There are people who are constantly “shoulding on” others. They are the ones who give advice, often unsolicited. That advice often comes with a “should” attached. “You know, you really should eat more; eat less; go out with so and so; break up with so and so; take that job; quit that job etc.”. Those of us who have been in program for a while know that “shoulding on” people rarely works. People usually don’t change until they are ready to do so. We know this from personal experience. How many times did people “should on us” about our addictive behaviors with little or no results.
Instead of placing the focus on others, we now place the focus on ourselves. Once we do so, we find that there is indeed much work to be done. All that energy spent observing others in the past can now be of benefit to us. We discover that we can be very astute in identifying areas in need of improvement within ourselves. We need to differentiate between an assessment as opposed to a critical judgment. “Shoulding” on ourselves is almost as bad as “shoulding” on others.
Personal Reflection: Am I guilty of “shoulding” on myself or others?