Are you “shoulding” all over yourself? The word “Should” happens to be one of the most insidious in the English language. In today’s episode, we talk about how:
- Psychoanalyst Karen Horney called “The Tyranny of the Should” this tendency to create an idealized self and a rejection of the real self.
- Albert Ellis spoke about the three kinds of “musts.”
- Using the word “should” is conveying criticism, like “scolding” oneself (or others).
- The value statements implied by that word are arbitrary and relative.
- The laws of Nature do not follow any “should,” but instead are what they are, and we don’t get a vote.
- Rephrasing — replacing “should” with “is” or “does” or “I would prefer it if…”
- Reattribution — considering the alternative causes of events and behaviors.
- Positive Reframing — acknowledging that Should Statements come out of a very good place in you, that they reflect positive attributes and values, and that there is a helpful side to holding those beliefs.
- The Tyranny of the Should, by Karen Horney
- The Three Major “Musts”, by Albert Ellis
- shall (v.), the Online Etymology Dictionary