16 – The Should/Could Replacement – HFHH Podcast


In Episode 16 of House Fur Happy Hour Podcast, we are talking about changing the word “Should” to “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 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 with my inner dialog and how it affects my mood, interactions with others, decisions, and views myself. When I dissected my conversations with myself, I realized just how demoralizing the word “should” could be.

The word “should” isn’t all bad, but it must be used properly.

When I was using the word “should,” I was 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 tell 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 motivate them to do what I suggested rather than make the best decision for themselves.

Studies show that your internal conversation changes by simply using the word could. Not necessarily that changing from should to could automatically convert to a positive mindset, but 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” opened many doors for me. It allows me to realize that I have a choice or more freedom about things. Saying I “could” removes much of the guilt associated with not doing something.

And, when I say to myself that I 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 specific 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 am feeling and not wanting it to be the reality.

It Should doesn’t allow you to make mistakes. The word “Should” restricts 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 ongoing effort. I know it takes time, but I promise it is worth making this change!

Check out the House Fur Happy Hour Spotify Playlist and tune into this week’s added songs.

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