but 'n' just, just 'n' but

I listened to Dr. Laura on the way to Tracy’s and one comment she made changed my direction of thinking and supposing for a few minutes. And I’ve thought about it several times since.

She said when you are speaking and you say ‘just’ or ‘but’ you often negate what you spoke. ‘Just’ and ‘but’ are like two weights around your ankles.

I realized you I don’t get very far justing and butting all over the place.

I considered it the rest of the day and each time I almost said either of the words I was able to stop and think through what I was negating. I thought of the times in the past when I said, for example, “I’m, sorry, it’s just that you . . . ”

[Not a very affective apology.]

Or “I want to, I really do. But I just . . .”

Oops, both words are in that excuse and it really changes the meaning of ‘I really want to.’

So I started thinking about how I messed up this past week. There was just too much food around the house! I’m not sure that sentence has the same impact, because ‘just’ there means ‘only.’ So I didn’t really negate anything. But when I say “I really wanted to eat healthy but there was too much unhealthy food around the house,” I’m not being responsible for what I did. I’m shifting responsibility to the food! It’s the food‘s fault! Or hubby’s for buying so much junk, or all the company’s fault. I wanted to have plenty of food for all of them, things they would like, but it turned out that I didn’t control my own eating and was out of control.

I fell back on some really poor habits. Sneaking food, eating in bed. Eating ’til I was past stuffed. Ugh.

When I use ‘just’ as an excuse [as opposed to meaning recently or only] it also changes what I am saying. I wanted to get the house in order, it’s just that I had to . . .

I’m going to try to be more aware of saying what I mean and what I want to say . . .

I just realized. The word ‘try’ pretty much negates everything as well.