Feeling Guilty For No Reason

sortThis is from a consultation. I think it’s somewhat harsh but some people are in jacked up situations and they don’t want to be coddled. They want to know how to untangle the knot and solve the damned problem so that can get their life on track and enjoy it.

So what if your problem is that you feel guilty all the time?

“…I realize that last is simplistic but if you are feeling guilty for no reason, that is a sign of inflation. You are making yourself more important than you are.  So the quick answer cheat sheet is:

If you did it, fix it.

If you didn’t do it, forget about it.

Note again how the limitation pays off. There are only two ways to go so it’s easy to sort…”

I think it’s fairly nasty to tell someone they are inflating their importance but no one wants to be guilty of this. If a person can see themselves doing it, they will be super-motivated to stop!

How to stop is provided. The instructions are simple. What happens is your life-long, intractable problem can now be solved, provided you follow the map. But this post is about guilt.

If a person feels guilty all the time, what do you think the root of that might be?

63 thoughts on “Feeling Guilty For No Reason”

  1. This whole thing reminds me of that quote “Stop being so humble, you aren’t that great.” I guess it depends what they feel guilty for. is it because they feel they are neglectful, negligent or lacking in some way or because they feel they do not deserve t ask for what they need or want? Sounds like mommy might be involved in this, either way it’s easy to put down you just have to decide to.

  2. My parents had nothing to do with it, that I can remember. If anything, with the way they treat me, I should be feeling pretty fine, and a really healthy human being, happy. I just didn’t get help nearly soon enough. I should have had it years ago.

  3. This is so spot on.

    Have you ever been with someone who apologizes for *your* tough circumstances or feelings in a way that makes it about them? “I’m mad.” “Is it something I’ve done?” “No, I just am having a real tough time with this, this and that.” “Oh, I should have done this, this and that so you wouldn’t be feeling that way.” “Grrrrrrr….it is NOT about you!”

    Then they feel lousy, and suddenly —if you’re not careful—-you’re left with their burden on top of yours.

    I really believe the root of this is the need for attention. I don’t think it’s always malicious, but the results can be awful if it’s not brought into awareness..

    So, on behalf of all of us who’ve 1) felt chronic guilt for no reason or 2) dealt with close ones who feel the same, thank you for this post Elsa!

  4. Avatar

    I’m sorry I haven’t had time to read all the comments and won’t until tomorrow. However, this is so brilliant and needs lots of thought from me… I wanted to leave one note here so I didn’t forget.

    I wonder if the root of this is, in some way, tied to being made to carry out an adult role at a very young age. I see this in myself and also, much worse, in someone very close to me. She began caring for three other children at age 4. And I mean caring as in diaper changing, bathing, feeding. I think that might injure the sense of responsibility. I need to think more on this.

  5. Tima, thanks for the insights, appreciated and pretty apt in my view. Elsa..this is a really good thread, thankyou

  6. Not everyone who feels guilty will constantly apologize for their existence though. I often feel guilty but don’t really tell anyone. My problem is rooted in my biological mother who physically and emotionally abused me for years. According to her I should have never been born and I was a retard (which I’m obviously not, thanks mom).

    Anyway, this made me feel like everything I did was wrong and everything that ever went wrong was my fault. “You are making yourself more important than you are.” Sort of true, like “I’m so much worse than everyone else”, but I don’t think anyone wants to make themselves like this.

  7. I had a therapist tell me that exact thing about 20 years ago. She told me that I must think I’m pretty powerful and important to be responsible for everyone’s lives and happiness. I remember being taken aback and a little huffy about it at first, but I’ve never forgotten it and I let go of a lot of guilt about expectations I had no reponsibility to live up to.

  8. I agree that sometimes it starts with the parents. So it is a very responsible thing to do as an adult to seek out the parenting/information you missed out on, even if it comes in the form of “tough love.”

  9. i think mine comes from 8th house aries SN conjunct my sun.
    pervasive underlying feeling like lady macbeth trying to wash her hands

    it’s not guilty for things that happen now. i just feel like i have karma to address.

  10. I think that feeling guilty for things for which you really aren’t responsible is something that’s programmed into some folks, whether as children or as adults married to an abusive person…

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