We Need More “Yes AND” and less “Yes BUT”

In writing, you are told to say, “Yes, BUT”. In improv, you are told to say, “Yes, AND.” I think we all need a bit more of the latter in our real lives right now.
“Yes, the character gained invisibility, BUT now she is blind and begins to freeze to death because the sun’s light passes through her.” This is MEANT to create more problems for the character to solve in a way that impedes their progress, to present opportunities for conflict and setbacks that create tension and drama.
“Yes, your character is invisible, AND they work in a funeral home.” Or “Yes your character is invisible, AND they cannot speak.” This presents opportunities by combining the elements.
In the real world, Yes AND leads to growth, and progress. Yes, BUT leads to feeling shot down, patronized, or to conflict and argument.
“Yes, that is one idea, BUT you didn’t consider X and Z so your idea is flawed/bad.” “Yes, that is one idea, BUT I think this other idea should be considered instead.”
“Yes, I like X aspect of your idea, great job, AND we should also consider these other ideas, so we can build on your idea together to create something even better.”
I feel like the Left has been sabotaged by too much Yes BUT. Yes, black lives matter, BUT. Yes, that women’s march was huge, BUT. Yes, that is a great way to fight Trump, BUT you ignored that this group over here cannot fight that way so your way is bad.
I hope we can do more Yes, AND.
Not ignore the instances where privilege and blindspots and omissions may be hurtful or harmful, but say Yes you are fighting a good fight, AND we also have this group/ concern over here, AND here’s how we can build on each other’s efforts and lift each other up rather than beat each other down while the real problem goes unaddressed.
“Yes, Randy, BUT …”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *