The Ultimate Buffer
The word “but” is a social phenomenon. This sneaky conjunction has fooled generations of young adults for centuries. Very rarely are people legitimately aware to the reality that the word “but” completely negates everything in front of it. “You are such a sweet, amazing, great person, but you're really being a jerk,” is an example this kind of logic. All you have accomplished in this was lulling your subject into a false sense of security and hitting them with a BUlleT. I would recommend in the future, a more direct approach when wanting to discuss certain unfriendly topics and have always been an advocate of not beating around the bush. I say: beat the bush and get over it. Now if you prefer to load on the lies and irrelevant compliments, feel free to be my guest: “Peanut butter is the best condiment on the planet, it can make monkeys fly and drink an entire gallon of milk in under an hour! It is the cure for cancer, BUT I don’t want it on my lasagna.” Is an example of this going a touch too far.
Sometimes this “but” can be used as a way to keep oneself out of trouble, using it as a method of self negation: “Tony is a real jerk and makes everyone feel subhuman, but, that’s just my opinion.” This keeps the person doing the talking out of any real trouble because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, these days. How drole! Another way “but” is used is in a more fifth grade-ish way, in the beginning of a sentence. Here’s how this goes: “I don’t want to drink canned lightning!” says your friend who simply doesn’t want to drink lightning in a can, “…But, it’s good for you!” retorts the fifth grader within you. In this case, you are using your words to deny theirs, since “but” negates everything preceding it. How mean is that?
All I’m trying to say here is that not providing this cushion of verbiage between the person to whom you’re speaking and what you really intend to say may go over even better than the buffer as it is. Your opinion does matter, and if someone is asking you for your honesty, I would encourage you to try it out immediately upon their request, since that’s what they’re asking for. This may small change might start a revolution in our generation of people who say what they really mean! Regardless, I hope this helps. Thanks for reading, both of you!