Shopping Basket
Your Basket is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should receive an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Basket

Nonviolent NZ Communities

Bringing Authentic and Compassionate Communication to Individuals, Communities and Organisations 

Based on the work of Marshall B. Rosenberg and the Centre of Nonviolent Communication and

Daniel Goleman and Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations



How the Word SHOULD can be Harmful and ONE Empowering Alternative

Posted on 4 July, 2015 at 21:50

Camelia Petrus, PGdip Psychology

As I have become more interested in my internal dialogue and how it affects the way I feel about myself I have started to realize how much ENERGY the words have. I hope that one day this energy could be measured. I really wish.

There are few words in particular that I am looking closely at and try to understand their power.

Today I’d like to address the word ‘SHOULD” which is present in our everyday dialogue with self and others.

“I should relax more.”

“I should get in touch with my friend.”

“I should be better organised.”

Sounds familiar?

How does it feel?

I personaly feel disempowered!

When I say “I should relax more” I feel hurt, guilt and disappointment.

When somebody else tells me “you should relax more” I find it demanding and disconnecting.


When I look closer at “I should relax more” I see the demand behind it and demand does not work with me. I value choice and freedom.

Empowering Alternative

With that clarification comes the realisation that my need for choice is not being met.

If I replace the word “should” with “choose”, then my statement sounds like this: “I choose to relax more”.

Once I say that, I feel in charge and I understand that the responsibility for the outcome stays with me.

Making choices involves knowing your motivation.

To clarify what my motivation is, I ask myself “How would I feel if I would keep working without relaxing?”

The answer is: tired, unproductive, worried, disconnected from pleasurable aspects of life including spending time with family, friends and nature.

To the question: “How would I feel if I would relax frequently?” my answer is: joyful, present, alive, productive, gaining self-respect, healthier, in touch with life.


Well…I like that and I want to experience all those beautiful outcomes, therefore I CHOOSE TO RELAX.

“I choose to relax” comes out of space of choice, freedom and responsibility and I sense its empowering energy, my shoulders become relaxed, I take a deep breath.. .

“I should relax” comes out of obligation, guilt, fear...I sense the energy being drown out of me, my shoulders get tense, and my breathing becomes short.

Now, how all these statements sound to you?

“I CHOOSE TO get in touch with my friend.”

“I CHOOSE TO be organised.”

“I CHOOSE TO read more.”

What about the question: “What SOULD I do?” How do you feel about it?

Removing the word “should” from vocabulary takes a bit of awareness and practice and it comes with great rewards. Replacing “should” with more helpful dialogue leads to a compassionate relationship with self and others.

Oh!..and by the way. Watch for all the messages that come your way such as:

“Food that you should eat”.

“Movies that you should watch”

“Things you should know” ….


Categories: Communication

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply Weiwei
22:19 on 23 May, 2016 
I choose to comment on your blog because it speaks my mind! I always feel guilty of the things that I "should" do but I "haven't" or "couldn't". Thanks for sharing~ :)
Reply MatEvam
0:14 on 11 March, 2019 
Canada Drug Pharmacy Compra Levitra Controindicazioni buy viagra Viagra Prix Vidal
Reply KelHict
9:46 on 4 August, 2019 
Where To Buy Xenical In Singapore Propecia Comparativa viagra prescription Viagra Pillen Internet Cialis Generika Europa Viagra Generique (Sildenafil Citrate) 100mg
Reply eqocooohon
2:30 on 28 February, 2020 
A phasic [URL= - liv 52[/URL - liv 52 [URL= - buy generic peni large[/URL - [URL= - careprost for sale[/URL - [URL= - generic metaglip online[/URL - canadian metaglip [URL= - copegus[/URL - [URL= - levitra super active[/URL - alcohol- liv 52 peni large online uk careprost crystalbeauty101 metaglip canadian pharmacy copegus online pharmacy levitra super active without a doctor temporal liv 52 peni large online careprost metaglip canadian pharmacy where to buy copegus generic copegus from india levitra super active without a doctor extremely meals.
Reply Bobbykal
21:07 on 29 May, 2020 
canadia online pharmacy canadian pharcharmy
online drugstore pharmacy canadian pharmaceuticals online
canadian pharmacy viagra generic
Reply DanielPyday
3:45 on 2 June, 2020 
custom essay writing canada pay to write my essay
essay writers net write my essay
academic essay writers
Reply Bobbykal
15:32 on 2 June, 2020 
cialis outdated price cialis
cialis generika ohne zollprobleme kaufen generic online cialis
works faster viagra cialis
Reply Bobbykal
15:12 on 3 June, 2020 
viagra cialis and relationships harvard study cialis online
cialis kaufen generika cialis 20mg
revues sp cialis es cadeaux daffaires
Reply Bobbykal
22:51 on 3 June, 2020 
cialis hardness of erection tadalafil
mechanism of action of viagra and cialis cialis prices
authentique cialis
Reply DanielPyday
23:53 on 3 June, 2020 
order custom essay cat essay writer
what is the best custom essay site essay writer
write my essay org
Reply Bobbykal
14:39 on 4 June, 2020 
cialis in polen bestellen buy online cialis
diferenca cialis viagra e levitra cialis 5 mg
compare levetra cialis viagra
Reply Bobbykal
15:09 on 4 June, 2020 
pharmacy cheap no prescription canadian pharmacy online
panacea pharmacy canada drugs online
canadian pharmacy viagra generic
Reply DanielPyday
12:25 on 5 June, 2020 
professional essay writer college essay writers block
someone write my essay college essay
professional essay writers
Reply Bobbykal
1:49 on 6 June, 2020 
24 hour pharmacy shoppers pharmacy
cheap pharmacy online canadian pharmacy viagra generic
national pharmacies online
Reply DanielPyday
10:34 on 6 June, 2020 
essay custom writing essay writers online cheap
professional custom essays cheapest custom essay writing
best essay writer
Reply DanielPyday
1:21 on 7 June, 2020 
custom essay meister essay
my custom essay college essay writers block
write my essay for me
Reply Bobbykal
12:31 on 7 June, 2020 
pharmacy online no prescription canadian drugs
walgreens pharmacy online discount canadian drugs
canadian cialis
Reply DanielPyday
16:10 on 7 June, 2020 
someone to write my essay application essay
write my essay for me who can write my essay
write my essay custom writing
Reply Bobbykal
14:24 on 8 June, 2020 
pharmacy online drugstore discount pharmacy
canadian drugs online pharmacy pharmacie
compound pharmacy
Reply DanielPyday
4:22 on 9 June, 2020 
top essay writers the best essay writers
custome essay write my essay for me
academic essay writer