'Should' is the scouting party of shame...


Woven tightly into the more complicated colorful fabric of communication is an all too common thread, called SHOULD.
 
 ‘SHOULD’, is the scout party SHAME sends out to see if they’re any vacancies in your mind and heart.

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SHOULD’ is one my very own red light indicator words; when I hear it, I know what’s up, and I know if I don’t ride out to meet that scouting party with a firm show of force, SHAME is coming for a pillage fest.
 
When we self-talk with ‘should’, its incredibly harmful to our own self-worth.
 
When we start thinking, saying and believing what other people SHOULD be doing, we are also priming our relationships for trouble.
 
 
Where this comes up most often with the clients I work with, who are struggling to communicate AND to get their needs met in their partnerships, itsounds a little like this…

 
I shouldn’t have to tell them; they SHOULD just know!
 
He/She should already know this is important to me.
 
He/She should just do this, without being asked or told!
 
This should just be common sense!

 
 
An of the above statements, ringing any memory bells, for you?

 
No one is a mind reader.  Even that mind reading act you saw in Vegas that time, was not real.
 
When we use the above terms, when we allow ourselves to think this way, we are positioning ourselves in a place of immobility and non-compassion.  We become quite stoic in our unwillingness to aid our partners, we have no interest in ‘making things easy’ for them, in actively setting our partners up, to succeed.
 
Somewhere along the line, we nominated our self as the test facilitator, and we are not running any prep sessions, so you better figure this out or get a failing mark.
 

And when our partners do get it wrong, there is, for some of us, somewhere nestled deep inside, a pleasure button that is gleefully satisfied.

Shaming other people, consciously or unconsciously, has a dangerous feel good element to it.  

Think about it.  When we see or have experienced other people putting us down, we know that, really... they don’t feel good about themselves. People do indeed, get a short burst of comparative based self worth. Issue is, it’s not real self worth, its not sustainable, and we tend to feel even worse about ourselves shortly thereafter.
 
 

Are you taking a position of making things harder for your partner? Or making things easier for them?  
 
Are you setting them up to succeed? Or fail? 

 

You know what else shame loves?  Failure.  Mistakes.  Missteps.

When we are dogged by shame, loving someone in the best way we know how, becomes almost impossible.



 

The enemy of shame, is empathy.

 
You want to kill shame with fire?  Unleash empathy on it’s ass.


 
If we're not creating an atmosphere of compassion and helpfulness, our partners success rate drops drastically.  And when they get it wrong, yet again.  Oh why hello, SHAME. 



  

Thankfully, this particularly frustrating problem clients in relationships come to me with, is one of the easiest for me, to offer a solution. 

 
Drop the 'SHOULDS' from your vocabulary. 

Once you get some mindfulness around these bad boys, you will here a loud DING every time you say or think 'should'. Kick the ‘shoulds’ to the curb.



 
ENGAGE EMPATHY.Push your boat out a little further, by carefully considering some of these questions, too.
 
-Do you always ‘get it right’?

 
-Have there been times, when after months (or years) of doing something for your partner, they let you know that actually, they don’t even like that thing?  Were you not annoyed that they didn’t guide you sooner?

 
-When you self talk with ‘shoulds’ and open the door to shame, are you able to be and give your best in that shame ridden state?
 

- Ask yourself, Am I being helpful or am I making it harder for my partner to ‘get it right’ and meet my needs?

 
In short, my dear, so what if the schmuck needs a map?!? Who doesn’t some days in this topsy turvy world?
 

Dearest one, this is your partner, the person who you have chosen to team up with, in the game of life.

What kind of team mate do you want?  What kind of team mate does your partner need?
 
Fight the good fight, against the world, for your dream life TOGETHER… not against each other!

 

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