Why Do I Feel Guilty?

guilty - therapy in london

How often do you feel guilty for making a decision of just saying no to someone?

You feel that it’s unfair to let someone down, no matter what they want from you.

So you must do it, even if it means missing out on something or putting excess pressure on yourself.
It can get so bad that no matter what choice you make you feel guilty about not doing something else.

You are then left feeling not only guilty but sad, upset and stressed out.

What does Guilt Feel like?

Guilt is something that comes up a lot for many but not others.

you feel you ought to make or feel that others expect you to make.

For some of us, the way we decide right from wrong can be a bit muddled up.

Instead of taking each option as it comes you see that the right choice as the one that others want you to do.

Leaving you feeling hard done by stressed and put out for doing what is expected of you but not what you really want.

Where did this guilty feeling come from?

Well, it gets passed down from our parents, our family, friends, teachers, or anyone in a position of power when you are growing up. You have been told to be nice, do things for others and be a good person which on the one hand is great but on the other can lead to your needs being put so far down your list of things to do, that you don’t even consider them.

If think about yourself you feel guilty for doing so because it makes you look selfish. This all leads you to feeling that everyone else’s needs are more important than yours.

So much so that the only way you can gain enjoyment is to make sure others are happy before yourself. This perceived rule dictates how you think act and feel around others.  In regards to feeling guilty, your relationships are dictated by how useful and compliant you are to others needs.

Remember, it is not your fault it’s just the way you have been told to act. It has worked for so long and has helped you to make friends and keep relationships. I am sure that a part of you is scared and want to change, as you feel you will upset the people close to you for wanting to do what you want rather than what they want to do. But another part wants to be listened to, wants to do things that you want to do and will make you happy without feeling anxious, selfish or guilty for putting your needs first.

 

How To Change

Step 1.  Find out what you want

The first step is to find out what you want and what will make you happy.

You have been putting other people’s needs first for so long that you may not even know what you want to do.

When others want pizza you are so used to saying yes that you don’t have time to think that actually, you had pizza last night, you would rather something else instead.

Start asking yourself what it is that you want.

 

Step 2. Start Talking

Once you know what you want the second step is to start telling people what that is that you want.   A really easy way to start doing this is to stop saying yes and OK.

It will stop these words coming out of your mouth automatically.

It gives you space to stop and think of a way to say ‘no I don’t want to do that’ and offer an alternative that you would be happy doing instead.

Step 3. Stop lying

The third step is to stop lying.

Now I know you are not lying to be mean but you are lying to not only others but yourself when you say you want to do something just to fit in or because somebody else wants you to.

This means that when they ask you to do something you would rather not do, you can’t say you want to do it if you don’t.

So, tell the truth!

 

Change in relationships

It is important to point out, that when you start saying no you will realise that some people may start drifting away from you.

They are not used to you saying no so it might come as a bit of a shock to them.

But consider where they truly your friend to begin with or just using you? Friendships are based on give and take and so far you having been doing all the giving.

While they have been taking your time, effort and kindness and using it to their benefit.

I hope you have learnt that you don’t have to feel guilty for saying no.

Understand that you have been told to act this way and that you have the power to say no and tell other what you want to do.

You can start putting your needs first

 

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