My least favorite word.

Can we talk about one of my least favorite words in the English language?

This really could be a fun guessing game…what IS Karen’s least favorite word?

Is it ‘no’?


Is it a swear word?

Hell no.

Is it inventory?


My least favorite word is… ‘should’.  I say it too frequently & I hear it far too often.

Why is ‘should’ my least favorite word? It’s because ‘should’ is loaded with guilt and judgment. It’s riddled with disappointment and hovers very close to implied poor judgment and impending failure.

  • Yes, you should have done better in school…I guess you should study more next time.
  • What am I doing? I’m blogging, but I really should be working.
  • I should make my pie dough from scratch but I really just want to buy the refrigerated kind at the supermarket.
  • I should make dinner every night even though I am not a cooker and would rather skip dinner & eat ice cream instead.
  • I should have used more sunscreen.
  • I should have ordered the salad instead of the bbq chicken pizza topped with onion rings.

Almost every statement using the word ‘should’ is loaded with negativity and self-loathing.

Interestingly, every question using the word should is filled with possibility.

  • Mom…should I sign up for the PMC?  (Yes, hon – It will be an amazing experience that will stay with you forever)
  • I know I feel like I don’t have any free time, but I really want to learn how to play guitar.  Should I give it a shot?  (I’m doing it!  Thank you Music Maker School!)
  • What should I be doing to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself?  (Keep moving forward, stay focused, never lose faith, be positive)

I was going to end this post by setting a goal for never using the word ‘should‘ again, but that would be a bit black & white.  I’m killer at black & white and need to work more on the multitude of shades found between the two extremes.  Here are my thoughts and my suggestions:

  • Be aware of your words – both internal & external.  Notice when you hear yourself using the word should and examine the context.
  • Make small changes: If you find yourself living under the cloud of should, look for an exit.  Try something new & see how it feels.  Give yourself the opportunity to exist outside of the internal guilt, judgment & negativity.
  • As always – please have a sense of humor.  If you can’t laugh at yourself, it’s going to be a pretty grim road ahead of you.  There’s too much good going on to miss out on enjoying it.

Onward & upward.

So.  Should you give this a shot?  I know I’m in.  Who’s with me?

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You know that friend who has it all together? Yeah. That’s not me. What I can offer you instead are my experiences, insights, and passions. Pithy observations about making cookies. Wry commentary on running a business. Loving (if slightly sarcastic) parenting advice. And if that doesn’t interest you, I have dogs. Cute ones.

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