Sticks and Stones…

The tongue is a weapon

The tongue is a weapon

I think I’d like to officially declare the statement “You Should” as swearing.  I lived under those words growing up, and really it’s a nasty statement.

While we’re at it, I think “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.”  is one of the biggest lies ever!

Who has the right to tell anyone that they should or shouldn’t do something?  Worse yet that they should look more like someone else , or they should act  more like another, dress or be more like anyone but you.  In my family I was made to feel and believe that anyone was better than me and who I was.  That left me not knowing who I really was until I hit my 40’s, and now I’m slowly finding out. (Yes I’m in my 40’s shhh!)

Maybe there’s a place for the “You Should’s” I don’t know, but I don’t like them and I really try to make sure I don’t use them although I’m not always successful at it. They can really pack a punch and hurt someone. They as well as words in general can beat a person up terribly. Word beating hurts just as much as physical beatings and the wounds don’t heal.

I was compared to everyone and everything growing up in my family, and because of that, I now am comparing myself constantly. It’s not as easy as just stopping, it’s all that I know. It’s so ingrained, that I’m not even aware of it going on most of the time. I’m pretty sure it’s connected strongly to self loathing.  I was taught to self loath.  I’m sure many of you sadly know how that feels and how hard it is to break that mindset. If you do, I truly feel for you. If you don’t it’s a gift. don’t let anyone take it away!

When I’m aware of it, I try to stop that thinking process but it’s so hard to be aware. Even if I stop myself and counter those thoughts with healthier ones, I’m unable to believe the healthier ones.  I never learned how period.

The father has done a number on me. Well really the family at the father’s lead. There have been many others as well but, had the family taught me to value myself, then the many other’s might have been easier not to believe.

Have you ever thought of those words?  What ones have you heard that make you feel beat up?

Awareness is everything.

There is hope!

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105 responses to “Sticks and Stones…

  1. It’s a hard habit to break, isn’t it? It messes with your confidence in all things and (in my case) doubt compliments regardless of source or reason.

    I was talking to a friend about this yesterday. “You should…” and “someone like you…” both need to be laid to rest.

  2. My dad sort of did the “you should’s” silently which wasn’t as big an influence as the “you should’s” that came from my son’s dad/the first husband. I’ve told bits of that story before… (rolls eyes)

  3. Great post! sometimes we just have to take care of that inner child (cliché or not) and tell her/him they are just fine…perfect in their own unique way. You have to be the best friend EVER to yourself first. That is not always easy but since you are probably the best friend to have, just start off with you in the morning:) Hugs, Oliana

  4. Whats wrong with you? I cant believe you think like that? Shoulds were real big. That was graceful, what else can you do? (as in mess up) Dummy.
    Why aren’t you better. You should be over this by now. You just wont let it go and forgive. You just cant trust. You don’t have enough education, your a women.Your not talented enough.
    From family and church, those are the messages I got. Those are the milder ones.

  5. lauralord

    It’s amazing that this is the first piece I read of your blog and you hit home so hard for me I had to stop and catch my breath. I’ve been working on a collection of phrases. Things people have said to me. Words that slammed me harder than any physical punch could have managed.

    That being said, a very dear friend of mine calls it The Tyranny of the Shoulds. The declarations made by those who are teaching us how to grow, of what we Should be, what we Should be doing, who we Should be seeing, how we Should ask, and why we Should be doing it their way.

    Down with The Tyranny of the Shoulds…and the Shouldn’ts.

  6. Should’s when used as a directive especially by another person that you ‘should’ do this or that….. or should feel this or that…can be really hindering … You live with so much of that… of course it would have a great reaction to it…. Diane…xo

  7. umm… you should never listen to people who start a sentence with ‘you should’…

  8. Hells yes. Although, I’m not necessarily against swearing.

  9. Yes I’m in my 40′s shhh!

    Why? Cimmorene is 44 and you can clearly see she’s rockin’ it!

    I think I’d like to officially declare the statement “You Should” as swearing. I lived under those words growing up, and really it’s a nasty statement.

    It was a regular part of my mother’s vocabulary when I was growing up. And then there was the variations: “you need to”, “no one wants…”, etc.– and then there was the other junk.

  10. I agree! I loathe those words ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ and they should never be said – definitely swear words ha! Since my husband went into the nursing home I have been the recipient of so much judgement from friends and family (not bloggers). For eg.
    – you should get out more and have fun
    – you shouldn’t visit him so much – get your life back
    – you should go back to work
    – you should move from the farm
    – you should see a counsellor
    – you should prune your roses
    – you should get a cleaner to help you
    – you should get your hair done
    – you shouldn’t bring him home so much – it disorientates him
    – you should get a hobby
    – you should start writing again…….


  11. The is only one Zoe, and that is enough. ;)

    Seriously, Zoe, you are a wonderful person and you needn’t be like anyone but you. Unless you’re trying to be funny, then you should just stop.

  12. Be well, Zoe. That there is hope is the only thing that matters.

    Sending message that you are amazing, you ARE ENOUGH….end of sentance……………….lol
    love Ziggy

  14. In your blog, you touched upon a concept… how your own mind beats you up. It’s not easy being under attack by your own feelings, is it? :-)

  15. Took a long time for me to stop saying “you should”, mostly because I hate getting advice, and most of it starts with that.
    Now I try and say “Have you thought about trying ???” or “??? might work…”
    Still not good, but a little better, with a ofter tone.

  16. You ARE awesome. You ARE talented. You ARE … Well, that’s fun, right? Because you can finish that however you want. Peacful. Warrior. Writer. Comedian. Champion. You are.

  17. Huck, brilliant thoughts. And no, I had not thought of these things. I like how you prompt the brain in to considering things said. And the impact of those words.

  18. We definitely should eliminate the word should.

  19. I only remember one instance when my mother used the dreaded “should” and “should not”
    “You should never judge a person based on the color of his skin or your first impression of him. You never know. You might actually be wrong.”

  20. I think “Always” & “Never” should also be abolished from the English language as in “You always do this” or “You never talk to me” These are absolutes, no one “always” does something or “never” does something. They might forget your birthday “99 time out of 100″ but that is not “always” or “never!” We need to choose our words more carefully lest we hurt someone else.

  21. “You should be more like your sister” <they still haunt me to this day, sine I still WANT to be more like my sister. She's perfect to me :/
    I know I shouldn't, and my sister even tells me I'm perfect at being me and she likes me just the way I am.
    Thanks for sharing this post!

  22. Pingback: It’s a Matter of Survival | History of a Woman

  23. I grew up under the mantra “anything for peace”… meaning that my father was willing to turn a blind eye to just about anything and everything under the misunderstanding that it lead to peace…. WHOSE PEACE…. certainly not mine. I was taunted and abused and made fun of, and teased and belittled and beaten, constantly growing up, and only when the physical beatings would get out of hand did my father step in. But it was never the physical abuse that left the scars… it was constant and unrelenting verbal torment, that haunts me to this day. WORDS HURT!!! and they have a far more lasting impact that any blow I ever received.

    • I hate those words “Anything for peace.” My mother was is “the peace keeper” and you’re right, who’s peace?! Peace keeping just causes more damage. My mother in law is also a peace keeper and oh the damage…

      I’m so very sorry you were put through all that. It’s not right. Sending love and support to you xo

  24. Pingback: Sticks and Stones… | Cherish Freedom

  25. “If it was me, I would [insert]”

    I tell myself today that I don’t have to be the aftermath of what was done to me as a child; even in my adult life; when people are so dismissive. they say things like “you should let it go.” or “don’t live in the past” as if we have a choice when the images of what we’ve seen, heard, experienced and witness decide to emerge in our current psyche. It makes me sad that we have to live a day by day existence actively reminding ourselves who we are because someone else took away who we came here as. I find that some days are easier, some are hard as hell.

    “I am nobody. Nobody is perfect. Therefore I am perfect.”

    Sending you love. ((hugs)) You deserve everything good.

    • I agree, those statements are so heartless. “If it was me” how do they know how they would be if it was them. This stuff comes back to bite us as you say we don’t dwell there, we’re trying to move forward. No easy task when we’ve never been taught how. Add in triggers, flashbacks, nightmares…

      I’m truly sorry that you’ve been there too. My heart goes out to you. Sending love and hugs right back to you. You too deserve the best xo

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