Feeling Guilty Expresses An Inner Fear Of Punishment

Feeling guilty can be a learned behavior in our childhood that is holding us back in life, so we need to know how to identify its source and resolve it.
Feeling guilty expresses an inner fear of punishment

Feeling guilty is a very unpleasant feeling. With every step we take, we become insecure and waiting for that guilt that, hopelessly, always comes to us.

However, where did this guilt come from?

It is important that we look back to our childhood, the stage where the vast majority of our traumas and fears are born. How did our parents treat us? What kind of backup did they give us? Did they give us a fear-based education?

Let’s see how this is all produced.

the inner fear of punishment

father scolding his son

When we talk about punishment, we are not just referring to the punishments we already know, such as  “don’t leave your room”  or  “you’re not going to dinner today” .

There are other types of punishment that hurt more and leave  deep emotional wounds ,  which open up in adulthood.

One type of punishment would be taking the children off the floor. Suddenly children are not able to interact with their parents. They talk to them, but no one answers them.

  • They feel lonely, abandoned, very afraid. But most of all, they feel guilty.

Another type of punishment  can be given for a disproportionate reaction from parents  who throw sentences like  “why did you do this to me?”  or  “you don’t deserve it” . All of this generates a feeling of guilt that the child absorbs.

Every word we say as parents, every action we take with the little ones, can cause feelings such as guilt that will later cause a lot of problems as the children get older.

However, these types of feelings,  once we detect their origin, can be fought and we can stop feeling them. It’s not easy, but it’s posssible.

What do we feel guilty about?

lonely girl who feels guilty

In order to stop feeling guilty once we have detected its source, it is important that we ask ourselves what usually makes us feel guilty. Some examples might be as follows:

  • I feel guilty that a friend is angry with me if I don’t do what he wants, or think differently.
  • I feel guilty if a loved one suddenly doesn’t respond  instantly to a text message. I think I may have said something that offended you or that you’re mad at me (for no reason).
  • I feel guilty for feeling guilty. I believe that I am not good, that I do not deserve anything and that I am inferior to others.

As we can see, feeling guilty and having low self-esteem are two concepts that almost go hand in hand. Well, in many of these examples you can see insecurity, low frustration tolerance, fear of abandonment…

The last example is curious, that of  “I feel guilty for feeling guilty” . However, it’s more common than it sounds. People who feel guilty about everything can go to extremes  like this.

stop feeling guilty

Woman who can't help but feel guilty

To stop feeling guilty, it  ‘s important to start working on building self-esteem first. This will eliminate insecurities and fears that may be helping us to live with this feeling on a daily basis.

So we need to investigate in which contexts guilt often arises. Is it the fear that others will be angry with us? Is it when someone doesn’t respect our opinions?

This can give us an idea of  how similar these situations are to past episodes from our childhood  that were the origin of this guilt at the time.

The last thing we have to do is be aware of it, not blame our parents (if any),  take responsibility for that guilt and work to manage our emotions.

Every time you feel guilt, ask yourself why it came about. Most of the time, we find that there is no reason to feel guilty and that we sometimes anticipate something that didn’t happen to avoid this feeling of guilt.

Do you dare to stop feeling guilty?

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