Many times we are not mindful of the words we habitually use. The habits we create with our words can directly cause what we are experiencing. One disempowering verb I hear used often is “should.” First off, “should” seems like such a bossy term. When we tell others what they “should” do, we are imposing our own beliefs onto them.

Often our beliefs and perspectives are different. When we throw the “should” verb towards another we are also throwing our judgments as well. Rather than being helpful we are invading or disturbing another’s view. “Should” really is a standard we have decided to uphold for ourselves, but we aren’t being careful enough with how we habitually use it.

It’s a bit like not minding your own business. We all have choices in how we handle things. Experience can also teach us how to react in the future. When we infringe on another’s experience with our “shoulds,” we disempower ours and their own.

The idea of how someone “should” take care of their home, kids, or life is certainly diverse among us all. Encroaching on another’s lifestyle makes it difficult to argue for the freedom of your own. To choose one’s own career, home, personal fashion, or perhaps religion seems to be a common desire. As you decide to resonate what is important or joyful to you, it helps to hold the same space for others.

Just because others’ lifestyles and choices are different than our own doesn’t mean we have to agree. You can decide something is wrong or unpleasant for you, but try to accept that it may be joyful for another. When we use the verb “should,” we are not allowing for the same freedoms we wish and choose for ourselves. We make choices from our own perspectives. When we don’t walk in another’s shoes, we may not understand their choices. Rather than expending our “shoulds”/feelings onto them, we can empower each other with an open mind amongst our differences. I believe we can hold healthy space even if we disagree.

We certainly weren’t created the same. We look and act differently in a variety of ways. We also won’t experience the same perspective. Having different experiences can lead us to different conclusions. Think of it this way: The astronauts in the rocketship are going to see a different view than the people at the space command center. Yet they are both needed for a successful launch.

“Should” closes the door to different options and opinions. We can halt kindness and understanding with our “shoulds.” Pay attention to how often you project your “shoulds” and judgments in situations. See if you can allow for some freedom of differences. It may enhance the understanding and healing within yourself and your relationships.