Sunday, July 10, 2022

The power of "Yes, and..."

Apparently, one used to be able to go to New York City and take lessons on how to "do" stand-up comedy and "improv".

One of the key enablers was to banish the words "No" and "but" from your vocabulary.

The word "No" stops the free flow of thoughts and conversations. It is a black-hole for positive energy.

The word "but" can force the conversation to bend a sharp corner and do a one-hundred-eighty degree turn. More often it hangs clutter and burdens on the train of thought. Thus burdened, the little-engine-that-could stalls out or gets wedged into a tunnel.

Powerful, confident people are comfortable with "Yes, and...". They are not afraid to go along with the ride. They do not feel compelled to slam on the brakes.

People with a very high need for dominance are envious of powerful, confident people. Those control freaks are the ones rely on "No" and "but". They are fearful.

Look at the Covid response if you want a concrete example.

Speech habits are difficult to break. If you find yourself relying on the words "No" or "but" (especially as the first words of your sentences" then you might want to work on substituting them with "Yes, and..."

It can be difficult to practice "Yes, and..." with somebody after they said something that you disagree with at a gut level. Maybe even 90% of what they said pushes every button in your head. And 10% did not push those buttons.  You can say "Yes, and..." modify that 10% if you must to establish a common ground and move forward.

It will shape your thought processes and make you a more confident, more powerful person. You will also be happier and more energetic. All four characteristics will enrage the control-freaks and woke-scolds which is a double bonus.


  1. Now THAT Sir, is some good advice!

  2. We are living in a time that is the greatest period of fodder for great world changing comedy . See how they recently came against Dave Chappelle for his skits against liberal lunacy . Notice how the left was joined by the right to cancel Milo Yianopolis who as a practicing Catholic is rejecting the gay lifestyle after that exposion of cancelling while praying and fasting . Milo is one of the deepest thinkers and also very funny . He said "The left can not take away our laughter ". And then they cancelled him . Besides being the time of great comedic opportunity it is the time of danger for those that dare to challenge the machine . I wish Milo could have read your advice .

  3. Thought provoking essay.

    Perhaps it is a measure of where I am in my maturational process (which assumes that I have such a thing!), but I'm in a space wherein my go to responds to foolishness is a simple "No."

    I grow reluctant to debate religion (and warmism, liberalism, and suchlike are religions) with a true believer.

    For example, my brother, highly educated, WASHES the crap he recycles. "For the environment". So, no cost for the soap you use? The hot water? The sewage processing and disposal?


  4. Agree and amplify negative thoughts that you don't agree with to the point of absurdity. Shows weird levels of confidence.

  5. ERJ, I really like this. Thank you for posting. How I verbally express myself is something I struggle with.

    Something I remember from a book (cannot remember where I read it) is that "but" can be an acronym for "Behold the Underlying Truth" - in other words, this is why that will not work. Every time I hear someone say "but", that is what I hear in my mind. Words matter.


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