The ‘Yabut’ can rear its ugly head just about anywhere. Especially in recovery, a ‘Yabut’ can be challenging to be around. Nothing sucks the life out of a great idea, a room, or a party faster than a ‘Yabut.’ Find out why it can be dangerous and what to do if you meet a ‘Yabut,’ or realize you have become one yourself.
Perhaps the deepest need people have is to feel in control. It is like you will do anything to feel more in control. That is also what likely got you in trouble with addictive behaviors in the first place. Yabuts have a strong need for control by first agreeing (yes) and then disagreeing (but). By adding the word ‘but,’ Yabuts discount everything leading up to the statement. A Yabut can listen, then say ‘Yes, but…’ to keep themself in control of the conversation or idea. Yabuts have perfectionistic ways of thinking and seeing the world, that there is a ‘right’ way of doing things. They become frustrated when others do not see it their way.
Yabuts need to show off intellectual prowess and how smart they are by presenting alternative facts. For example, if someone says ‘I think this historical idea is profound because…,’ the other person might challenge it by saying, ‘yes, but…’ It is not about whether that person is right or wrong, it is how it leaves the other person feeling at the end. The only options the other person has at that point are to argue the point, passively agree, or say nothing, depending on their personality.
A Yabut is not much different than anyone else. Many people use the term ‘yes, but,’ in daily conversation to get a point across. There are different ways to agree and disagree about something. The true difference is in how people feel after a volley of ‘yes, buts…’ have been floated back and forth. If we feel agitated or discounted, it is likely we are with a person who uses ‘yes, but’ to control and negate other people’s opinions and feelings.
One of the best ways to lose the Yabut is to develop a ‘yes and’ response. This requires lots of empathy for the other person speaking. We are far more conditioned to argue a point of view than expand upon it. A ‘yes and’ way of thinking opens up the mind to help us listen empathically. It creates a supportive environment in which to flourish. When you use ‘yes and,’ you are setting yourself up to agree with the person while also adding some of your own personal commentary without putting down what the other speaker said. This skill is very important in recovery because you want to continue to build empathy and listening skills with other people. It is hard to do this when all your answers are more focused on being right than hearing the other person.
Learning to hear other people takes listening skills and empathy. Sound Recovery helps you work on those skills in recovery with our programs, services and resources. If you are struggling with addiction, let us help. Call us at 561-277-3088 to get started.