If someone says they support you, but…. they don’t


Recently I listened to someone give a compliment only to leave a bad taste in my mouth when they finished.  How?  They used the word “but”.   Think about when you compliment, support and/or encourage someone.   They have put themselves out there, giving us an offering.   We are excited, pleased and maybe embarrassed if we feel we do not warrant this gift.   At this point all we have to do is say thank you.  If it is an item tell them you appreciate it or where you will be placing it in your home.  If it is something not tangible thank you still applies.  What doesn’t apply in both these cases is thank you this is lovely, but……

Really?  But?  What is there to “but” about?  Someone gave you a gift or compliment.  Accept it. Period.  The recent event made me cringe in that it was so negative.   The other person doesn’t have to hear how you would have made this or that, or when you were there what you did that was better, or that your spouse or friend saw the item and well they didn’t like it.  If the person is telling a third party hoping to get attention that is bad enough.  To the artist/individual who shared, gave a piece of their-selves, this is totally unacceptable behaviour.

I know we have all done it.  Just slipped that but in. I wanted to do this post because I felt raw from the experience and I wasn’t the one who had made the overture.  I had original included the exact details of what happened but reading it I realised I was potentially being hurtful.

So if we are creating the life we want and growing into more compassionate, open individuals – which I think we are – than the use of “but” after a compliment/offering is not in our new vocabulary.   I don’t mean we should not help people weigh the pros and cons or give constructive criticism when asked.  What I mean is that when someone is sharing something, that is not the time for us to say “but” I would have, you should have, did you think about.  It is the time to say well done and/or thank you.

When someone uses the word “but” after a compliment what we usually remember is the negative.  Everything said before the word but dissolves away.   Do we really think success and happiness is that scarce we have to take it away from others? So be more aware of your speech and words.  We can be that person that keeps that smile on someone’s face.   WOW that is terrific.  Period.  Full stop.

You can always start now !

24 thoughts on “If someone says they support you, but…. they don’t

  1. sarahbruso

    Ah, yes. “But.” It’s a dreaded word. People use it when they want to cushion the blow. But does it help? Not really. So, I’m definitely on board with you here. Let’s take things for what they are and stop overthinking.


    1. I agree I think we should know when to stop and what is truly helpful. I am a work in progress on this but have caught myself a few times so happy about that!! Thanks for stopping by.


    1. I think your dad has it right. I sometimes feel it is about scarcity and if someone else gets a compliment it might mean you are somewhat less. Sigh. Happiness breeds happiness wish more people could tap into that. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Always enjoy Saturday commenting.


    1. Agree. I just think we have to be more aware of our words – not just “but”. There is also tone of voice but don’t get me started with that! Have a great weekend.


  2. You’re right! I think “watch your buts” can be a powerful reminder both when considering how I give a compliment and how I receive it as well. A “but” is like a stain on a new shirt. I think a lot about affirming others, and accepting compliments myself. I appreciate the reminder; and hope the sting of your experience lessens with the knowledge your message in this post was heard!


    1. Thank you. I struggle with accepting compliments so a reality check is sometimes needed. I often have to step back and consider the source – where are they on their path? I can only control my reaction – which means do I want to continue to feel hurt, upset and negative for the rest of the day. No. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a great weekend.


  3. I agree. What’s the point of offering a compliment, only to follow it with a “but”? Like, you said, there is a time and a place for constructive criticism, or “but”; however, following a compliment or a thank you is not the time.


  4. I think “but” is a very dramatic word that we use, ‘but’ we also use it so often without thought of the consequences. When I’m writing a post, I use ‘but’ to hit home a point a want to register, and yet we use this when complimenting or talking to others… Which isn’t really on! I like the idea of “watch your buts” which Angela suggested, it’s a nice reminder! As with anything, we should think before we speak.


    1. Yes to watching our buts! I use but in my posts also to hit home a point. It is knowing when to stop talking or what is relevant. That was great. Period. Full stop. thanks for stopping by. Love Saturday comments and visiting.


  5. Ahhh…you bring a very good point to the table. There’s always that one person who can’t quite give a compliment without taking it away. We have to remember it’s their issue and not take it too personally, too. It’s hard to do I know especially when the first part of the compliment was awesome and then they take it away like that.


  6. You have me thinking hard here! Do I use “but” a lot? I’m not sure. I have consciously tried, as I have got older, to just accept a compliment for what it is, and not to shoo it away because of modesty or Britishness or whatever! I’m gonna look out for any pesky “buts” in my language 🙂


    1. I am a work in progress over it. More the taking of compliments. I am pretty good at not using but…..after giving them. Always enjoy Saturday commenting. See you tomorrow.


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