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Are We Able To Use The Term 'Should'?

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By Zohaib Ali 🌱 Published 6 months ago 6 min read
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Are We Able To Use The Term 'Should'?
Photo by Grant Beirute on Unsplash

We all use "should" at some point in our lives. It's a common word that we use to tell ourselves what we should do. But is "should" actually helpful?

In this post, we're going to explore the problem with "should" and the benefits of stopping use of it. We'll discuss how "should" can actually hinder our ability to learn and progress in our life. And ultimately, we'll show you how to replace "should" with more effective mental growth strategies. Let's stop using "should" and start using more effective mental growth strategies today.

What Does 'Should' Mean?

When we say should, what do we really mean? For some people, should is a way of telling them what they should do. It can be used to give advice or recommendations, and it can also express strong beliefs. However, should isn't always liked because some people feel that it is dictating what they should do. Some people also feel that should be a way of judging them. Ultimately, should is a word that has multiple meanings depending on how you use it. To understand its full potential, you need to become familiar with its different uses.

When used as a verb, should typically means to make something happen as required or recommended by someone. For example, if your boss asks you to prepare an estimate for the project that you're working on, using the verb should mean that you comply and prepare the estimate as required or recommended.

As a noun, should refer to moral obligation or duty – in other words, something that someone has been given by society and which they are expected to follow. For example, if your parents tell you not to eat junk food during your vacation in Europe, using the word should in this sense refer to this moral obligation that you have been given by your parents.

Finally, when used with another verb (such as ought, must, etc.), should can imply greater force or urgency: for example, You ought to call him right now! This usage of ought implies that there is no debate about whether or not calling him right now is the right thing to do – it's just standard practice!

The Problem With 'Should'

When it comes to giving advice, we often use the word should. But is should really the best word to use? The problem with should is that it's a judgment. It implies that there's a right or wrong way to do something, and this can put pressure on ourselves or others. Instead of should, try using could or might. These words don't carry the same judgmental baggage and they're more flexible in terms of how we approach things.

For example, suppose you want to tell someone not to do something. Instead of saying you shouldn't do that, try saying maybe you shouldn't do that. This preserves the person's freedom while still providing some guidance. Similarly, if you're giving advice about how to dress for a party, instead of saying you need to dress like this, try saying maybe you'd look better in something more casual. This gives the person some latitude in terms of what they choose to wear.

Another thing to be aware of when giving advice is the power dynamic between yourself and your listener. We often give advice as if we know best – which can put pressure on our listener. Try giving advice in a way that puts less pressure on them – by suggesting things that they could try instead of telling them what they should do. For example, instead of telling someone not to eat unhealthy food because it'll make them fat, say maybe you could try eating healthier foods instead. This will help the person make their own choices rather than feeling like they have no choice but to follow our recommendations.

How To Stop Using 'Should'

It can be tough to break free from the word 'should'. For most of us, it has become a habit to use the word should whenever we don't feel like doing something. However, using should is not only ineffective, but it can also be harmful to your self-esteem and prevent you from taking action. When you stop using should, you will feel lighter and more positive – two outcomes that are definitely worth considering.

When you use the word should, it implies that you are not doing what is best for yourself. This judgemental attitude can make you feel guilty and lead to negative self-talk that can damage your self-esteem. In addition, using should prevent you from taking action – instead of making choices based on what is best for you, you often default to what others want or what society tells us we 'should' do. All of these negative consequences add up over time and can have a significant impact on your life.

The good news is that replacing should with a more positive word is easy (and fun!). When you catch yourself using the word should try substituting another word like ought or need. Although this won't completely eradicate the use of should from your vocabulary, it will help to reduce its impact and improve your overall mood.

The Benefits Of Stopping Use Of 'Should'

Are you struggling to let go of the word 'should'? If so, you're not alone. The use of 'should' can be a heavy weight on our minds, and it often results in stress and unhappiness. Instead of using should as a way to dictate how we should behave, we can replace it with positive affirmations.

When we use should instead of affirmative statements, we're making assumptions about what other people want or need. This can lead to frustration and conflict because people often have different expectations. Instead of using should try using phrases like I am doing what is best for me or I trust that this will work out. Not only will this help you feel more in control, but it will also open up new possibilities for yourself.

When you stop relying on the word 'should,' you'll find that your life becomes lighter and happier. You'll be less likely to feel overwhelmed or stressed, and you'll have more confidence in your abilities. You'll also be more likely to take risks – something that is essential for personal growth and development.

To Wrap Things Up

When using the word "should," it is important to be mindful of how it is being used. Are you using it as a way to put pressure on yourself or others? Or are you using it in a more positive, helpful way? If you find that you are using "should" in a way that is not helpful, try to stop using it altogether. It can make a big difference in how you feel and how others perceive you.

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Your next read → How I Figure What to Focus On

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About the Creator

Zohaib Ali 🌱

I'm Zohvib (pronounced as Zohaib), Through Vocal and other digital publications, I tell stories that help readers to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be. 🗿

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