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I have been wanting to write about this word "should" for a long time. It was about ten years ago that I first became aware of how it is used. For now I will just put a few links here and a few of my own notes.
I'd say telling someone what they "should" do or "should have done" is pretty unhelpful and it is very likely it is actually hurting them rather than helping them at all because it is likely they don't feel understood. One way it could hurt them is that there is a reason for why they aren't doing what they "should" do, and if you understood that reason, you wouldn't be telling them to do it. So they probably don't feel understood.
Page started Jan 2007
|You Should Go To South Korea
Once I was talking to someone who I had just met. At one point they said to me "You should go to South Korea." I didn't say anything but I wondered, "When should I go? What money should I use to go there? How long should I stay there? What should I do there? Which city should I go to? Should I fly or travel by land? What should I not do so I can go there? What should I not spent my money on so I can spend it to go there and live there?"
My point is that this person didn't know me. They didn't know my values, my beliefs, my feelings, my needs, my thoughts, my goals, my talents, my resources. So how could they really know what I "should" do?
Should Have Known
I spoke with someone who said she feels bad when her sister says things like You should have known She said she begins to question and doubt herself. I could see that she wanted to try harder to please her sister, to get her approval. This is, of course, just what the sister wants.
The person who says "You should have... " wants the other person to seek their approval and do what that person wants them to. The should-er wants the should-ee to feel guilty and to try to win the approval of the should-er. If the should-ee does what the should-er wants him/her to do then it is because the should-ee feels guilty and is afraid of the should-er's disapproval and rejection.
|I Believe You Should Take a Vacation
This what someone wrote to me recently.
Now let's think about it. First, here are some questions, How long of a vacation should I take? Where should I go? How much I spend? Should my partner go with me or should I go alone? Should I take my laptop? Should I answer any emails? Should I put a message on my website saying "If you are feeling suicidal please wait till I return from vacation"?
Should I do any thinking while on vacation? If so what should I think about? Should I try to get myself drunk so I can't think and instead just sleep till I wake up then start drinking again? Should I try to find some marijuana while I am on vacation and see if that helps me feel more relaxed? Should I try smoking? Should I try to distract myself, and if so with which distractions?
Since this person knows what I should do, I defintely would like them to give me some more details. In fact, I would like them to tell me what I should do for the rest of my life, minute by minute and hour by hour.
Then I won't have to think about anything at all. I will just have to do what they want me to do. But I would also like them to tell me what I should do if they get tired of telling me what to do or they die....
|George W. Bush
Here is something I got from CNN on Oct 23, 2007. The story is about Bush asking the US Congress for another 42 billion dollars for war expenses. Here are are two quotes from Bush:
Who is to decide what America "should" do or what the American congressmen "should" do? Is it healthy for the world or even for the Americans to do what George Bush says someone "should" do?
What does this word "should" really mean? What does it imply? What feelings is intended to create in others?
If it is not healthy for humans to do what George Bush says they "should" do, then how does anyone decide when to do what someone else says they "should" do? Is this word really even helpful or necessary?
How might George Bush be feeling?
This is a good example of someone who tries to tell others what they "should" do when they can't (or won't) express their own feelings or explain the connection between their personal beliefs and those feelings.
What might George Bush's emotoinal needs be at this point in time?
will be fun
Whenever my mom wants me to do something with her that I don't really want to do she'll say "oh you should though... it'll be fun" and stuff like that.
From a 12 year old in the USA
Erin was a work exchange student with me once. Here are some notes I made about her at the time.
|Also... why didn't you.... you should have....|
Jan 9 page creation