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Does the Word “Should” Validate You?

August 19, 2010

Basketball GameWhile writing the series Helping People to Help Themselves I discovered more concerning the word “should”. When we tell people, what we believe he or she should do it demeans them. In other words, it does not empower them. Even when they ask us, what we would do or what we suppose they should do, it indicates that they are feeling helpless. This is the reason that when we think about what we should do, we feel unsupported. We can actually get a feeling that we are without value. Telling ourselves consciously what we should do is an unworthy way to validate ourselves. However, when we think that we should do something it is usually a competent thing. When you think of something you should do, it normally directs at what you want to achieve. We counsel ourselves with the word should and this can validate us; we have an inner guidance.

To utilize this idea it is essential that you understand that by listening for what you think you should do, and promptly following through you validate yourself. We can validate other people too by listening for what we should do. For example, several months ago I was standing in line at the super market and observing the cashier. The woman ahead of me was being difficult and the cashier, demonstrated patience. I realized how much I admired her and the way that she was handling the situation. I thought, “I should” tell her how much I admired her patience. It can take as little as two-seconds, to do what you think you should do.

For me personally I listen for what I think I should do and usually by willingly doing it, I feel valued. We can accomplish more in our lives if we are willing to listen to ourselves and to what we think we should. Each time I do what I think (perceive) I should do my own self-worth raises. Willingly doing what we hear ourselves think we should do, can be decisive. We are more likely to end up doing what we shouldn’t if we resist the word when it enters our own mind. We may deny ourselves what we want, need and demean ourselves. Procrastination can be the consequence or dismissing what we want because of shyness, guilt and fear. Certainly, we must consider other people, while using this method. However, many times by disregarding what we should do, we disregard other people.

Without an understanding of this word, we end up doing more of what we regret. What would happen if I thought I shouldn’t keep the compliment to myself and then accepted that I should mind my own business? I may have disregarded what I admired in the cashier and avoided an opportunity to show open heartedness to us both. This is the reason that the word shouldn’t effects us far more than the word “should”. I perceive the word should when it comes to me as an authorizing idea. The word should is one that establishes confidence. The more I listen for the word and follow my inner-guidance the more confident I become in the guidance of my own intellect. I provide myself sound advice and trust it. What advice do you give yourself? Do you take action toward your own inner-guidance?


6 Comments to “Does the Word “Should” Validate You?”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandra Hendricks, Sandra Hendricks. Sandra Hendricks said: "Give & Get » Does the Word “Should” Validate You?" – http://bit.ly/bu4a47 via @thisshouldhelp2 [...]

  2. Sandra Lee says:

    Sandra, I really like this article so much. To me that heart of what you are saying is about having a conscience and the inner urge to do good. That is indeed a beautiful voice to follow! Thanks for giving us this different spin on “should.” !!!!

    .-= Sandra Lee´s last blog ..Expert advice on writing faster blog posts =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Sandra,

      I am glad you enjoyed the article. Following our heart is one of our biggest challenges. It is my experience that literally everything has two sides, we choose which angle to utilize. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  3. Hi Sandra

    I find this post very interesting. I agree that telling someone what they “should” do is not the way forward. Everyone has their own ways of handling situations. It is good to help them discover all the options that are open to them. But it is up to them at the end of the day whether they take action or not.

    We differ with our “shoulds”. Some how we know instinctively that something is the correct course of action. However for me when the word “should” is involved I can almost hear a parental command in my head.

    Many people believe they should take loans out to buy children expensive Christmas presents. Many children feel that they should do things that they don’t really want to in order to keep up with their peers. Adults feel that they should do things for a quiet life.

    I tend to challenge a client who has lots of “shoulds” in their conversation. “Why should you?” “What other options have you?”

    Isn’t amazing how one word can have such different meaning to people.

    Another inspiring post Sandra -thank you

    .-= Marion Anderson´s last blog ..How to Forgive – What you need to know about forgiveness =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Marion,

      I know exactly what you mean. I used to be that way too, I was forever thinking I should do what other people thought or what my parents taught me. The word should is mysterious. It is impossible to think about what you shouldn’t do, unless you think about what you don’t want or don’t like initially. A parent who supposes they should finance Christmas is thinking about what they don’t want, and they are actually running off of what they shouldn’t do. I am putting together a post that will shed some insight on the problem. Indecision revolves around, I do, but I don’t thinking and is at the core of many issues in our lives. Seeking approval is why many people think they shouldn’t do something and then turn it into what they should do. I imagine we do things we shouldn’t do. This is where the guilt, self-criticism and resentment can develop.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts, you have inspired me to write or maybe do a video on the word shouldn’t.

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ted The Bear, Marion_Anderson. Marion_Anderson said: "Give & Get » Does the Word “Should” Validate You?" – http://bit.ly/dfnwdl via @thisshouldhelp2 [...]

  5. Sandra

    Your post made me think so I have come back to share my thoughts. I do have an inner guidance word – must. If I had been in the shop as you were and felt that I wanted to compliment the assistant the word going through my head would be -must. I must buy a birthday card. I must drop in to see a particular friend.

    It is a inner guiding thing but without the parental feel. How strange – just goes to show the power that words have.

    .-= Marion Anderson´s last blog ..How to Forgive – What you need to know about forgiveness =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Marion,

      Must is a powerful word too. It is funny how words effect different people in different ways. I suspect that how these various words effect us depends on many things. For instance, if you had a nagging parent, criticizing parent, or demanding parent. The ideas of I need, I must, I should, I have to, and the effect they can have, vary. I am glad you shared your inner guidance word. Tony Robins says to turn your shoulds into musts and that has a lot of merit. For me I recognize the words “I should” as a gentle reminder. I also hear that I must do things, need to do things and have to do things, and doing these things promptly keeps the should haves from entering the picture. By adding the word should to the mix, I discovered that I rarely have any regrets. I suppose it is all a matter of listening to ourselves and minding ourselves (taking action).

      We can ask ourselves what should I do and for me it is preferred to asking what can I do, or what must I do. It pressures me if I ask what must I do to resolve this issue. It makes me feel helpless if I ask what can I do, but what should I do sounds like asking myself for advice. When I hear myself thinking about what I should do, I turn it into a must, or a have to. I do this not to be hard on myself or to push myself but because I must do what serves me best. The voice of my parent is one that can harm me or help me and it really is my own. Whether I think I must, I have to or need to do or say something, I accept that it is what I should do. Your inner guidance is the same as mine! I think I must do what I think I should. :) Not what other people think I should or what I think other people think I should.