Should! Should? I have an intense dislike of the word. Something inside me gets angry every time it's used against me.

  • "I should exercise more".
  • "I should spend more time with [insert name of family member]".
  • "I should go to bed earlier".

To me, the word has a feeling of judgement. It feels like, "You are a bad person. You won't do this good thing". It feels like, "What's wrong with you".

“Shoulds” feel like a bit of a guilt trip, and when we feel our guilt buttons being pushed, we get resentful, willful, or discouraged. Dr. Noa Kageyama

  • "You should drive two hours on your only day off this week to visit [insert name of family member]".
  • "You should drop everything you have planned for the week because [insert name of family member] planned an impromptu trip to the area".
  • "You should adjust your life to meet other people's expectations".

But is the guilt real? Am I really a bad person because I won't do something that someone else, it's often always someone close to you, thinks should be done? How can I take control of the situation, get back to a positive place of being, and get the other voice to STFU?

Replace your shoulds with a word or phrase that is more future-solution-focused. Personally, I like the phrase: “Next time, I will…” Dr. Noa Kageyama

  • Today I will go outside for a 15 minutes walk with my [insert name of family member].
  • Tonight I will go to bed at 10 PM.
  • I will honour my needs and wants.
  • I will tell people to stop shoulding all over me.