What Are “Should” Statements? | Assertiveness Basics


  • “Should” Statements are Cognitive Distortions, automatic irrational thoughts.
  • They refer to the fact that the world and ourselves should be or react in a certain way.
  • This cognitive distortion is about unreasonable demands that we create for ourselves and others.

Examples of “Should” Statements

“You should be married and have children by the time you are thirty”.

“A good sister should always help her siblings”.

These are all unreasonable demands and expectations.

How To Manage “Should” Statements

Verify your values and goals and make sure that they stem from your own needs and interests, that they hold meaning for you, and are not simply inherited from the community in which you live.