Are you tired of scrolling facebook and seeing countless articles about how you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T be living your life? I know I was and actually stopped following major blogging sites as a result. I noticed I was feeling worse and the culprit wasn’t facebook envy.
I have a pet peeve with blog posts that contain the word “should.” Especially posts that are intended to HELP people, but using the word should only passes negative judgment. In starting my blogging adventure I vowed to myself to never use the word should in a title…. except for this fun variation 😉
Should is a nasty word
It’s filled with negative judgement and shame.
“I should have done this/that” or “I shouldn’t have done this/that”
“Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda but didn’t”
I’m not exactly sure where this quote originates from other than from my brother. He used to say it every time I stared “shoulding” on myself when I was younger. I suppose it was the brotherly way to say, “What’s done is done, learn from your mistakes and move on.”
Now I’m NOT saying that no one makes mistakes…. it’s just that we can phrase things slightly differently and by doing so it has a surprising effect on our mood…..
What sounds better?
1. “I shouldn’t have eaten that bag of chips”
2. “I don’t feel good about eating that bag of chips. Next time I will eat less to avoid feeling this way”
The first one is a JUDGEMENT on yourself. Whereas the second sentence is not judgmental but yet an observation of the consequence of eating the bag of chips. By observing the situation we can better LEARN from the mistake and work on acting differently to CHANGE the emotional response.
It might sound silly to some people, but by working to cut out or reduce these negative/judgmental words, depression symptoms will lessen and you will begin to feel better about yourself.
Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend
We don’t should on our friends…. (sometimes we do) but often times when we are trying to be kind and compassionate to our friend who is shoulding on themselves, we help them see the positive, or help them reword their mistake to be less judgmental.
Therefore most people already possess the skill to change their thought patterns and negative self talk as demonstrated by doing it with others. We just need to start practicing it on ourselves.
Next time you hear your voice shoulding on yourself, stop and think for a minute. How can I reword this? Is shoulding on myself helping me?
Answer: No it isn’t. It is only make me feel WORSE. How can I learn from my mistake? Move forward… and be happy 🙂