It’s Better to Want Both
When “conventional wisdom” tells you to pick one — choose both.
Something has been bothering you for a while. You’ve kept quiet because you didn’t want to hurt that person’s feelings. Eventually you are fed up and a voice in your head tells you, “Someone has to say it. Someone has to set this person straight, and it might as well be me.” So you fall for the fool’s choice and weighed being honest about how you feel OR keeping the relationship. Moments later it’s “Bombs away .” You chose to just be honest.
Why settle for OR when you’ve known how to use the conjunction AND since you were two years old? It’s a powerful little three letter word AND it has the power to change your thinking… instantly! Before the words leave your mouth, pass them through a filter in your mind to see if inserting that wonderful little word AND will change anything.
Just look at the example above:
- I want to be honest OR keep the relationship
- I want to be honest AND keep the relationship
If the meaning of what you’re about to say or how you say it changes when you insert AND in the sentence, then you have an important decision to make on the fly. You must decide what’s most important: the people involved or your ego? When you choose both ideas as important, then all the words in your head shift gears and find a way to make both work.
I learned this from an elementary principal who is now a district office administrator. Every time I am tempted to put two ideas opposed to each other in a moment of self righteousness, I insert the word AND. I usually change my approach and find a way to add kindness and questions to understand a person instead of focusing on “the facts.”
When it comes to leaning into potential conflict that may impact a relationship in a bad way, AND is a powerful tool to have it both ways. this little word has a cost however, because I have to humble my ego to figure out the problem together instead of listening to the fool’s choice.
Life is a team sport. It’s easier when we solve problems together.