, I would like to introduce you to some special characteristics of the word “but.” Let’s begin with a short exercise, which will help you to fully understand what is happening in your mind when you hear the word. Read the sentences below and watch very carefully how your mind responds.
– You are a very intelligent man, but …
– What you said is very wise and interesting, but …
– You are a beautiful woman (handsome man) but …
Have you notice, how the word “but” impacts your mind? These examples have been specially designed to make this process easy to recognize.
Now, think for a moment, what would you feel If someone would say one of these sentences to you? Would you be totally convinced the person speaking really means that? I don’t think so.
Why? Because the word “but” makes your unconscious mind to cancel everything that was before it. Conscious mind for a change takes note of every part of the sentence, but it doesn’t matter as the information is deleted by unconscious, by doing so mind prepares himself for taking a new information, which may also be a powerful suggestion.
You can take advantage of this very useful technique in many daily situations, but you have to remember about very important rule. The contents of both parts of the sentence before and after “but” should not be too clearly associated with each other.
This is key to the effectiveness of this linguistic structure. When I’ll say “There is a lot of good jellybeans, but mine are the best”, you will probably think I am trying to rudely sell you some of my jellybeans and I will achieve effect I definitely don’t want – I will make you feel reluctance, which you can than associate with my jellybeans.
Much more effective will be saying “There is a lot of good jellybeans, but … you feel like a cup of coffee? Going back to my jellybeans…”. It makes you feel like “there are not so many good jellybeans out there”.
Here is another example that will help you to understand this concept. If you say this sentence:
Yes it’s true, other banks also have very good products, but our bank has the best products.
in this particular case, you are making use of something your client is consciously thinking, “other banks also have very good products”, by doing so you are guaranteeing yourself failure. You leave decision to conscious mind of your client and by doing so the part of sentence after but, will never be accepted and acknowledged by his brain.
Why? Because transferring intent of your expression on the conscious level ruins the whole mechanism of this linguistic pattern. It’s like explaining a joke just after you said it. However, if you would express yourself like this:
Yes it’s true, other banks also have very good products, but as we are talking, I would like to present you today, what my bank has to offer.
By changing your speech you have changed whole process going inside head of your client. First, he will notice you’ve just made a positive statement about products of other banks, on the conscious level, but he will not be aware of the fact that by using word but, you’ve made his unconscious mind delete everything said before and you’ve directed his attention to the second part of the sentence.
In other words, by using this model in a subtle way, you are confirming experience of person you are talking to and then you cancel it at the unconscious level to redirect his attention where you want it, in this case products of bank you are representing. Very interesting, isn’t it?
Below you will find few more examples of this language pattern that will allow you to understand it in fuller depth.
– You have the right to believe that our offer is too expensive, but as we are talking, I would like to present the benefits of participation in training programs organized by our company.
– You can have a lot to do today, but since we have already met and there is such a beautiful weather, it may be worth consideration, how pleasantly we can spend it together.
– I know that you can have many different questions related to what I’ve just said, but as we are approaching the end of this article, I therefore, suggest you to focus on how you can benefit from what you’ve just learned.
Contributed by guest blogger Peter Saks