For many of us who struggle, we often find ourselves feeling guilty. Sometimes we feel guilty because our fears hold us back from spending time with those we love or from doing things we want to do. While sometimes guilt is an emotion that can fuel motivation to strive harder, it can also make us feel depressed and worthless.
Guilt can be good. When we feel guilty, it sends up a red flag that we should have done something better or that we should work harder next time to not make the same mistake again. However, at the same time, guilt can be a very negative response.
There are people in this world that seem to almost enjoy making underhanded, negative comments. Sometimes when people are unhappy with their own lives, they like to pick on everyone else’s imperfections. This is the truth; this isn’t something I’m just saying in order to make whoever may be reading this feel better.
The problem with guilt is that many times, it has a way of festering into someone’s mind like a splinter in one’s finger. Even if we don’t necessarily agree with the person who threw guilt our way, we still may feel bad. It’s the same thing with negative comments thrown our way by someone we love. We don’t want to disappoint the people we care for, even if they can be rude. Dealing with someone making us feel guilty can be dealt with just like other negative comments—by reminding ourselves that everyone has their own issues and that they are no more perfect than we are.
Another difficult thing to deal with is when some people claim that “we are making ourselves feel guilty” and that they have nothing to do with it. Yes, it’s true: sometimes we have a way of making ourselves feel bad for something we did or didn’t do and therefore we blame that feeling on them. However, a lot of times, other people do try to make us feel guilty.
We have to try not to confuse these two very different examples of guilt. We should not blame others for “making” us feel guilty if it us who did the blaming of ourselves. However, if someone did throw either subtle or obvious hints your way that you are guilty of something or should feel guilty, you have to acknowledge that they are making you feel this way. Why? It is not so that you can become angry with them, but so you can recognize that you may have done nothing wrong; it may just be that individual who is struggling with their own problems or cannot deal with yours.
So next time someone tries to send guilt your way, really think about whether or not you have anything to feel guilty about. Did they say or imply that you should feel guilty for feeling anxious or for going through something? Struggling is not something we should feel guilty about, everyone has areas in which they can improve. Did you try to help someone with something but they didn’t feel you helped enough? Remember that if you tried your hardest, then that’s all you can do sometimes. Don’t let others make you feel guilty for something you shouldn’t. We all make mistakes and maybe theirs was trying to manipulate you by making you feel bad about yourself.