Guilt and Shame Defined - Deepstash
Guilt and Shame Defined

Guilt and Shame Defined

  • Guilt is defined as an emotional state that appears when we feel we have failed to live up to the morals of ourselves or others.
  • Shame is defined as an intense feeling about the self that comes from failing to live up to your own or others' standards.

The main difference is that shame makes you see yourself as a bad person while guilt implies, you are a good person who did something bad.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Guilt Vs. Shame: What’s The Difference And Why Does It Matter? | Betterhelp

The Harm of Shame

Shame can be more troubling than guilt. It's hard for some people to separate their actions from who they are as a person. The downsides of shame:

  • Decreases self-esteem - you tend to think that every negative action says something about who you are.
  • Promotes unethical behavior - people who cling to shame are more likely to act poorly and hide it from others.
  • Creates a sense of hopelessness - life can seem hopeless if you feel powerless to change.

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Dealing Appropriately with Guilt

When you're trying to work through guilt, here's what you need to do:

  • Distinguish between action and self;
  • Accept responsibility;
  • Make amends - apologize and make reparations;
  • Take a problem - solving approach - look for solutions;
  • Make better choices - When you do something that you can't accept, you may find that this event becomes a catalyst for greater change. Maybe you want to become a better person or start down a new path in life.

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Guilt Vs. Shame

The difference between shame and guilt may seem superficial, but it's crucial to understand it, so you can learn to handle your emotions better.

We all make mistakes, but they don't have to affect your self-esteem. Instead, you can learn from guilt and grow from the experience without shame. All you need are the right tools-take the first step.

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There are many reasons why you might have feelings of guilt. It could be because of an event, situation, or person. 

Some people, for example, have “survivor guilt.” This is when someone who survived an event or situation feels guilty about surviving when others did not. It’s also common to feel guilty about something you did that you consider to be morally wrong. This type of guilt is usually accompanied by shame.

Instead of acknowledging and apologizing for what you did, you may try to conceal it because of shame. Some people would rather live with a constant feeling of guilt than admit the

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Guilt Gone Wrong

Guilt is a normal emotion and at the right levels can be useful in our relationships, but unhealthy guilt has high levels of anxiety, pressure and shame associated with it, which can be toxic to our lives.

Guilt occurs when certain rules are broken. While some rules are universal and need to be upheld, there are certain rules which are self-made or imposed by society:

  1. Don’t disappoint others.
  2. Never get angry.
  3. Always say Yes.

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The Power of Guilt

As an emotion, guilt has a lot of power. Guilt helps you acknowledge your actions and fuels your motivation to improve your behavior. It might also lead you to fixate on what you could have done differently.

Though guilt can sometimes promote positive growth, it can linger and hold you back — long after others have forgotten or forgiven what happened.

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