Daily Archives: December 16, 2011

You should…

I have been trying to ensure that I do not use “you should” when speaking.  I think it is harmful to the person it is used on.  If I use it please call me on it.

“You should socialize more”

“You should get over our worrying about everything”

“You should get into this career”

“You should move into a different neighborhood”

“You should just get over it”

“You should look for the positive”

The above statements are just examples…

When I hear any statement that begins with “you should” then whatever the statement is, means that the person receiving that statement is doing it wrong, and must change to be acceptable to the one making the statement.  Nothing in the statement includes discussion, rather it is a directive of what that person wants another to do, and the one receiving it then feels the need to justify their reason, choice, etc..

If someone opens a conversation about something replacing “you should” with “have you thought about” or “have you considered” and then offers suggestions of alternatives or things might help, then there is no condemnation of what is happening now, or what choices were made before.  Rather it is a question about whether or not you are happy with the way it is, and if not, have you thought about a different way.

To me the “you should” statements lowers self-esteem, and is a negative that is less than helpful, and at worst harmful.

We all have enough negatives in our life that are beyond our control, that we do not need a negative self-esteem added to the list.  There are many things we could all change about ourselves and don’t change, simply because we like who we are. 

Thanks for letting me vent and please if I say “you should” tell me to stop. 

How do you feel when someone says “you should” do X?  Am I being oversensitive?


Posted by on December 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


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