You shouldn’t be talking like this. You should already be speaking clearly and effectively. You shouldn’t be limiting yourself so much. And you definitely should not be stressed or confused about any of this.
How does that feel? Most people don’t like being told what they should and should not do. If that’s you, I should be able to show you something helpful. This post should be pretty good, and it probably shouldn’t be very confusing.
And by now you should be feeling maybe a little annoyed, maybe a little uncertain about whether this post will be any good.
Don’t worry – There’s a method to the madness.
Isn’t it frustrating to feel like you are supposed to do something, when you really don’t want to?
It almost seems to mean there is something wrong with you when you are measuring up to where and what you should be.
At best, the word “should” is ambiguous and unclear.
How great would it be if you could choose not to be limited by that word?
SHOULD <verbal auxiliary \shəd, ˈshu̇d\>
- A modal operator of necessity, similar to “Must” or “Have to”
- Expresses obligation or expectancy
What you are really saying:
- Something is not how an [often unspecified] person wants it to be, therefore it is wrong
- You feel obligated to do something, but don’t want to do it
- You expect something to happen, but are simultaneously uncertain about it
Improper use of the word Should creates tension and stress, due to unacknowledged conflict. It sets unclear expectations, and often defers responsibility for an action or outcome to a mysterious unnamed third party.
While things like Hypnosis and NLP can help someone break out of that conflict between “should” and “don’t want to,” a simple changing of words, such as replacing “should” with “will,” or specifying the source of the “should,” can resolve a lot of the anxiety and ambiguity.
Read through the statements below and notice the difference:
|With SHOULD||Without SHOULD|
|It should rain today||The weather man said it will rain today
I want it to rain today
|I should be going to the gym||I will be going to the gym
I haven’t gone to the gym yet
My doctor told me to go to the gym
|He should call me later today||He said he will call me later today
I asked him to call me later today
|Gasoline should be free||I want gasoline to be free
I don’t like paying for gas
|You shouldn’t have eaten that donut||Eating donuts has a negative effect on your health
I don’t appreciate you eating my donut
That donut had a bug on it
What to do about it:
Over the next few days, pay attention to how often you hear the word “should,” as well as how often you say it. Then, instead of passively accepting it, get clear on the meaning.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- Who says?
- For what purpose?
- What happens if you don’t?
- or simply “Should?”
Have fun, and please leave a comment to let me know how this works out for you!