Avoid using moralistic, absolutist “shoulds”, “oughts”, “musts”, et al. We don’t want to be rigid and dogmatic in this (and in all things). While keeping in mind there are perfectly innocuous uses of “should”, “ought”, “must”, it is nonetheless an excellent discipline to make the effort to avoid them, and to monitor yourself using these terms, whether directed at others or yourself. Then, when you notice that you have used one of these terms, practice replacing it with something less demanding. For example
“Pat shouldn’t have said that to me!!!”
Replace with: I strongly prefer that Pat not say that to me
(and although I don’t like it very much, it is hardly the end of the world)
Practice that for a few days, see if you notice any difference in the way each of those statements make you feel, and then share your experiences here. We would love to hear from you.
© 2018, Rex Alexander. All rights reserved.
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