If I’m going to be honest, I had a whooooooooole lot of those. I’m sure he did too. Everyone has them. And it’s hard sometimes to be aware of your shoulds, musts and demands, because they usually result from the way you think, and since you have been thinking a certain way all your life… Is there a problem with your thinking? Of course not! It is easier to recognize your emotions though. And usually lurking behind emotions such as anger, rage, depression, etc. is usually a demand you are unconsciously making on:
Maybe you can view them as expectations, but either way they are preferences that you have maxed out. You took something you would have liked or preferred and became irrational with it by making it an absolute must or a should. And of course: ANYTHING TAKEN TO THE EXTREME IS ERROR. And these demands drive you, your actions and your emotions.
Demand on myself:
- I must not be humiliated by him or this relationship
- I must surveillance him and his actions to ensure that he does not humiliate me
Demands on him:
He absolutely must do things the way I want him to when I want him to do them He must spend every free moment of his time entertaining me He must take into account every single thing I feel all the time He must contact me every hour on the hour and to not do so would mean x, y, z He must not humiliate me and needs my surveillance in order to make sure he doesn’t He must make me happy
Basically irrational, unrelenting and to think this is the abbreviated version. 🙂 I wonder why things didn’t last.
Demands on situation:
- This relationship must last “forever”
Sometimes it’s challenging to find out what your demands are. It takes some reflection and honesty. It’s a hard thing to admit not to mention unflattering upon closer inspection. Like I can’t believe I actually silently said these things to myself. But they manifest themselves in your life and in your relationships. But usually when you can nail those top 2 or 3 demands it usually sheds a whole lot of light on how ridiculous they actually are. You will be surprised at what you learn. But it stands to reason that if you exhaust all your energy demanding these musts and shoulds, you are going to get the exact opposite. Unrelentingly adhering to your demands prohibits you from enjoying what actually is right before you, and having any semblance of happiness. But maybe you all knew this already and I’m just now realizing this. In that case: You SHOULD have told me!!!!! LOL.
In any event: ask yourself what makes you upset or angry about life or your partner. That is probably the easier question to answer. Then you have to ask yourself why. Why does that make you so angry? Are you demanding something of that person? And if so WHO SAYS THEY ABSOLUTELY MUST OR SHOULD DO/NOT DO/KNOW ANYTHING?? WHY SHOULD THEY DO WHAT YOU THINK THEY SHOULD??
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON FOR ANY OF OUR MUSTS! You may have to argue with yourself and your demands before you can accept this though.
But accepting this reality is the first step in changing our thinking and changing our lives.
Oh by the way, if you are looking for a
good GREAT read. Check out: Three Minute Therapy by Michael Edelstein.