We should deal with our guilt the way we feel we should.
Believing there is a right way and a wrong way to deal with something often complicates the emotion. Societal norms and pressures are not always dictating what was right for the person.
That being said, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with emotions.
- exploring why we feel guilty
- expressing our feelings associated with the guilt in our own personal way- art, poetry, journaling, having more alone time, seeking more social support, etc.
- determining if we are feeling guilty irrationally- did we actually do something wrong? Is something truly our fault? Are we taking the blame for something that is not actually in our control such as the death of a loved one we have not visited in awhile?
- accepting and confronting our guilt and other related feelings
- discussing our feelings with others and seeking social support
- if we truly wronged someone in some way, apologizing and attempting to make things right in some way.
- avoiding the feeling altogether
- punishing ourselves due to our guilt
- believing we are unworthy of positive things in our lives in response to our guilt
- displacing our guilt onto someone else- using a scapegoat
- accepting blame for something we did not actually do or cause
- becoming angry or resentful of someone we may have wronged in some way