(This was originally posted on “theworminmyapple.com. It got such a big response I decided to post it here as well. I accidentally posted this last Sunday morning and I didn’t mean to.Hope this re-post is ok.) By the way, I don’t believe in censorship although I do wish some people would edit themselves!).
There has never been a word I hate more than “should”. I’ve always been told, by one particular person, I “should” do this or I “should” do that. Consequently, I’ve used it too often myself. Let me ask you, has the word “should” ever worked for you except to make you feel resentful? It always made me feel that way. (Of course, maybe the author of the word makes a difference.)
Yes, there are things we “should” do. Eat our veggies, use our manners, be kind, help others, etc. But these are concepts not a specific word directed at us in a judgemental way. So what should we say?
I’ve learned to soften the word by saying, “Maybe you could……”), or “Maybe a good idea would be to…..”, or “Have you thought about….?”
We need to use life-affirming words, not life-depleting words.
So I’m not saying we should drop the concept of a “should” from our vocabulary but that we need to think of better ways to express our ourselves, especially our opinions or objections.