What is guilt? Guilt is when you allow yourself to feel bad about an event or person. It can be used to control a person or situation. Guilt does not belong to you; you choose to hold onto it because it validates something in yourself. Over time, feeling and carrying guilt can cause confusion and self destructive patterns, shame, fear, high expectations, jealousy and fear of one’s potential.


  • You can’t say No
  • Fear of being judged and being judgmental
  • Feeling a need to always want to help people
  • Wanting to be accepted
  • Not liking yourself
  • Jealousy
  • Confusion
  • Critical
  • Self destructive within yourself and others
  • Regret
  • Frustration
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Negativity
  • Fear


  • High expectations from parents, teachers and peers
  • Responsibility
  • A need to please
  • Fear of one’s potential

You are not born with guilt. As a child you learn to feel and own it. When you overreact to a situation you give away your control. You take on what the other person is saying both emotionally and mentally. Then the situation and what was said, runs around and around in your head, you feel guilty and want to put things right. This causes confusion in your thoughts because what was said does not belong to you in the first place; it belongs to the other person.

In families you sometimes find that one of the children is expected, without being asked, to take responsibility for their younger siblings. For example you are outside playing with your younger brother and he falls and gets injured. You run for help and your parents get a fright and overreact to the situation blaming you for not watching closely enough. You believe what they are saying, you feel responsible and then you feel guilty as a result.


You say to yourself –

  • I should have known better
  • I should have had more sense
  • I should have watched more closely and he would not have got hurt or sick.

Your parents say –

  • You shouldn’t have done that
  • You should know better
  • You should have more sense
  • You’re the oldest.

You carry this guilt. Your need to mind and protect gets stronger and you find yourself always watching out for family members taking on the responsibility for their welfare. Over time your need to please people will heighten.

Relationships Family and Friends – Guilt


         You’re responsible

         Its your fault

         You’re always the same

         You’re stupid

         You’re interfering too much

         You don’t understand

         You don’t speak your mind

         You’re out of control

         You don’t keep your word

         You can’t be trusted

         You’re no good

         You don’t care

         You only think of yourself


Being compared by parents, family member and teachers

Then you take the information into your thoughts and over time you feel guilty.

"There is no greater joy than knowing that you are a real person, find yourself, be yourself and as you get a greater understanding of yourself, you will find peace and balance within your life"

© Hazel Devine April 2017 – Guilt V.1

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