Sam  Green

Sam Green

Broker of Record

HomeLife Classic Realty, Brokerage*

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Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda, Hadda, Aughta


In my opinion there is nothing less constructive than woulda, coulda, shoulda, hadda, aughta.

I woulda, coulda done this if only I hadda known that. Well if you hadda know that, there isn’t anything you couldna done. Seriously, maybe you aughta.

What you aughta have done was not said what you hadda said. Then you wouldna hadda put your big fat foot in your mouth.

See. Therein resides the problem. Hindsight is the lowest form of intelligence.

Now there are some intelligent people out there who would argue if they could, that this kind of thinking is helpful because it helps them learn from their mistakes and avoid doing the same thing again in the future, something they aughta avoid.

That’s fine. That would work for me if it were not for the fact that it is more often used to point a finger, lay blame, and otherwise try to avoid taking ownership of a problem, shortcoming or mistake than to lay the interlocking for the yellow brick road.

Constructive example:

We shoulda checked the weather channel before heading to the golf course on our Dominican vacation. We got caught in the rain.

Perhaps tomorrow you will remember to check the weather channel. After all this is not your country and you don’t know what to expect. Try again tomorrow.

Not-so-constructive example:

I shoulda left earlier to avoid the traffic.

If it is 5pm and that’s when you will get yourself into the rush hour traffic which happens every 5pm on weekdays, maybe there’s nothing to be learned here that wasn’t already known before. So what’s the sense in saying it again?

So, where do we go from here?

If it’s just a matter of saying woulda, coulda, shoulda, hadda, aughta then you shouldnta. It’s only going to make someone (maybe even yourself) feel like you’re making judgements.

“You shoulda turned right at that last corner. It woulda been quicker.”

Hey, if you’re never going to be going that route again, what’sa the sensa of sayinga thingsa likea thatta?

If it’s meant to be a learning experience, it can be said in a different way… “If you’ve never taken that left turn route before, you might want to try it sometime. I’ve found that it cuts my travel time by quite a bit.”

But, why be diplomatic? It’s probably only a friend, a spouse, a child, a sibling, an employee, or any other familiar with whom you don’t need to practice being tactful. Just say it. Spit it out.

Let’s try it out for size…

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda, Hadda, Aughta

There you go. Feels good, doesn’t it.

It seems to me that now that you know the effect of it, if you hadda known about it before, you woulda done it because you shoulda felt the power it coulda broughtya.

Sam (Aughta) Green





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