So you have just ended a phone conversation where you were looking for some concrete help, and now you feel frustrated!

In thinking back on it, you realize that “yeah but” was repeated (by you) at least three times. You were seeking advice, yet the conversation took turns that didn’t feel satisfying. When we are listening, and what wells up and comes out of us is “yeah, but” time to pay attention….it’s a signal that:

  • You’ve been politely listening. And then, honoring your boundary by saying “yeah, but” as a way of saying, “thank you, but no thank you.”


  • You feel you are made wrong. You are almost accustomed to people, for whatever reasons, not understanding your drive or motivation. Instead of being supportive and trying to work through with you on your ideas or goals, the conversation veers in a direction that leaves you feeling misunderstood and less then. Saying “yeah,but” is a way of standing up for yourself.


  • Time to stretch yourself!  Do you often miss the kernel in the corn, an opportunity not acknowledged by dismissing others too quickly? Take the chance for growth! We stretch ourselves when we truly consider different opinions. If this is someone whose opinion you value, knows you well or has some experience in the direction you want to go – pause and consider. Even if it feels distasteful at first. Often what motivates us is a desire to change, to leave a particular situation, to not feel “that way” anymore – yet the road to change will not immediately feel good either.

I had an experience like this – paying out oodles of money for someone’s opinion, after which I immediately discounted it. Boy their off, that is not for me I gloated. Feeling misunderstood, “they don’t get me,” “they don’t get my goal” was my immediate take-away.

“They are probably reflecting more on their personal experience than mine.” Which, in part, may have been true. It’s also not the point. What was also true, and so much more important, is that by taking a pause (sucking it up) and really feathering out what was being instructed, I did find a kernel in the corn. I did.

Are You This Guy?And while it was a bit unsettling, and caused some discontent as I needed to make a turnabout; it was a promising piece of information that I would have missed and a journey that would have not been taken if I had not taken a pause and truly reflected.


  • Resistance.  Our internal bully – can have so many voices and names. Wanting or needing to do it all on your own may actually be a form of resistance.  What a load to carry.  This subject is a biggie and needs a bigger blog post, one of its own. I’ll just say – journal – write it out and self-disclose, at least to yourself to start.


  • Finally, ask yourself – what is the biggest way you want to contribute? Are you proceeding towards that, or is your “yeah,but” another form of self-sabotage. (See Resistance above.)



Final Thoughts

You probably would not describe yourself as a martyr, in matter of fact you may be very dependable, self-motivated, ambitious, a hard worker, a just person, and working yourself to the bone.

In fact, for you, there may be some information within the “yeah, but” conversation that just may get your back – upright again.

And, as a last reflection, ask yourself, am I atrophying?  If you don’t move you may atrophy – you don’t necessarily stay the same.

Listening to difficult or new information (if it is truly given in the spirit to provide help and comes from an appropriate source) may be a great growing gift. It’s normal for people to try to stay with what is familiar (seeking homeostasis) – but instead of staying the same and well, the whole system can atrophy.

Honor your own thoughts, know your mind, own your boundaries, but before you say “yeah, but” and just drop the conversation; consider the source, consider your growth potential, and consider what stretching to the edge means for you.