• Kristina Cherep

The S Word To Eliminate From Your Vocabulary

Updated: Apr 18, 2020

No, the word isn’t what you thought it was. Believe me, that word is needed! However, one word that is not needed is the word “should”. It’s been a word that I’ve been trying to get out of my vocabulary for two years now after discussing with my therapist the harm that comes with that word. Why is it such a bad word? Welllll when you are living your life like...

I should go for this type of job.

I should not stand up for myself.

I should continue to be friends with him.

I should wear that.

I should look like this.

Who are you really living for if you are saying things like this? I’m going to guess, it’s not for yourself! It’s for society, your parents, your peers, your Instagram followers, etc.. It’s for what you think their expectations are of you. These thoughts can dictate your life and I know that because it dictated my life for a longggg time. The problem was that I didn’t understand that I could live my life for myself and by how I wanted to live it. I was so caught up in others expectations of me that I lost myself which landed me right into a hospitalization program.

Luckily, I got the help I needed and I’m proud to say I live my life for myself nowadays! This doesn’t mean I’m selfish. It just means that I’m living my life the way I want to live it which still includes helping and caring for others. Living my life the way I want to live it has been a lot less anxious than how I used to live my life the way I thought I should.

It’s hard to cut this word out of my vocabulary because it’s a very common word. I didn’t notice how common this word was in my thoughts until my therapist made me more aware of it. I still catch myself saying it in front of her and then instantly try to take it back. So if you can’t use the word “should”, what can you replace it with? Well, of course it depends on the context. I first ask myself these two questions...

1. Do I want/need to do this?

2. Who is it that I think expects this for me?

These questions help me a lot. If the answer to the first question is “yes” then I replace the should with want. It gives me more control of that decision instead of society or whoever else. If the answer to my first question is “no” then I go to the second question and ask myself, “well that may be what that person wants me or expects me to do, but I don’t want to live my life that way.”

Try and be aware of how you use this word and if this word dictates your life. If it does, try to work on not using this word. You could use a “should jar” like someone uses a “swear jar” if that would help you work on this. I’ve seen such a postivie difference in my life by working to eliminate this word and I hope it makes a positive difference for you as well!