Stop "Shoulding" On Yourself: Rethinking Negative Self-Talk

Do you find yourself saying "I should be doing this," or "I shouldn't be eating that."

Here is a concept you can implement into your life when speaking to friends and family or in your own self-talk.

From Dr. David Burns, author of Feeling Good.
If you look up the word, “should” in one of those huge dictionaries, you will see that it’s origin traces back to the Anglo-Saxon word, “scolde.” So, essentially, you are scolding yourself for having some flaw or shortcoming when you use the word, “should.”

You can combat these painful types of self-criticisms in many ways, but one of the easiest is the Semantic Method—you simply substitute gentler language, such as “I would like to be a better teacher” (or therapist, or Dad, or whatever). Then you can focus on the specifics of what you are doing in your teaching, for example, that’s effective, or ineffective, and make a plan for improvement, if needed.

 


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