Can You Stop Feeling Guilty?

‘Show me a woman who doesn’t feel guilty and I’ll show you a man’ – Erica Jong

Well, I might take issue with the idea implicit in this that men don’t feel guilt; I know they do. But my experience suggests that we women may hold the record for feeling lots of it in almost every area of our lives! Women are very good at feeling guilty!

I’m not talking about profound and deep seated issues here, which require psychiatric intervention and truly blight lives. That is a complex and much more difficult situation to manage.

I’m talking about the many pangs of guilt we feel, sometimes fleetingly, sometimes continually, every day.

For example, do you feel guilty if:

  • You don’t take that phone call from a friend you know will drain you emotionally?
  • You skip breakfast and then eat a bagel with cream cheese and a bag of crisps and no fruit?
  • You love your work but think you should spend more time with your family?
  • You were too tired to listen properly to your partner?
  • You hate housework?
  • The idea of being a domestic goddess makes you ill but…?
  • You don’t weigh in at the ideal weight for your height (not tall enough probably, that’s my excuse)?
  • You feel guilty because you keep feeling guilty about things…?

Try ‘The Get Rid of Guilt’ Exercise!

Every time you feel the guilt pang, make a note. How many times in a day do you feel guilty?

Look at your list and try to honestly answer these questions:

Is that guilt yours? By which I mean, have you contravened your moral code, done something you feel ashamed of? Or, as in some of the examples above, have you not lived up to someone else’s’ ideal of what womanhood should be?

And finally, is it an indicator for you of a problem you need to tackle in your life?

I have another favourite quote to share-

It’s always better to feel guilty for something you’ve actually done, rather than something you’ve left undone!’

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Posted on September 21st, 2010 by

One Response to “Can You Stop Feeling Guilty?”

  1. You’re talking about me, Jane… I used to say, I feel guilty when I am working because I should be with my kids (even though I run a home-based business) and then when I was volunteering and with my kids, I would say I felt guilty because I wasn’t working… paradoxical!

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