How Do Guilt and Shame Affect Your Well-Being?
Both guilt and shame can be insidious. They may lend people to second-guess their choices they can keep people in toxic and unhealthy relationships they often stunt growth and block happiness. On one hand, guilt can be an adaptable emotion as it tells us when we have over stepped a boundary or we are not following our value system. However, it is important to learn how to respond to this emotion as individuals may turn the negativity inward. When people have excessive shame, they often don’t believe they are worthy of good things or even good feelings. As a result, they may sabotage their relationships, health, careers, and money. Then, unfortunately, when more problems occur, these individuals feel even more guilt and shame, which perpetuates a frustrating pattern.
This cycle can be very challenging to break. That’s because it’s often hard to even talk about guilt or shame. People worry about being rejected or abandoned for their feelings. Guilt and shame often emerge in childhood, and the feelings are a typical response from trauma. Additionally, guilt and shame may result from being criticized, condemned, or bullied for certain behaviors or personality traits. At some point, people internalize a negative perception of self, and that identity may seem impossible to change.
How I Can Help Reduce Your Guilt and Shame
Therapy can help untangle the depths of guilt and shame. We will work together to explore some of the triggers associated with these feelings. You will learn to challenge self-deprecating thoughts when they arise, and you will also learn how to integrate more self-compassion into your life. In reducing your levels of guilt and shame, you can experience immense relief and discover a more authentic, happier self.