Friday, July 4, 2008

Free yourself from the deadly clutches of guilt

From my InBox:

Yes! Guilt can eat you up from inside rendering you hollow, so it's important to get rid of it. Here are 5 very practical tips to help you drop the excess baggage of guilt that is tying up your mind and soul in knots:

1. Talk to settle the matter
People feel guilty when they feel they've failed or transgressed in some way. However, very often the things you are feeling guilty about do not have any impact on the other person and you continue to suffer for no reason. At other times, they may be slightly affected but are not as upset as you think and are just waiting for you to talk it out and end the matter. So it's best to make the effort to talk and act accordingly.

2. Be ready to apologize
If you have done something that you truly regret, do apologize and try to make amends. A simple 'I am sorry' when said with genuine feelings can set a lot of things right. This conciliatory gesture is appreciated by most as it reflects that you care about them and value the relationship.

3. Do a reality check
Guilt often arises automatically, based on thought processes internalized over the years. So before you automatically accept guilt, ask yourself, "Should I really be guilty for this?" Priorities and thought processes tend to change with time and by judging yourself by those old standards, you are not being fair to yourself. Worrying about not being a perfect wife because you didn't take out time from your busy schedule to bake a cake for your husband's birthday but instead bought it from a bakery is guilt gone wrong.

4. Don't blame yourself unnecessarily
In case you are just a victim of circumstances and haven't done anything hurtful yourself, you shouldn't feel any guilt. For example, if your child gets out of school earlier than usual and meets an accident and you reach there after the accident, at your usual time, there is no reason for you to feel guilty. Yes, the accident might not have happened had you reached earlier, but by holding yourself responsible for a situation that you couldn't have predicted is only going to make dealing with the situation tougher for you.

5. Don't let someone put you on guilt trips
Some people tend to induce uncalled for guilt in others to often advance their own selfish agendas. To avoid falling prey to these guilt trips, assess whether the other person's point of view is legitimate and if they are taking your needs into account.

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