- Image by tattoodjj via Flickr
I have a guilt complex.
I feel guilty for little things I do.
I had two beers instead of just one? Guilt.
I feel guilty for medium things.
I said I’d be there and I can’t bring myself to go? Guilt.
I feel guilty for big things.
I get divorced three years after getting married? GUILT.
The huge things? They cause ulcers.
According to Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge, right?), guilt “is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes – whether justified or not – that he or she has violated a moral standard, and is responsible for that violation.” They also mention that it’s “closely related to the concept of remorse” although I believe that people can be remorseful without feeling guilty.
Lately, I’ve been feeling guilty for little things that have no true impact on my life, so I’ve been reading about interesting ways to cope with (or get over) guilt.
~ accept that you’re not perfect and can’t keep things perfect, no matter how hard you try.
~ understand your decisions are always going to be classified as “good” or “bad”
~ understand “good” and “bad” mean different things to different people
~ share your guilty feelings with someone safe; oftentimes that releases a lot of the feeling
~ accept mistakes you make, then make plans to avoid making the same ones in the future
I have been concentrating on that last one … making (and keeping) plans to avoid guilt-inducing situations in the future.
How do you avoid guilt?
How do you deal with guilt if you encounter it?