Do you remember the day you started being “should” on?
The moment where someone said, “you should do x and y and then z”, and you did? I can’t call to my memory when it became the norm for me. When I became a “should” zombie in should land, not only taking it from others but creating a whole should pile for myself too.
Things I should on myself over include, but are not limited to,
- You should be more girly – I was a huge tomboy in school, choosing to hide in baggy clothes, and I used to declare make up unnecessary.
- You should be working – not sitting here with another young adult book.
- You should do the dishes (or any other household chore) – I seriously need to hire someone.
- You should call family – every day, all day, for hours.
- You should be smarter, richer, better – cause this helps anyone!
- You should be content where you are – no drive required for life.
- The list of shoulds goes on and on.
The word should implies that what you are doing is not good enough, you are not good enough. It creates guilt and shame, when none is needed.
Have you ever sat in a chair and thought about all the things you “should” be doing, and instead, you sit in the chair feeling guilty that you aren’t doing them.
I think I spent most of last year there!
What if we could switch the language to “what do I want to do?”.
Imagine sitting in the chair and thinking that instead. What do you think you would hear? Could you imagine the thoughts in your head changing if you wanted to do the things you were thinking about?
Spend today noticing how many times you, or those you love “should” on each other. When I started paying attention it blew my mind. I was a guilt spreading machine shoulding on everyone. You should do it this way, you should help me with this, we should make dinner. It was never ending.
Now my conversations are, can I offer you another way, would you like to help me with this, it would be awesome if we could make dinner right now.
Words are powerful. You should stop using should (see how it feels!). Even reading it puts my back up!
I’m on a mission and I would love your help. Please help me stop the world from shoulding on one another, one person at a time!