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The Tyranny of "Should"


The thought of this topic came from an article in the Business Insider on a psychologist’s discovery of how not to get frustrated. One of the key reasons he cited was ‘tyranny of should’. “I should have had that promotion”, “She should clean-up her mess”, “This work should have been done” or “I should have behaved a certain way”. The tyranny of should, in short, is the difference between expectations and reality.


I have been a victim of this tyranny! Just last week, I had a long discussion or rather a venting session and it came down to the gap between my expectations and reality. The tyranny of should!


How do we then stop this tyranny? A few thoughts – change the ‘should’ to ‘could’. What could I do? How can I help resolve? Let ‘could’ fight ‘should’.


The tyranny of should also occurs in my case, when I don’t clarify my expectations and have unrealistic deadlines. Let open communication fight the tyranny of should.


Lastly it is what it is. Acceptance is the key here. If I could change something, let me do it. If it’s not possible let it be. I will accept. Let acceptance fight the tyranny of should.


One of these days, I will conquer the tyranny of should. How have you fought this?


Mighty expectations

Unsaid words

The tyranny of Should rises


All the imaginations

And bitter reality

The ‘Should’ tyrant dances


What should be done?

What could I do?

What could I say?

What could I accept?


With the sword of could

I fight the tyranny of should

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