Yeahbut…(Distortion #2)

I know a few yeahbutters. I bet you do too.

When I hear the “yeahbut” my tendency is to do one of two things: 1. go into convincing mode or 2. stop talking all together.  It seems that by operating within either extreme, I can perhaps accomplish receiving some acknowledgment on the part of the yeahbutter OR I can prevent from feeling like I want to ram my head against a brick wall.

The yeahbutter refuses to acknowledge the positive.  “Wow, you look really great, Sheila! You’ve worked really hard a…(cue interruption)”   “Yeahbut…I still have so far to go!”

The yeahbutter, often without thinking, moves from a compliment or a benefit, to a disqualification.  “You only have 3 more assignments to go to finish out this course!”  “Yeahbut, I have barely gotten through the first 7!!”

How frustrating is it to speak with a yeahbutter, to praise a yeahbutter (even though this is often the first instinct due to their lack of recognition)?

The yeahbutter suffers from another cognitive distortion. You read in my last post about black and white thinking and how it creates walls for any person in approaching life with flexibility. Establishing balance when you operate with a dichotomous thought pattern sets you up for feeling like you’re going through a maze with no beginning or end.  Like dichotomous thinking, ‘yeahbutting’ leads you straight toward a life of negativity….a lack of appreciation…and a pretty discouraging and gloomy existence.  Dismal.

The glass half full person doesn’t operate in ‘yeahbut’ land. Disqualifying the positive feels UNnatural to this person.   The individual who wears rose-colored glasses– same thing.

This week do a personal assessment of your use of “yeahbut”.  See if you notice it in others and what feeling it brings to you.  The feeling is likely mirroring what they are experiencing!

In my work I make agreements with my clients– when they begin to say it, I get to interrupt them. A form of thoughtstopping, they learn to catch themselves in order to begin the change process. I think it’s more fun for me than it is for them.  But recognition is the first step.

See if you can move from “yeahbut” to “heck yeah!” 😉

Published by kpropst

Dr. Kori Propst is the Wellness Director and Vice President of The Diet Doc, LLC. She has earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, a master of science in counseling, and a doctorate in health psychology and behavioral medicine. Her education is enhanced by certifications in personal training, health coaching, mindfulness meditation, & lifestyle and weight-management consulting. She is also an ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) clinician. The Diet Doc’s lifestyle based programming encourages individuals to adopt an approach of structured flexibility. With encouragement and the science of motivation built into every step of the process, clients adapt their behaviors and mindsets to facilitate safe, effective, and enduring health practices. Their individual metabolisms, lifestyles, food preferences, health conditions, activity levels, goals, and daily schedules are keys to developing their personal plans for success that can stand the test of time. Kori specializes in nutrition and weight loss consulting incorporating a flexible approach and customized programming, physical and mental training, mind-body integration, optimal athletic performance, eating psychology and emotional eating coaching, mindset and peak performance coaching, and overall well-being. Kori is one of a few athletes who have earned professional status in all three divisions of Bodybuilding, Figure, and Fit Body within the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation. She has also been a runner-up at the WNBF World Championships twice, and has earned pro titles at the Mid-America Pro-Am and the Pro-Cup in Sacramento. Now an avid road cyclist Kori can be found among the hills of North County! Published in the Journal of Nutrition and various community magazines, Kori serves on the advisory board for Oxygen Women’s Fitness magazine, is a contributing writer for UltraFitness magazine, is an avid blog writer, teaches at national camps and retreats, and provides international webinars. Kori coauthored 50 Days to Your Best Life with The Diet Doc founder, Dr. Joe Klemczewski in 2014 and has a new book in the works about the threats to self-determination of individuals pursuing nutrition goals. The Diet Doc programming, including a sophisticated digital resource system for clients blazes a trail for permanent success by simultaneously addressing the necessity of having flexible options while still employing a structure that will help accelerate body fat loss and optimal performance.

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  1. Yeah but…I like saying yeah but! 😉 Truly being able to accept a compliment has taken me two years and its a gift to be able to receive them now. But even greater than being able to receive compliments, I am able to GIVE them from the bottom of my heart. ‘Yeah but’ leads directly to scarcity thinking indeed! I say it’s time to get of your ‘yeah but’ and get to work! 🙂 Great post lady.

    1. Thanks, Donloree! Disqualifying the positive comes so naturally to some. It’s their default. Before they’ve even considered what has been said to them, “yeahbut” escapes their lips!
      Something I often have those I’m working with practice is counting for 3 seconds before responding. Not “1,2,3” but a drawn out “one-one thousand, two-one thousand….” Doing so minimizes impulsivity, gives them time to formulate a more appropriate response, and try out some new language. Resetting defaults can be tough, but just like a computer, we have a backspace key, and we can also “restart”. 😉

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