This blog is not a substitution for consulting with a medical professional. I do not have any formal training in medicine, psychology or cognitive therapy. I am simply sharing my personal experience in hopes that others will benefit as I have.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cognitive Therapy Tip #2: "Should"

Before my intensive cognitive therapy program, I used the word "should" like I use the word "the." (Or the word "like" as a filler word as some of you that know me personally can attest to. :-)) The word "should" often fills us with unnecessary guilt. (Wow, I'm using so many quotations in this post I feel like a Chris Farley character. I don't "bathe properly"; I "frighten small children.")

Here are the instances we were taught that the word "should" should only...I mean, here are the three instances in which it is appropriate to use the word "should":

  1. Laws of the universe (i.e. "the sun should rise tomorrow")
  2. Legal cases (i.e. "the plaintiff should contact the defendant about a lawsuit")
  3. Morals and ethics (i.e. "People should not steal")
Now granted, my silly husband decided to take this & run with it one evening. He wanted to show me how much it applies. He started saying things like, "One should face the TV when watching a show. One should sit on the toilet when doing their business. One should put the keys in the ignition if they want to drive." And so on.

So, the bottom line is be mindful about what is truly appropriate to feel guilt for.

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