One of my guilty pleasures is watching the TV show Blind Date. If at the end of a date one person says to the other: “I thought it was a really nice date, but…”, you can already see the mood coming. But… everything before the word ‘but’ is not true The word but has a negative association in our unconscious brain. Think about it: When you receive a compliment followed by the word “but,” you’re probably thinking, “Oh dear, now comes the bad news.” Do you also find yourself giving a compliment before you deliver bad news? I understand.

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It is therefore very humane to first give your conversation partner a positive vote before sharing the bad news. It is a pity that despite the good Portugal Phone Number it often has the opposite effect. “You have given very convincing arguments, but we are not making a deal.” ‘Your efforts are greatly appreciated, but your contract will not be extended.’ ‘What great reports, but I do see an unsatisfactory score here.’ Do you see what’s happening? The compliment is invalidated by being followed by ‘but’. At the same time, that one four-letter word ensures that there is more attention for what you say afterwards.

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This makes the negative message appear even more negative. And that when you meant so well. Your brain erases it I’ll take you through how that works: in the subconscious brain only one so-called eraser is activated when you hear the word. This eraser ensures that everything before it is forgotten. Professional magician and mentalist Tim David refers to this as the but eraser in his book Magic Words . And it doesn’t stop with erasing the message for ‘but’. The word also sharpens the brain to hear what comes next, because that is probably very important.

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