• Thinking Trap #5 – Should statements

    Should statements are rigid rules a person has regarding how things should operate, or how people ‘should’ feel or think.  I know we all have that friend (or it could be you) that may say, “they should just do X or Y” or “things should work like this”.  Or “all they have to do is this – it ain’t hard”. In the words of that great orator, Steve Erkel, “did I do that??” Ah, I think we all have been shoulded upon and have shoulded on others.  My focus here is on the more constant shoulding that can lead to agitation, unease, anger.

    One may ask, “well if it is plain as day, then they should do something.”  Not much of an argument from me, but the typical shouldsters are thinking it should be more in alignment with their tightly wound way of thinking.   When I was in training, I used to personally hate hearing, “all you have to do is X”

    So in case you are shoulded on..

    Personalization – overestimate your influence on negative events. Take things personally.

    Mind reading and fortune telling – assuming you know what others are thinking and/or what will happen in the future

    It’s not fair – Over focusing on whether things are fair or right