‘Why should I? I don’t want to!’ said a teenage girl protesting to her mother earlier today in a shopping centre. It looked like they were clothes shopping for the daughter. Maybe the mother wanted to get something that the girl didn’t think was cool enough. Hardly an unusual situation perhaps but it got me thinking about the word ‘should’.
It is a word people often use – I really should go to the gym, I should go and visit my parents or I should spend more time with my family. But do we really mean it? What if we changed the word ‘should’ to ‘want’? We would then have – I really want to go to the gym, I want to go and visit my parents or I want to spend more time with my family.
There is a greater level of commitment in the person speaking and as a result, it is more likely to happen. ‘Should’ is doing things for other people whether you want to or not. Of course, we have to manage different things in our lives, but what’s really stopping you doing something for you? Not when you ‘should’, but when you want to.