When was the last time you enjoyed someone telling you: You should do this?
Chances are, it’s been a while, if it ever took place to begin with. We don’t typically enjoy being told what to do or being advised, in a superior way. The Should-er comes across as the person that knows more, knows better, telling a person who doesn’t know and ought to know better. The reason why I point this out is because I’m in the business of human connection and Should-ing someone is disconnecting.
I’m not saying the intention is always to feel superior or that the individual is not looking after you. Sometimes a Should is a warning or a word of caution.
For example: “You shouldn’t put your fingers in the electric socket”. I’ll validate that. Although I prefer the form ” I would keep my fingers out of the electric socket if at all possible.”
What I’m mostly referring to is the self-righteous position that takes place more times than needed. It’s the quick way to making someone do something with the supposition of a threat, punishment or negative consequence.
For example: “you should stop tapping your pen against the desk if you know what’s good for you.”
It’s the speculation that the other person knows less or doesn’t know enough to do the “right” thing.
For example: “you should donate to that charity if you want to call your self a community member.”
Each example creates an environment of instability. Connection happens in safe spaces. Belittling, shaming or threatening don’t create safe spaces, they create stress, fear and resentment.
Would you like people to do something? Invite them and share with them the possible outcome.
For example: “I’d love it if you would keep your fingers out of the electric socket because I want you to be safe”. Now how easy was that?!! I personally feel the love in that sentence 🙂
How about working on not using the word Should at all, ever again? Let’s make it a dirty word, one that shall not be spoken, one that will be replaced with invitations and intentions of well being and support. What say you?
Reach for the Greatest Version of Yourself