In REBT we encourage you to use the phrase “It would be better…” as a healthy substitute for your should, ought and must self-statements. So referring to the previous example when you encounter rude behavior you could think to yourself “It would be better or it would be far better if that person did not act rudely but sadly people often do act rudely.” By using the phrase “it would be better” you would be acknowledging the misbehavior of another person and hold onto what you value while avoiding the self-defeating rigid belief that the other person should, ought or must act in the way you would like them to act.
The phrase “It would be better” can be used when you misbehave or when life deviates from the way you would ideally like it to be. For example you could think “It would be much better if I consistently pushed myself to exercise but sometimes I cop out and do not get myself to the gym.” You could also think “It would be far better if there were not such unfortunate tragedies in life like hurricanes and earthquakes but unfortunately such things occur.”
It may be a bit awkward at first for you to use the “It would be better” phrase but if you do it will help you to feel healthy negative feelings like sadness, disappointment, annoyance, and displeasure when people do not do what you would like them to do and life unfolds in ways you wished it did not. With these healthy negative emotions you will be better able to attempt to change what you can change and live happily with what cannot be changed.