What to do with constant guilt

In the structure of each person’s psyche, there are dominant feelings, thanks to which he communicates, develops. They determine motivation and attitudes, and are often even stronger than thoughts. Not the smartest ones achieve success, but the most persistent and determined ones, who do not doubt the success, and if they make mistakes, then continue moving forward, but do not engage in fruitless reflection and self-torture.

If guilt becomes dominant, it consumes a lot of energy, self-development practically stops, all resources go to neutralize and justify their “transgressions”. It is necessary to level the consequences of feelings of vain guilt and “reboot” your psyche in order to achieve a stable, controllable state.

What to do with constant guilt

The origins of guilt and remorse

Of course, the feeling of guilt arises in everyone situationally, but in this case a normal person is peculiar to justify and even shift the responsibility on others. It is easy to see that this applies not only to children, adults prove, without blinking an eye, that it’s not their fault for being late, but the Freemasons and Reptiloids, or at least the streetcar driver.

Recognizing fault in time and dealing with the consequences of misconduct is an excellent ability that shows a level of social and psychological maturity. Willingness to apologize and take responsibility for mistakes helps avoid many conflicts and misunderstandings. After all, most often it is not the content of the situation that offends people, but the unwillingness of the guilty person to admit wrongdoing and try to smooth things over. Even during investigations and court events take into account the degree of guilt and remorse.

But in some cases, feelings of guilt become permanent, often coexisting with anxiety and depression, leading to apathy and panic attacks. This is one of the most socialized feelings arising in the process of communication, which means that its origins and causes are hidden in the relationship with others. Such strong, “anchor” feelings can only be established by close, significant people, such as parents or spouses.

Parents– if they bring up and motivate the child through negative, instead of positive motivation. They say “you will not go out if you have not done your homework,” although it is much easier and more productive to say “you will go out when you have done your homework. And then in case of discontent they start to “load” and blame the child: you didn’t do your homework, you don’t listen to your parents, you behave ungratefully, you don’t want to become rich and successful. By the way, they skillfully use the stereotype that “if a person feels guilty, it means that he is really guilty.

The child takes adults’ words as the ultimate truth, he/she has no reason to doubt their correctness and authority, so there is confidence in his/her own guilt, backwardness, inferiority. The child is to blame for the wrong answers, the parents’ bad moods, the unjust arrangement of life and all the world’s problems in general.

The only available way for him or her to neutralize the situation is to admit the adults’ attacks and agree that “I’m bad,” “I’m stupid,” “I’m naughty. He cannot enter into a debate and argue his opinion, he has to ask for forgiveness with a guilty look to earn at least a little bit of parental pity and care.

With age, this defense mechanism solidifies, it is easier for a person to apologize and admit defeat than to fight for their dignity and normal perception of events. For him, everyday existence is a series of microcrisis, the constant expectation of problems and deserved retribution. Received praise and successes do not make him happy, because overcrowded anxious expectations, you must constantly prepare for the armageddon, new attacks and apologies.

Spouse– Are capable of developing co-dependency and guilt very quickly if they claim an authoritarian, dominant position and are unable to build a partnering, equal relationship. Extends to people prone to self-criticism, with weakened self-esteem. The paradox is that such individuals with “victim syndrome” subconsciously look for more “strong” partners who are able to regulate their coexistence.

They often complain to the people around them about how they are oppressed, oppressed, humiliated, but they are unwilling to change even a little, or to influence the situation. They live in constant defensiveness, always ready to apologize and admit non-existent errors. Gradually, this feeling goes beyond the family relationship and extends to all areas of life, which discourages, discourages adequate, sane people.

How to live with it

Depending on the source of guilt, a person models his thinking and behavior. If it is an inner belief resulting from self-criticism, low self-esteem, then a radical rethinking at all levels of psychic structure and auto-training to correct motivation and attitudes will be needed. And if this is an imposed feeling, the result of manipulation, you will have to act comprehensively, deal with the relationship with the translator and deal with the adjustment of the overall mechanism of interaction.

An interesting exercise to get you started: take two pieces of paper, divide them vertically in half.

On the first one, write the title “My biggest mistakes”, Because to correct any feeling it is necessary to specify it, to understand the reasons and the real consequences. In one column, write down 8-10 most significant, in your opinion, errors of conscious age, and in the column opposite write down the consequences. For example: you were rude to the management – they were fired from their job.

Think about which of these mistakes led to the most important consequences, and how significant they are now, perhaps, all remained in the distant past, and you torture yourself in vain doubts. Next, scale the assessment of what is happening, think about how important this mistake is to your life a week from now, a month from now, years from now. Chances are, its impact is negligible, and you’re going to move on with this overwhelming sense of guilt.

On the second sheet of paper, write the heading “My Most Important People.”and list in the column on the left 8-10 of the most significant people in your life, and against it put a score on a scale of 1 to 10, what degree of guilt and anxiety each of them causes. You will be surprised at the result when you see that the most strained, unpleasant relationship will be found with those who are closest, whom you trust.

Many parents or spouses are able to masterfully impose feelings of guilt in order to shamelessly use you further, it is their way of survival and self-fulfillment. Often no real reason is needed, a bad mood and the accusation “you’re making me hysterical again” are enough. And your choice is to accept or resist.

Effective ways to neutralize guilt

What to do with feelings of guilt

Victor Frankl – Austrian psychiatrist, psychologist, philosopher became famous as the creator of logotherapy (literally: healing with meaning) and the author of the book “Man in Search of Meaning”. This is a relevant, sought-after concept that has inspired many representatives of psychoanalysis, existential psychology, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy. Not without reason, he is called the founder of the third Viennese school of psychology, after Freud and Adler.

According to the author, therapy with meaning implies the search for meaning forming factors for the further movement and development of the personality. Undeserved guilt, of course, inhibits, “anchors” a person, prevents full self-realization, disrupts a harmonious existence, in which crises alternate with successes. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to use the method of “anticipation. It is necessary to ask oneself not about “where do I move from, what have I done there,” but about “where should I go, what do I want?. Half of the imposed, unfounded thoughts and feelings, including guilt and fear of making a mistake again, disappear because of a renewed program and “reset” of motivation.

  1. Situational– Admit wrongdoing or error, and take responsibility for the wrongdoing or harm done. Try to make amends and, most importantly, achieve real forgiveness. This is especially true for people close to you, who are painfully aware of our rudeness or inattention. If you apologized and heard: “well, I understand you,” it does not mean that the person “let go” of the offense, you need to change the emotional state.

  2. Chronic– identify the sources and causes, you can with the help of the above techniques or in the process of reflection, introspection. Until you are ready to change inside, it is useless to force the situation and prove that your parents or spouses are provoking your uncontrollable feelings of guilt and anxiety. To begin with, think about how you can fix this relationship, whether it is possible in principle to have it in a different scenario. It may be necessary to abandon the formerly relatively orderly situation and enter a period of conflicts and crises, which will help “clear” feelings, free them from unnecessary ballast.

If you realize that neurotic guilt is literally haunting you,interferes with family and social existence, disrupts habitual functions, immediately minimize contacts which disturb you, for the sake of your own mental well-being. You alone are responsible for your condition, and you must take care of your own well-being, which has the same value as others.

As soon as you notice that you again are trying to impose a sense of guilt, it is at this point, ask to clarify the reasons for discontent, offer your options for interaction, if the person totally rejects your cooperation – it’s time to escape from it in the literal and figurative sense.

As we see, it is necessary to cope with feelings of guilt and anxiety at all levels of the psyche. It is necessary to comprehend the causes and consequences, the influence of others, to specify your feelings, when they arise, what significance they have. To modify the feeling of guilt in the positive direction: if I am guilty, it means I must correct it, it means I am able to change the situation, it means I do everything right. So I’m smart and responsible.

Besides the inner self-correction it is necessary to discuss the situation with the source of the imposed guilt. If this is the result of manipulation, you are unlikely to get a meaningful, frank answer… The manipulator will try to change the subject or lead you into an emotional attack. Make conclusions, a rational understanding and finding a new meaning in life “ahead” helps a lot to reassess the situation and get rid of the oppressive feeling of guilt, imposed by others.

And the most important thing– Learn to forgive yourself, if you are so tormented by guilt, it means that you have already earned forgiveness.

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