16 – The Should/Could Replacement – HFHH Podcast


In Episode 16 of House Fur Happy Hour Podcast we are talking about how changing the word “Should†to the word “Could†in your daily conversations with others, but more importantly when talking about or directly to yourself. The words you choose to use within your inner dialogue can be really empowering or disempowering.

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As I’ve been on my path to a healthier mental state, I’ve become more in-tune to my inner dialog and how it affects my mood, my interactions with others, the decisions I make, and how I view myself. When I dissected the conversations I had with myself I realized just how demoralizing the word “should†can be.

The word “should” isn’t all bad, but it has to be used in the right context.

When I was using the word “should”, I was basically telling myself that I wasn’t good enough, or doing enough, or being enough and this type of self-sabotaging language just builds and builds.

After thinking about how often I use the word “should†with myself I thought about why I rarely, if ever, use it when I am talking to someone else. I asked myself why I don’t use the word should with others, and it was because I didn’t want them to feel bad about their current decisions or I didn’t want them to think they couldn’t make decisions on their own or I didn’t want to emphasis what they “weren’t†or “aren’t†doing.

I don’t have the moral authority to be telling people what they should or should not be doing.

When I use the word “should,” it is usually motivated by a lack of self-acceptance rather than encouragement. And if I were to use the word “should”, when talking to others it would be motivate them to do what I suggested rather than making the best decision for themselves.

Studies show that by simply using the word could, your internal conversation changes. Not necessarily that changing from should to could automatically converts to a positive mindset, but that it doesn’t handcuff you to one specific outcome. You just need it to be empowering versus disempowering. Doing this will keep you accountable for your choices yet feel open to making some changes. Having choices and accepting that you are human and will make mistakes.

Exchanging the word “should” for the word “could” opens a lot of doors for me. It allows me to realize that I have a choice or more freedom about things. Saying that I “could” removes a lot the guilt associated with not doing something.

And, when I say to myself that I should or someone else should, I’m not only seeing the negativity of what I am not doing but I am also in a state of certain denial especially with feelings. Because when I tell myself I “should†be feeling this or that, it’s like a part of me is pushing away what I really am feeling—not wanting it to be the reality.

Should doesn’t allow you to make mistakes. The word “Should†puts restrictions on what you give yourself grace for.

Hopefully everyone can gain something from this episode. And although it is all fine and dandy to talk about doing this practice of word replacement, it is difficult and is a lifelong tip that will take on-going effort. I know it takes time, but I promise it is worth making this change!

Be sure to check out the House Fur Happy Hour Spotify Playlist and tune into this week’s added songs.

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