Article: Are You Using this Demeaning Word?

By: Sarah Ramsden

Which word do you use that makes you feel obliged?

Which word is a secret sign you don’t want to do what you’re about to do?

Which word are you using multiple times a day, that strips away your ability to commit to what you really want in life?

Is this simple word dragging you down?


You should do this, You should do that, you should, should, should.

It doesn’t matter what the dictionary says on this, what matters is how you use it. It stinks of obligation, the things you don’t want to do, but “have to”.

You feel:

  • You should put in the overtime, because you’re worried what your boss might think.
  • You should have to explain to everyone why you want different things in life after your health issues.
  • You should be like everyone else, because it would be sooooo much easier.

“Should” is a demeaning word that can leave you feeling just plain gross, as you spend time on things that take precious extra hours in the day. Every time you use it you’re GIVING AWAY your right to choose what you really want.

Think of it this way, “Are you always shoulding on yourself?”

Are you allowing others to “should” all over you?

Yes, you need to pay your phone bill, and you need to pay your mortgage, but what are you doing because you feel you “should”?

Eliminate the word “should” from your vocabulary

Being aware of the nuances of the words you use on a day to day basis can take practice, but will have a significant impact on how you feel about yourself.

  • Catch yourself when you say, or want to say, the word “should”. Is this an obligation you really don’t want to follow through on, or are you using the word out of habit?
  • When using it out of habit, try and use more active phrases instead, like “I need to”, “I’m going to”, or “I will”.
  • Pay attention to when you use the word “should”, as you can learn about the things you’re doing that deep down you would rather not (but perhaps hadn’t realized yet).

The words we use have powerful meanings.

In repeatedly using the word “should”, you’re not actively choosing, instead doing something because you feel you have to. If used by accident, it can even influence your thoughts to change from desire to duty.

Stop “shoulding” on yourself, and stop letting others “should” all over you!

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve noticed yourself using the word by accident, and what you’ve learned from paying attention to it.

By the way, if you’ve been going back and forth wondering if you should sign up for a quick chat with me, it stops right now. Do what’s right for YOU.


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