Should and Should Notting

My inspiration for this particular blog is my stating what I thought, and still think, is an unremarkable comment about something I enjoy doing. In response, I was told I should not do it.

There is a saying, “The number of functional families in this country would fit on a football field.”  I think I heard this for the first time taking Psychology 101 in the early 80’s.  Although I think the statement is an exaggeration, I believe there is more than a grain of truth to it. I think one of the biggest culprit of dysfunction family and friends is “shoulding” and “should noting”.

At a young age I often recoiled from family gatherings. Then, and today, I balk at the “shoulding” and “should notting” that goes on in the world, especially among family members and friends. Spending this week with some of my immediate and extended family members, I again identified that this was my biggest issue growing up. I am somewhat disturbed recognizing I still have the same issue – balking at the “shoulding” and “should notting”. However, I am relieved watching myself self-manage much better in these situations. Today, I am less willing to argue, debate, attack or feel attacked in “should” and “should not” situations.

I understand that I have chosen to include people in my life who think it is appropriate and workable to tell me what I should and should not do. I have no regrets for my choices. My most recent experience in the face of “shoulds” and “should nots” is an extraordinary reminder of how much power I have given these words in my lifetime. I think I should retain my power of choice and should not give it away when I hear people “shoulding” and “should noting”.

I consciously chose to engage and create stronger connections with my family and friends. I practice not being in effect of my strong emotions where relationship dynamics are concerned. I intend to not be the cause of the distance between my people and me. This lifelong project, I think, is a character builder. I learn a tremendous amount about my personal level of emotional intelligence and my preferences, including how I prefer to spend myself. Everything I learn about myself while with family and friends is transferable to my profession.

Stated in my vernacular: I retain my power of choice in the face of “shoulding” and “should notting”.  I need not argue or debate with people who tell me what or how I should or should not do or be. As I self-manage, I honor my power and commitment to choose what I do and don’t do – to choose my experience of life.