Are you plagued with guilt? Do you feel guilty and responsible when others are hurting? Do you try to fix their pain rather than take care of yourself? Sometimes guilt is appropriate and often it isn’t. Discover what causes guilt, the big difference between healthy and unhealthy, toxic guilt, and how to heal toxic guilt.
Hi everyone. This is Dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding podcast. So today I want to talk about what Guilt is telling you. Guilt like all of our feelings is an important feeling. It has a lot of information for us. It’s of course, the appropriate feeling to have when we’ve deliberately done something harmful or hurtful to others, people that can harm others without any feelings of guilt or remorse were formally called sociopath or sociopathic personalities.
And they are now defined as suffering from antisocial personality disorder. Antisocial personality disorder is a severe disorder. That includes along with a lot of other symptoms, the lack of a conscience people suffering from this are also often malignant narcissists. Without a conscience. People can deliberately harm others without ever feeling guilt or remorse. People who never developed a conscience and feeling and, and feel no guilt or remorse over harming others have no loving adult self and they can wreak havoc, stealing raping, killing without ever even feeling badly about it.
Well, it’s so very important to feel guilty. It deliberately harming others. Many people feel unhealthy, toxic guilt, toxic guilt is inappropriate guilt. They’ll get guilt that comes from self judgements regarding having done something wrong. Judging yourself for having done something wrong. When you actually haven’t done anything wrong. So here’s an example. Fran. One of my clients was exploring the guilt. She feels when she speaks with her mother, it was funny.
A lot of people end up feeling guilty when they talk with their mother. I certainly did. No matter what I say, my mother always seems to feel hurt. And then I feel guilty. It hurting her. Sometimes I wish I never had to talk with my mother. I don’t want to not have a relationship with her, but I hate feeling guilty all the time. Franz feelings of guilt are not coming from actually inflicting harm on her mother. She she’s not harming her mother. Her feelings are coming from the self judgment that she absorbed from her mother’s judgements of her hurt her Guilt is coming from the fact that she’s telling herself that she is doing something wrong when she actually isn’t.
Fran has the false belief that if someone feels hurt, it must be her fault that she’s responsible for their pain. Friend’s mother taught Fran that when her mother was feeling hurt, it was Fran’s fault. Now friends feels guilty. Whenever someone she’s involved with feels hurt or angry, but it’s not the other person’s feelings and it’s not their blame or anger or judgment towards her. That’s causing for them to feel guilty.
It’s your own self judgment. That’s causing her feelings of guilt. If your friend didn’t believe that she was responsible for causing other people’s feelings, she wouldn’t feel guilty when her mother or other people blamed her for their feelings. Fran actually knows that she’s not doing anything wrong, but she continues to judge herself. Whenever her mother or others are hurt.
And there’s a very good reason for this. Fran wants to believe she’s causing others feelings, because it gives her a sense of control over how others feel about her. The wounded part of her, that ego part of her that wants to control how others feel about her, believes that if I can cause others to be hurt or upset, I can also cause them to be loving and accepting of me. If I just do things right, then I can control how others feel about me and how they treat me this belief in control.
This ran the illusion of safety. She doesn’t want to know that she’s not in control over how others feel about her and treat her. She doesn’t want to know that she is not a puppeteer pulling the strings on others, feelings and behavior. No, of course, Fran, doesn’t it like the feeling of guilt, but she’s unconsciously willing to go on and feeling guilty in order to maintain her illusion of control.
She comes into truth about her lack of control over how others feel about her and treat her. Her toxic guilt will actually disappear, toxic guilt and an addiction to control. Go hand in hand. So again, unhealthy toxic guilt results from judging yourself, telling yourself that you’ve done something wrong when you haven’t. For example, if you decide to do something for yourself with no intent to harm anyone, and someone gets upset with you for doing what you want instead of what he or she wants you to do, what do you tell yourself?
Here’s some of the Inner statements that can lead to unhealthy toxic guilt. It’s my fault that he’s feeling angry. I should have done what she wanted instead of what I want. It I’ve caused her to feel hurt. I’m being selfish and doing what I want to do. It’s my duty to put myself aside and do what others want me to do. If he gets angry with me, then I must of done something wrong. If she’s hurt, then it’s my fault. I must of done something wrong.
Many of us have been trained to believe that we’re responsible for other’s feelings so that when others are angry or hurt, it’s our fault. But unless you consciously and deliberately intend to harm someone, his or her feelings are not your responsibility. Others get hurt when they take your behavior personally, and they get angry when they make your responsible for their feelings. But this doesn’t mean that you are responsible for their feelings.
Now, when you behave in a way that you might not be proud of, but that isn’t intent on harming anyone. Your wound itself might say things to you like can’t believe I binged again on food. I’m such a weak jerk. I’m such a bad parent. I just can’t seem to control my kids. I know I should visit my mother more. I’m really a bad daughter. I promised myself I wouldn’t get angry anymore. I’m as really be crazy for losing my temper.
Again. There’s no excuse for coming home drunk again. I’m just a rotten person. The hope is that by judging yourself and feeling guilty, you can have control over not doing it again. But of course, this never works. Since behavior changes. When your intention changes, not when you’re judging yourself. In fact, the more you judge yourself, the more you might find yourself doing whatever it is that you’re judging yourself for.
We are responsible for our own intent. When you intend to harm someone, then you’re responsible for the pain that you caused and guilt and remorse or appropriate feelings. But when you just wanna take care of yourself with no intent to harm anyone, there’s just wanting some time alone. When your partner wants to spend time with you, then you’re not responsible for your partner’s upset. So unhealthy guilt comes from telling yourself a lie. When the wounded program critical part of you takes over and tells you that, doing what you want with no intent to harm anyone is wrong.
That’s when you’re going to feel the unhealthy toxic guilt is critical. Part of you wants to control how others feel about you. And so tells you the lie that you’re responsible for. others’ feelings, unhealthy guilt, also arouses. When someone also arises, when someone blames you for his or her feelings and you take on the blame, many people learn to blame others for their feelings rather than take responsibility for their own feelings.
So when you accept this blame is because you want to believe that you can control are those feelings. You’re to feel a toxic guilt. When you accept the blame for other’s feelings, healthy guilt is an important feeling and leads to positive action. But unhealthy guilt is a complete waste of energy. We all need to be able to feel healthy guilt, the guilt that comes from actual wrongdoing, but toxic guilt.
Isn’t good for anyone. Now you can move beyond toxic guilt by understanding that the belief that you can control others, feelings and behavior, by doing things quote right, leads to self-judgment to control your own behavior, to get yourself to do things quote, right, which leads to toxic guilt in the way out of toxic guilt is to fully accept your lack of control over others, feelings and behavior, which leads to a lessening of self judgment, which leads to a lessening of toxic guilt.
So, as I said, healthy guilt is the feeling that incur that occurs when you’ve actually done something wrong, such as deliberately harming someone. This is an important feeling which results from having developed a conscience, a loving adult self who’s concerned with your highest good and the highest good of all healthy Guilt results and taking responsibility for your choices and being accountable for your actions. When we have not behaved in a way that is in our highest good and the highest good of all are loving.
Adult self will feel remorse and do whatever we need to do to remedy the situation. The feeling of remorse generally leads to true change and healing. Remorse is what you feel when you deeply and genuinely regret choice you made in, you know, that you are never going to make that choice. Again, remorse comes from your heart. Well, toxic guilt comes from your mind.
Remorse indicates that a major change has taken place in you. You’ve shifted your intention from controlling to learning and loving those of you who are Harry Potter. Fans will certainly have read the last book in this book. Harry is told that the evil wizard Voldemort has only one chance of living his one unlikely chance is if he feels remorse for all the people he tortured and all of the murders, he committed, not toxic guilt, which is very different than remorse.
Only remorse will restore his soul. Only remorse brings redemption. And one of my favorite movies, dead man walking, sister, Helen Prejean, played by Susan. Surandon establishes a special relationship with murderer. Matthew. Poncelet a prisoner on death row, which is played by Sean Penn. At the end of the film just before he is executed.
Matthew is redeemed because he feels true remorse for the murders that he committed, which is what Helen Prejean was hoping for. Not to stop the execution, but to save his soul. Guilt is generally an indication that the wound itself is in charge trying to control the outcome of things with self judgment.
Guilt man indicate that no true behavior change is imminent because no change of heart has occurred.
Have you heard people say, I’m sorry, or, or you said it only to keep doing the same thing over and over. I’m sorry. I lied. I’m sorry that I hit you. I’m sorry that I had an affair. I’m sorry that I gambled away our money. I’m sorry. I got drunk and made a fool of myself. I’m sorry. Fueled by guilt means nothing. It’s just a manipulation to control being forgiven, like the weekly confession to the priest.
It often clears the conscience. So the person is now free to commit the unloving act again and again, having received the forgiveness, they were seeking
With antisocial personality disorder. Who’s incapable of feeling remorse. My frequently expressed Guilt is a form of control, but due to feeling deeply entitled to do whatever he or she wants to do. I feel no remorse. These people don’t actually feel the feelings of healthy guilt or remorse. They’re just saying the words as the manipulation remorse is a deep and powerful feeling and creates deep and powerful change.
The prodigal son remorse led to his repentance and redemption toxic guilt indicates that we’re off course in our thinking out of alignment with our true self remorse. It brings us back into alignment with the truth of who we are. So like many of you I’m an empath, which means that I was born with an ability to deeply feel in my own body, what others feel.
And as those of you who have this gift, you know, it’s both a gift, a challenge, certainly a great gift and enable me in enabling me to do the work that I do and I’m grateful for it. But it’s also been extremely challenging and not taking responsibility for others feelings. I grew up believing that any time someone was upset with me or even just upset, it was my fault as a child, if either of my parents were in pain, because I would feel their pain in my own body and feel so saddened by it.
I wanted to do anything I could to take away their pain. And my parents quickly learn that I would try anything to make them feel better and them not being capable of the empathy or empathy or compassion themselves. Cause they were narcissistic use this to control me. They were often angry at me, blaming me for their feelings. And I took this on often feel, feeling guilty for causing them to hurt and taking responsibility for their pain by trying to do everything right, was the way I learn to have control over their pain or at least try to have control over their pain.
So they wouldn’t be so, so they wouldn’t feel sad. And I wouldn’t feel so saddened by their feelings. The more I took on and fell guilty and responsible, the more they blame me and the more they blame me, the more I took on taking on their pain made me very sick. As a child, parents constantly use Guilt as a form of control.
Sometimes the Guilt was kind of subtle, such as fine, do what you want. But it said with the blaming tone, other times it was blatant such as my grandmother who lived with us saying to me, whenever I didn’t do what she wanted, how can you do this to me? You are so selfish As an adolescent. If I came home five minutes after my curfew, I would hear my mother hissing at me from the bedroom.
As I tried to tiptoe very quietly into my room, her voice was dripping with anger. You’re late again. You know, I worry about You. My mother had so many ways of making me feel responsible for her feelings, from her intense anger to her victim tears. I was always to blame, even though I started earning my own money. By the time I was 14, my father would frequently Guilt me.
If I bought an article of clothing or a pair of earrings that he didn’t think I needed, my parents live through the depression. It left them with big scars. Well, my father did fairly well and was able to retire at age 56. He never learned to spend anything other than what he thought was absolutely necessary. And he wanted me to be just as scared and frugal as he was.
He’d look at me with narrow eyes and say with a knife, like disapproval, was it really necessary to buy that? Don’t you think you were going a little over?
So of course, I grew up believing that any time someone was upset with me, it was my fault, especially since I was an only child and I just got all the blame also when we had to do was be hurt or upset and I would immediately feel guilty. Certain I’ve done something wrong. And of course this pattern continued in my marriage. It didn’t take my husband long to figure out that all he had to do was give me a disapproving. Look that look or go into his angry withdrawal and I’d feel guilty and responsible for his feelings.
Then I’d scurry around trying to fix whatever it was. I did wrong, even though it didn’t even know what I was doing wrong. No, of course I wasn’t actually doing anything wrong. As an adult took me years to understand the toxic system that gets created when a child is sensitive and empathic and his or her parents are narcissistic. I often meet people in my practice and in my Inner Bonding and tensors who also have a hard time understanding the toxic system they were raised in.
So for example, Sarah, who was a participant in one of my intensives, had a similar experience to mine. As I sat with her and experienced her energy, I can see that she was a very deeply sensitive and caring, compassionate, and very empathic woman. But she was in a lot of pain. The toxic system of her being blamed for others, feelings that started in her family was continuing in her marriage.
And with her children, she was taking on all of her husband’s anger and blame and doing everything she could to fix them. She was overwhelmed with guilt. Whenever anyone in her family was unhappy. She had never learn to stand up for herself. And she feared if she did that, she would hurt her husband’s or children’s feelings. But she was getting an isolated in the course of the intensive.
Sarah learned, fortunately she learned that she had a very, she has a very, very loving heart rather than being a bad person that she thought she was. She was not all of that person, but she thought she was due to all the anger and blame that had been directed at her. She started to value her ability to feel empathy and compassion for others. Now her job was to become compassionate with herself, her feelings, her own inner child.
She learned that if she directed her compassion toward her family first, she would lose herself in caretaking. But if she first directed her PA her compassion toward herself, then she would know that she didn’t deserve to be treated badly and she could begin to stand up for herself. We rehearsed some of the things she could say to her husband when he was mean to her, such as you know, I don’t want to be around you when you’re blaming me. So I’m going to go for a walk or I’m no longer available to talk about anything when you’re angry.
Let me know when you’re open to learning with me, took a lot of practice before Sarah can say these things without Guilt having taken responsibility for others, feelings for so long and still feeling other are still feeling others, feelings deeply within her own being it wasn’t easy to take care of herself instead of caretaking others. But she did see that in not taking care of herself. She was actually losing her husband and her children, her children who are six and eight had already started blaming her are the same way her husband and parents blamed her.
They were often angry and judgmental toward her having little respect for her since she hadn’t taken care of herself and allowed others to constantly disrespect her, she often felt very lonely in her own family. And now finally understood why her family was treating her the same way she was treating herself. Paul ignoring her or judging her just as she was ignoring and judging herself.
Sarah finally saw that caretaking others feelings rather than taking care of herself was enabling others to continue to be angry and blaming. And then it was not loving to them to take responsibility for their feelings. She realized that by learning to love herself, she was actually also okay. Loving to her family. So here’s another example. My client Jackson grew up with the mother who completely emotionally abandoned herself when she is, when she was upset, she’d get a long suffering.
Look on her face. Her eyes would feel with tears and she would slowly leave. Save the room with their head down. Jackson, being a highly child, felt his mother’s neediness and, and victimness as a pull on him to find a way to fix her. And he would instantly feel guilty cause he didn’t know how big the time Jackson was for.
He had learned to completely shut down as his way of not feeling guilty and responsible for his mother’s feelings. And now as an adult, Jackson has a hard time being in a committed relationship. As soon as a woman abandons herself, which then creates the empty hole of her neediness. He feels guilty and he shuts down. He ends up feeling it trapped in the relationship and he can’t wait to get out whatever good feelings he had for the woman.
At the beginning of the relationship evaporated due to his shutting down to avoid feeling guilty and feeling trapped. Now Jackson wants to get married and have children, but the idea of commitment terrifies in the problem is that Jackson had not yet developed a loving adult self who’s capable of not taking responsibility for a woman’s feelings. One aspect of his ego wound itself feels responsible for another person’s feelings, the woman’s feelings.
Well, another aspect of his wounded self shuts down to not feel guilty and trapped by this responsibility. So until Jackson develops a loving adult self capable of letting go of responsibility for a partner’s feelings and is capable of taking loving care of himself and the face of a partner’s neediness, he’s going to continue to shut down. His is the only way of feeling safe from Guilt and feeling trapped now because Jackson is so sensitive to another’s emotional self-abandonment it’s vital that he heal his belief, that he is responsible for another’s feelings.
It’s not realistic for him to think that he can find a woman who will never emotionally abandoned herself because everyone at times will abandon themselves. We all do this at times when Jackson gets himself off the hook of believing he is responsible for women’s feelings, then he’s going to be free to stay. Open-hearted. Even when his partner emotionally abandons herself, he’ll be free to care without caretaking and without shutting down to protect himself from feeling guilty and engulf and try it out.
No, even before I started practicing Inner Bonding I knew in my mind that everyone’s upset. It wasn’t my fault, but I didn’t know how to move beyond the feelings of guilt that would overwhelm me. I understood the concept that I wasn’t responsible for others’ feelings, but since I didn’t understand how to take responsibility for my own feelings, I have no idea how to heal the Guilt. But now I know that I don’t have to live with guilt, guilt and shame are no longer feelings that I feel that I struggle with, which is really, really amazing to me since I struggled with them for so long through my Inner Bonding practice, I’ve learned to let go of the controlling belief that I cause other people’s wounded feelings.
I now know that I’m a good person. I know that I would never consciously do anything to harm anyone. And that being loving to myself in others is my highest priority. Now I can care about others feelings with deep compassion for them without taking them on as my responsibility, what a relief. I no longer allow my wounded self to guilt me into doing things that someone else wants me to do.
But then I don’t want to do, if I inadvertently do something that hurts another, of course I feel sad and I feel remorseful and I sincerely apologize, but I don’t feel guilty because I know that I never intend to hurt others. And I consistently turn to my guidance for information regarding what I am and what I’m not responsible for.
I don’t allow my programmed wound itself to determine this for me. So I want you to know that you can heal your Guilt I didn’t. And so can you with a devoted Inner Bonding practice, you can completely eliminate your toxic guilt. Really? It’s all up to you. And I hope you go to the Inner Bonding website, take our free Inner Bonding chorus.
Take the 30 day. Love yourself course, which will teach you in a very in-depth way. How to love yourself. It will teach you Inner Bonding or work through self quest or read the books on Inner Bonding or get some facilitation. If you need help. There’s so much support on the Inner Bonding website. I send you my love and my blessings.