ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Removing Guilt from Your Life

Updated on May 31, 2014

What is Guilt and Why is it a Problem?

We feel guilty when we think (accurately or not) that we have violated a personal standard of conduct or a moral standard. Guilt is closely related to feelings of remorse.

Guilt indicates that we have a conscious and care about others, we have the ability to empathize - unlike a psychopath who has no remorse for harm they've caused to others, are able to rationalize their destructive behavior ("They deserved it."), are able to blame someone else for what they've done ("They made me do it.), or deny outright that they performed the behavior (not outright conscious lying, but having convinced themselves that this is true).

Healthy vs Unhealthy Guilt

Guilt does serve a purpose in humanity - letting us know, for instance, that we've hurt someone's feelings. And, there are two types of responses:

  • Healthy: Apologize, make amends, and change your behavior.
  • Unhealthy: Rationalize your behavior ("They deserved it.")

The first is healthy because it restores a balance in yourself and with your friend. The second is unhealthy because it leaves the issue unresolved and floating around in your head. If you have a conscience, the unresolved issue can eat away at your feelings of self-esteem and even affect your physical health, demonstrated by bouts of insomnia, anxiety, interior bodily pain, and more.

Introspection

Examine the feeling and its source - if there is realistic reason for feeling guilty, stop doing what makes you feel guilty. If the guilt is a result of childhood or unrealistic religious issues, just stop feeling guilty.

In my case, I had an overly-developed guilt response. I felt guilty all the time and was taught to believe this was a natural result of not fulfilling God's standards.

Eventually, after getting a college education where I witnessed 'good' people doing the things I had done with much guilt over the years (i.e. celebrating holidays) - these people exhibiting normal behavior without feelings of guilt.

I began to question why I felt guilt about celebrating a birthday whereas the rest of the community celebrated with no guilt at all.

Slowly, I developed a theory: Whenever I felt guilt, I stopped to examine why I felt guilty. If the source of the guilt was based on an irrational religious belief or based on a set of standards developed by an overly strict parent, I decided to not feel guilty (this took a while, of course).

If the guilt was based on a sound principal, such as hurting someone else, I stopped the behavior that brought about the gullt.

Very simple: Quit feeling guilty or quit the behavior that brought about the guilt.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)