“Shoulds” is an irrational way of thinking characterized by too many expectations such as “I should be more attractive”, “He should be a good husband”, “This event ought to please them”, etc. People with this unrealistic cognitive framework easily get angry or disappointed when somebody does not follow the “rules”. They also easily feel guilty when they do not measure up. “Shoulds” is one of the most common types of cognitive distortions based on Aaron Beck’s cognitive theory. These different types were developed by David Burns, a student of Beck.

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