Who experiences guilt? Most of us do, at some point in our lives.
However, some of us experience it a lot: me feel guilty about what we did say, didn't do, could have done and so on. Guilt can be in relation to ourselves or others.
' I feel guilty eating more than I should' or 'I feel guilty that I didn't do the chores even though I had a stomping headache' or' I felt guilty when I didn't work on that assignment for exactly 1 hour'. And so the list goes on....
But what is guilt? The Cambridge Dictionary defines guilt as:
'a feeling of worry or unhappiness that you have because you have done something wrong, such as causing harm to another person'.
Wiki also defines guilt as 'an emotional experience that occurs when a person believes or realises—accurately or not—that they have compromised their own standards of conduct or have violated universal moral standards and bear significant responsibility for that violation'.
The important point we often apply guilt to things that we don't need or warrant feeling guilty for. Our interpretations and perceptions are what often lead to feelings of guilt.
We talk about guilt a lot in psychotherapy, especially with those clients who are experiencing a critical inner dialogue, have a negative view of themselves, are prefectionsist or who beat themselves up lots. However, feelings of guilt can touch and eat away at anyone, for lots of different reasons and in lots of different ways.
Guilt literally 'eats' away at them, because of the power guilt an shame has over biasing and warping their perception and interpretation of situations, events and themselves.
If you need or want to working on feelings of guilt (or anything else that's difficult for you at the moment), we are here to support you.
Just get in touch if you would like to work with one of our experienced, encouraging, supportive qualified psychotherapists or counsellors. Online and in-person appointments available. In-person appointments take place in Glasgow city centre.
I've attached a poster below about guilt too, and hope you find it useful. Take care and take it easy on yourself today.