Do you ever say this to yourself? Do you use this word with your partner? Most of us do at least from time to time. Saying that we should or should not have said or done something is shaming. What? Yep…shaming. Think about your childhood. Did your parents tell you what you should or should not have done? Yes. The shoulding begins when we are toddlers. Does that mean they or we are not good parents? No. Can we rid ourselves of this word as adults? Yes. 

If you forget to take out the garbage, what do you say to yourself? I should have taken out the garbage. How about…I will remember the garbage next week. Guilt and shame is just anger turned inward. Making mistakes is all part of living. Living does not have to mean that you cut yourself down when you make a mistake.

In your relationship, guilt and shame does not promote intimacy. Guilt and shame build walls between you. When you ask your partner for help with a task, what happens when they forget? Do you give them a “should” or a shaming reminder? You can remind your partner about a task that they said they would accomplish in a different way. For example: Honey, I know that you were busy when I asked you to take out the trash. Would you do that now please? In this way, you are acknowledging that your partner may have forgotten or was preoccupied. Now your partner has the opportunity to do what they said they would do without guilt or shame.

By no means is this an easy task to accomplish. It takes practice. So, I challenge you to try and do this for 30 days. Do your best to use some other word than “should”.

Many Blessings,

Kari Petruch
Master Relationship Coach