Used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticising someone’s actions
Are you shoulding on yourself?
Are you telling yourself all day, every day, what you should be doing (and feeling bad about what you haven’t done)?
Sometimes we have so many ‘shoulds’ it’s difficult to know what we want.
Have you noticed that even though ‘shoulds’ are supposed to be motivating, what you should do often doesn’t get done!
As the definition says a should is a rule you ‘should’ live up to, a demand you ‘should’ meet, an expectation of how you ‘should’ behave.
- I should lose weight
- I should be more assertive
- I should be more patient
- I should …
Shoulds are often intended to be motivating, to help us do what we want or what is best for us. In theory our ‘shoulds’ should help us get things done
Unfortunately they don’t usually work that way.
Three ways shoulds don’t work
On the face of it ‘shoulds’ should work, but there are three ways in which they backfire:
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