Have you ever had someone say you should or shouldn’t do something? We all have. And unless you know how to be assertive, the “shoulds” will continue to keep you from doing what you really want in life.
I was just about to write an article about guilt-tripping, how it’s used to manipulate people in dating and relating situations, as well as how to protect yourself with assertion, but then I caught a great big whiff of should. You know the smell – just going about your business when all of a sudden, that rank odor of should fills the air, guilt-tripping you into doing something because you should do it.
When kids are growing up, their parents should all over them all the time… And don’t even have the courtesy to clean it up the mess it leaves.
- You should get good grades at school, if you don’t just think of your future!
- You should remember to clean your room, how many times do I have to remind you!
- You should hang out with nicer friends, that Billy he’s a bad influence I tell you!
- You should be quiet when we’re in the supermarket, I won’t buy you Super Cruchenberrytrix if you keep it up, mister!
- You should say excuse me before interrupting, try thinking about others for a change
- You should be a good boy and go to bed, it’s past your bed time!
Pretty soon those kids are all grown up, and because their parents rigorous training, they’ve learned to continue shoulding all over themselves!
- I should have girlfriend, how lame is it that I don’t even have a girlfriend, geez!
- I should make more money, I can’t buy a shiny new car to impress chicks with!
- I should get 6-pack abs, otherwise I’ll look lame at the beach!
- I should be a rock star, but first I gotta get a guitar, and some lessons maybe!
- I should be more of a natural alpha, so I need to learn how to do whippets, pretend to be a firetruck and squeeze lemons in my eye!
Clearly you can see that should is not something to be thrown around lightly. Although by the time they’re all grown up, this should isn’t just passed from parent to kids. It’s just going on inside that dude’s mind! The good news is that no one can hear it, and even if they could, no one would care!
Why not? Well, pretty much everyone else is caught up in their very own should-fests! And without proper guidance, don’t even have any idea how to clean all this nasty, smelly should off.
What Should You Do?
Like I mentioned, I was about to write this article on guilt tripping when a smattering of should slipped out: “You should read When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith so you can start to learn how to deal with all the should people throw at you.” Of course, as you go about and start taking massive action on improving all aspects of your life (not just dating), you also might find it’s easier to stop taking other people’s should.
So as we go about improving our lives and inevitably run in to haters who insist on shoulding over everything, we can simply smile and carry on with our quests, because that’s just life, and as they, should happens.