How does guilt run your relationship live? Feeling guilty in dating, relationships or in your business? Why is this emotion so powerful and how can you work with it so you can feel at peace? Find out how to express your true self without having guilt run your life. If you have ever been afraid of hurting someone’s feelings and avoided confrontation, this will help you gain clarity and feel better.
Today’s topic is the topic of guilt on how do we deal with it, what it is, and how to live more peacefully in our relationships without so much guilt. This affects your business. This affects your personal life. It affects your romantic relationships. This feeling of guilt seems to run through all areas of our life so I’m sure you’re going to find this talk fascinating. I want you to stay tuned to the end of this talk because I have a special offer for you.
What is guilt? Well, guilt is an emotion and the way it was formed is that when we were young, we were basically these emotional creatures and we learned how to cope and how to relate with our parents, how to conform to the culture of the family, how to get along, how not to get punished and guilt was often one of those emotions that we felt when we did something wrong.
Our parents would tell us maybe you were a bad girl or you’re a bad boy and we felt guilty. We felt like, “Oh, I shouldn’t have done that. That was a bad thing. Now look what happened. I got punished.” As we grow up, we have that guilt basically to help us regulate our behavior with other human beings. I mean, we want to fit in, we want to get along with people, we want people to like us for us to live in a healthy society and be a part of that society. We do need other people’s approval sometimes.
It’s not a terrible thing to have guilt. Here’s where the problem is. The problem is that sometimes and for most people, guilt drives us unconsciously. Many of the decisions we make, many of the ideas that we have, or how we communicate with people, or where we hold back, or where we push is all basically driven by this deep level of guilt that if I say this, they’re going to feel bad. If I ask for this, they’re going to be mad. If I do this, they’re not going to talk to me anymore. If I say this or I act this way, I’m going to be labeled a bad person.
If you think about all through school when we were younger and someone did us wrong, we would gossip with each other and shun someone out if they acted in an inappropriate way or you cheated with my boyfriend and so we make that person a bad person. Not to say that those aren’t bad things or those things are not nice, but what happens is that we start to regulate our life based on what other people are going to think about us, what other people are going to say, and it ends up stifling who we are.
Here’s the thing, if we start only acting from this guilt and we’re out there in the world and we’re not saying what we really want to say or doing what we really want to do, we’re actually manipulating other people. When it comes down to it, how many times have you got it right? How many times have you said, “I’m going to say this,” and the person was like, “Oh, that was great.” Most of the time we misjudge what is right or wrong.
That’s because there’s no right or wrong, that’s subjective. We all have our own unique rules based on our past history, how our parents raised us, our culture, our background, and our experiences in life as to what really is a right action and a wrong action, and a good action and a bad action. We end up trying to figure out what the rules are.
I hear a lot of my clients tell me, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what the proper thing is to do in this situation.” It’s always to do with is good for your highest good. How do we do that? Well, first of all, we have to first recognize that guilt is not a bad thing that if we didn’t have it, we would be reckless and mean and terrible and hurt people and not care. It makes us human, but we want to make sure that it doesn’t drive us. Now, we want to check in and say, “Where has guilt stopped me from really asking for what I wanted or saying what I need to say?”
Here’s a perfect example.
I work with many single people and a lot of times, you go out with someone and you’re not interested, and you feel really bad or someone even tries to contact you on an online site and you’re just like, “Oh, it’s so uncomfortable. I’m not interested in this person. How do I let them down easy? How do I let them know I’m not interested without hurting their feelings.” We just feel like we messed it up a lot. I’ve been there, sometimes they get mad when you don’t want to go out with them. They’re mad that you don’t give them a chance.
Other times though, they’re saying thank you. “Thank you for being honest, I can move on.” If you try to basically put yourself in their mind and try to assume how are they going to respond, you’re never going to get it right. Maybe you get a right 50% of the time. Why not just do what you need to do and say what you need to say? Most people really have good intentions, all of you are probably really good people. You’re not going to do anything that’s intentionally harmful to someone. You have to be truthful and you can do it in a nice way and do it in the way that feels right for you, and how basically you would expect to be treated.
Now, here is another example and a problem is that what happens, though, when we’re dating is that we start to think, “Well, that person is a bad person because they rejected me or that person’s a bad person because they went out with me two times and then disappeared.” Then we start making their behavior bad and we start almost guilting them. Maybe we run into them, and we feel like we want them to feel guilty about what they did.
Dating is just such a weird scenario. I mean, we didn’t have to deal with this a 100 years ago. Now, the human beings are dealing with social media, we’re dealing with other people, and dealing with people who most of the time were raised in a different culture than us, in a different society than us. People move around, we’re not in the same small town anymore that has the same rules.
For us to make everyone happy all the time and like everyone all the time, it’s just impossible. It’s just part of the process of dating is to meet new people. Basically, what you want to do is not get triggered by their behavior or make their behavior wrong. Of course, not be a doormat and let them walk all over you but not get so offended by it because some people quite frankly do not have the ability to speak the truth. They will run and hide. They will avoid you because they don’t know how to let you down like you struggle letting other people down.
If you can have that compassion for human beings and many people aren’t raised to have truthful conversations, most of us haven’t. Let’s take guilt out of the equation and ask ourselves, “How can we move on from this person, how can we let go and how can we stop judging people for what they’re doing?” Then we won’t feel as judged ourselves. Now, Rumi said that in-between right doing and wrongdoing, there is a field and in that field, I will meet you.
If we can really come together with that idea that we are good people, we are kind good people at our core, most people are, and we do not need guilt to regulate our behavior like we did when we were a kid. We always have the best intentions and that’s all you can do. You can’t control how people respond and you can’t feel bad if they respond in an angry way or whatever way they do because you’re just being in your truth. What will happen is you’ll start to open up and start to be more in your power and speaking your truth and being more bold and stretching yourself a little more and not being afraid of other people and really have compassion.
As long as you bring that compassion and love to any communication regardless of how they respond, you don’t have to worry about feeling guilty. Guilt is a really tough emotion to deal with. The best way is to know that it’s not bad but it also isn’t something that should drive your life and drive your decisions anymore. That you are a good person, remember that. You are a good person and everything you do is probably with that really good intention of caring and we mess it up a lot of times and we have to let go of that harshness to ourselves and the harshness of other people for just trying to be human in this world. Just can’t we all just get along, right?
Thank you for joining me for this Facebook Live. If you have comments please write them below. I’d love to hear what you think about this topic. It’s really, really important for you to be aware of this emotion and aware of how it drives you and not be driven by it.
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