Counseling gave me a place to throw up all my thoughts and my counselor helped me pick through what needed to change to improve my life. I don’t remember what I was discussing but I remember vividly I said something I should do. I was stunned when he asked me, “Who shoulded on you?” A large portion of that session centered on the lethal word “should.” I noticed that when people should on me, they are talking from a perspective far different than mine. Have you heard it? You should do this, you should do that, well if you would just (would just is a disguised should) have you heard these? One of the coping skills I learned was to recognize when someone is shoulding on me. Sometimes I’m the one doing the shoulding…..
I should be out of counseling after 10 years.
I should do better at my job.
I should study my scriptures more.
I should get more sleep.
I should… Yea the list could go on and on and on…..
I also know that the higher number of shoulds increase my anxiety, decreases my effectiveness, and basically drains energy that I would rather use doing what I can do not what someone else things I should do.
Critical to the healing process is recognizing for myself what I need to do with my time and limited energy. Part of coping is discerning when a situation is life and death verses when some one else is making demands that may not matter to me. Hmmmm is part of the anxiety I am feeling lately centered on a person at work making demands that I don’t feel I can meet? Who is shoulding on me? What can I do to stop the flow of shoulding? Things to ponder this week.