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How the "tyranny of should" makes us unhappy?

by - 23 May

Artwork: Antonio Mora

Practising psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz is the author of the captivating and absorbing bestseller, The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves.
I talked to him about the ways we get out of touch with ourselves.

When do we lose ourselves mostly? In what moments?
I think there are many ways that we do get out of touch with ourselves and lose ourselves. In the book I tell some stories about the word "should, the "tyranny of should", that we feel we should be this, we should do this, and we get so focused on how we should live and what we should have, and what we should be, that we are always feeling we're in the wrong place. We feel dislocated from ourselves so we've lost ourselves. We should be here not there, we should be achieving this, or earning this, or doing this, or having this. Some of that's good because of course you push yourself, but if that's your permanent thinking, you'll be very depressed, you'll be very unhappy.

More on why all change involves pain here, on why change is so difficult here

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