Burdened with feelings of guilt?  Have you done something to cause hurt to your friend or spouse?  Let’s take a look at what you can do when those feelings start to take over your whole being.


 1) Pay Attention to the Feelings

  • Guilt is simply a sign telling your conscience that something is wrong.
  • Embrace your feelings, feeling guilty can be a good thing, there is a reason as to why we feel guilty.

2) Determine the Source

  • Are you feeling guilty because you have done or said something that may have caused hurt to someone or are you feeling guilty because you ate too much chocolate today?
  • The ultimate question is:  Are your feelings appropriate?  Do you feel guilty because you really did something morally wrong or are you feeling guilty for something that has no rational purpose?

True Guilt

  • True Guilt means that you feel guilty for a good reason.  You probably have caused hurt to someone close to you.

If that is the case, you have to ask yourself what you can do to fix the problem.  What can you do to receive forgiveness from your friend or spouse?

If for some reason you are not able to apologize because the person has passed away, you need to figure out how you can come to peace with the situation.  Express your feelings in writing and speak with someone else about your burden.  Do not keep your feelings inside, it is extremely important to express them or they will keep you from finding peace within yourself and the situation.

False Guilt

  • Is your feeling of guilt trying to teach you something rational and helpful about your behavior, or is it just an emotional, irrational response to a situation?

If you are feeling guilty for no apparent reason or are feeling guilty for something most people would not feel guilty about it is important to find out why your behavior or a particular situation is causing you to feel this way. Think about it. If you cannot figure it out yourself, ask a friend or someone close to you. If you do not feel comfortable talking about your feelings with someone you know, seek help from a professional. They will be able to get to the root of your feelings and help you find ways to get back to a healthy self.


3) Move On

You also have to keep in mind that we are all human.  We make mistakes.  Nobody is perfect.  Do not be too harsh on yourself.  Even if you did make a mistake, take responsibility for your behavior, apologize and ask for forgiveness.  If you have taken all those steps but the other person is not willing to accept your apology or willing to work on fixing the issue then there is nothing you can do about that.  You have done your part.  The rest is up to the other person.  Do not burden yourself with something you have no control over.

 4) Keep Active

Try to focus on your other relationships as well.  Practice forgiveness, as you know what it feels like to be on the other side of the situation.  Encourage each other.  Learn from your mistakes to grow in your relationships with each other.  It is part of life.  No relationship, whether friendship or intimate relationship is going to be easy.  They all have their ups and downs.  Be proactive, take it for what it is and realize you are taking your relationship to the next level.

About the Author:

Janie is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist in Orlando, Florida. Janie believes that everyone has a story. These stories give meaning and purpose to the chaos of everyday life. Janie believes that people can get stuck in their life with unhealthy coping mechanisms, unhealed past traumas or wounds deep inside themselves. Janie invites people to take a journey with her to discover their own life story by helping them make connections with their behavior and needs, recognize the patterns, as well as why they have developed those patterns. Janie's passion is to walk alongside individuals as they face past wounds to create healing in their lives.

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