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Don’t tell me what to do

Don't tell me what to do.

I hate being told what to do. I absolutely hate it. If you tell me I should do something, I won’t do it. Your suggestion may be valid. You may be wise beyond your years. Your advice may even help me lose five pounds.

If you say, “You should do this.”  I will ignore you.

The word “should” is a verb. It is used to indicate obligation, duty or correctness. It also indicates a desirable or expected state.

You should cut your hair, you are over the age of fifty. You should die your hair, you have a lot of gray. You should put your children in public school, they are too isolated at home.  You should go to bed earlier, you wake up tired. You should…

Why do people give advice when not asked? Why do people think they can “should me?”

There is only one person I will listen to without question. He lived over two thousand years ago.  When he was twelve he sat among the teachers in the temple courts; He listened and asked questions.   He ate fish and bread. He had twelve students. He healed people and invited children to come to Him.  He died on the cross, was buried and rose three days later.

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40

I will love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and strength. I will love my neighbor as myself.  Now I will go and brush my long gray hair. I will teach my children and stay up late writing.

Do you like being told what you “should” do?


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • You SHOULD be exactly who God created you to be – a creative, long-haired past a certain age, caring, fun, loving servant of Jesus (and wonderful wife, mother, daughter . . . )! I know you won’t turn your back on that one . . . at least I hope you wouldn’t. I ‘should not’ be a stumbling block to you. Yikes, kind of scary venturing into the ‘should’ world.

    I know the feeling of not liking to be told what to do, oh so well! When I was a teenager, I hated being told what to do. I would do my best to do something BEFORE I was told to do it, because then it was my idea, and I wasn’t “being told what to do” – I was in control.

    I have plenty of “I should” moments – why can’t I even listen to me?

  • Oh yes. With you on hating the should’s!

    • Would you say I should walk everyday?

      • No, I actually would have to resume my own lapsed daily walking program before I’d feel any moral authority on the subject!

  • I’m with you. I’ve always hated being told what to do. As my mother used to tell me, sometimes I would “cut off my nose to spite my face.” I still have that stubbornness, but I do try to think through my decisions first as I’ve grown older and supposedly wiser.

    • I didn’t even have a nose when I was a child. I was always cutting it off to spite my face. Yes, the ability to reason that develops as our brain matures is a good thing. Kay, I hope you keep your nose today.

  • writekimwrite

    Yup I have that rebellious nature in me, too. Ohhhh…I feel it rising in me just thinking about “should”. Should always feels so critical and no one like criticism (even if it is justified ) from self or others.
    It is in turning to love and to God that the best solutions are always found, so true.

    • We have a lot in common Kim. Thank you for telling me you feel the same way.

  • Elsie

    Shoulds always makes me feel guilty when I don’t.

  • marika

    This post made me laugh at first, then turned where I didn’t expect it to go. I hate other people’s “shoulds” but I also sometimes wrestle with the “shoulds” I put on myself…



    • My personal should’s are the worst. I understand Marika.

  • Oh Gen-X got nothing on me, we are the baby boomers, we question authority!

  • Pamela, you and I are kindred spirits in the fight against the shoulds of the world. The rebellious Gen-Xer arises in me when I am told what I ought to do. Even if it’s as basic as, “You shouldn’t touch that hot stove.” I might touch it just to prove them wrong…then grab some ice with the other hand.

    • Is it possible to remove the word “should” from the dictionary? How is your hand Chris? Did the ice help?

      • That was hypothetical, I swear…and yes it helped.