Excerpted with permission from Griffith, Jane & Powers, Robert L.
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This phrase of Adler's was his shorthand for neurotic operations. The neurotic recognizes the requirements of living ("Yes, I see what is required of me..."). However, he or she seeks an exemption through excuses, alibis, hesitation, or other maneuvers ("but, I can't do it because..."). Here the person puts forth his or her reasons; there are as many reasons as there are avoiding and hesitating human beings. The Yes, but... is linked to the sense of discouragement which these individuals feel in the face of the challenges of life, and is an expression of the hesitating attitude.