Do any of these statements sound like something you would say or think?
I “should” be more accomplished by this point in my life.
I “shouldn’t” be resting and reading this weekend,
I “should” be out and social.
He “should” know how I feel.
She “should” know how I feel.
We “should” be spending all of our free time together because that’s what couples do.
The list goes on.
What if you decided to take “should”, with its punitive and rigid quality, out of your vocabulary, and replaced it with “could”, which feels more spacious and inviting?
When you “should” on yourself and those you love, you take away the notion of choice and the space to make decisions that work in that moment. And, the word “should” suggests that there is only one right way to do things, only one right decision to make. It also creates negative feelings in the receiver. Next time you find yourself “shoulding” on someone, notice their body language, and whether or not they open up to engage in more conversation with you or shut down and withdraw. Chances are they are not feeling open once they receive your “should” statement.
Are you willing to break out of the rigidity of “should” and invite “could”, along with its many possibilities, into your life? Together, we can explore letting go of your knowing stance, and explore what it would be like to sit in not-knowing.
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