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  • Writer's pictureJessica

Is using "Should" ever helpful?


Should, it's a short, 1 syllable, 6-letter word. But what power does it hold, if any? I had a counseling supervisor who first introduced me to the phrase, "stop shoulding on yourself!" At first it gave me a good chuckle, then it had me questioning using the word nearly every time I said or thought it.


  • "I should have said..."

  • "I shouldn't have said..."

  • "I should go for a run." (I've never said or thought this)

  • "I should eat less Doritos."


I started to check in with how I felt using the word. Was I motivated? Guilted? I decided I didn't like how I felt using, 'should.' So I brainstormed a word I could use instead; might, could, and I tried replacing should. And it felt better, it felt more gentle on myself.


  • "I might have said..."

  • "I might not have said..."

  • "I could eat less Doritos."


How about you? Do you 'should' on yourself? Do you ever find it helpful? If yes, keep using what works! If not, what word might you find useful instead?

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