Should is the most dangerous word

by joelbear 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • joelbear

    This bear has been pondering just how dangerous the word "should" is.

    "Should" moves us into a state of constant frustration since "should" so rarely equates with "is".


  • Yerusalyim

    There, this SHOULD be the first response to your post! Hope that helps.

    "Vanity! It's my favorite sin!"
    [Al Pacino as Satan, in "DEVIL'S ADVOCATE"]

  • AMarie


    I much agree with your post. Somebody once told me that you should never "should" on yourself. It is a word that causes guilt, frustration, and manipulation if dealing with other people.

  • Victoria Cruz
    Victoria Cruz

    Hey Joel, I remember you from AOL years ago. I was one of the fortunate one that got to see you naked as a jail bird in the wilderness. Someone told me I "should" look. Ponder no more the word "should" can be dangerous.
    I had a lot of fun with you. But that was when AOL used to be fun. Now it's boring.

  • SixofNine

    I was going to argue your point joel, but then I read Victoria's post. Had I the same experience as Victoria with the word "should", I should think that I would agree.

    But I believe "they" is the most dangerous word.

  • Tina

    Funny you mention this. About the word 'should'. My son and I had a major discussion about this word last night. About it's many negative and self-defeating properties.
    This word can put such an onerous burden on one. It helps create impossible and dysfunctional thinking regarding one's sense of self and worth.It makes this sense conditional on the 'approval of others'.

    It helps create a variety of distorted thinking. The distorted sense of 'perfectionism' which is impossible self-expectations. As well as living up to 'others' expectations rather than one's own.
    This leads to 'people-pleasing' behaviors,which deny the needs and feelings of an individual.

    "Should' thinking can lead to blaming others for one's unhappiness,or not acting/behaving according to the perfectionists unreasonable standards.
    It helps reinforce 'magical thinking'.I see this sometimes in exJW's. They have this sense that onece the malevolent force of the WTS is removed from their lives,there will be a minimum of unhappiness,bad feelings.

    When sadly,more often than not,they continue to find pain,unhappiness,overwhelming guilt,feelings of rage and anger.This misdirected and projected onto to others.

    That's why I often recommend professional assistance to help one break out such a neg. cycle. To identify,get in touch and learn to master these feelings. This leads to self-knowledge and awareness. Oftentimes we feel confused and blocked. A sort of 'where do I begin to begin again' sense pervades our being.

    And when you get to that part of the journey,when you no longer avoid and deny reality,your feelings,yourself,the energy once used to keep this cycle going(and believe me takes LOADS of neg energy)
    one finds a self-reinforcing cycle of positive feedback!
    That higher more creative energy is now being channeled into real growth and development.We begin to reach our true potential! Get in touch with our talents and abilities!

    When this starts to happen,we attain real mastery that leads to freedom!
    Hope I didn't bore ya hun.
    These are just some highlights of one of my seminars. Kinda cut to the bone for here. luv ya,Tina

    si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes

  • Seeker

    An excellent point, joel. Do your best, and have no regrets. If you make a mistake, learn from it, but don't beat yourself up over it. Just try to improve next time.

    Easier said than done for those with psychological factors that impel them to have regret, but the above is how I try to live my life. It makes for a pleasant life.

  • waiting

    Howdy Joel,

    Some people, whether jw's or not, live their entire lives in the "should world." But I think jw's live there more acutely.

    I should go out in service more.
    I should have that family bible study.
    I should go to more meetings.

    Oh, and then the "shouldn't" part.

    I shouldn't feel bad that the elders haven't visited me since I was bedridden 5 years ago.

    I shouldn't feel bad that I can't talk to my children because they're not in The Truth.

    I shouldn't feel bad because I'm restricted medically to my home and the elders won't approve a phone connection so I can hear the meetings.

    Oh, and then the view of how the brothers, congregation "should be."

    The elders should be more loving....but it's just human imperfection.
    The elders should be honest......but it's just human imperfection.
    The elders should be counselors....but it's just human imperfection.
    The WTBTS should keep clean from the world.....but the UN helps them.

    We can use "should" all sorts of ways to get around the reality of how it is. Of course, we do this to ourselves also.....

    I should lose that silly 50 extra pounds I'm carrying around.
    I should quite drinking so much.
    I should
    I should
    I should.

    The list is endless - and we do this to ourselves, sometimes with the input of society or The Society.


  • peaceloveharmony

    hey joel, your post reminded me of what my best friend and i would say in highschool: never say shoulda, woulda, coulda. nothing you can do about it now. thanks for the reminder!


    Most people think, Great God will come from the skies, Take away everything And make everybody feel high. But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth: And now you see the light, You stand up for your rights.~~Bob Marley

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