Should — Here is a word that is destructive for communication. It’s not just the word Should, but any word that commands a person to do something. I don’t mean, I should take a shower every morning. I mean it as a command that is connected to emotional upset. The actual Should word may be: have to, must, need to, supposed to, or ought to. It’s any word that could be said with you waggling your index finger at the other person.

Notice that these “should words” also start with YOU, which is a word that you’re working on removing from your conversation. YOU SHOULD… This is a great way to put someone down or start a fight. Over the next week, I’d like to challenge you to pay attention to how often you make demands/shoulds on yourself or on others. Try using I words such as I feel, I think, I need etc instead of “you should.”

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