Guilt and shame are natural reactions to a feeling of wrongdoing, but they are slightly different. Guilt is how we feel when we have done something wrong. It is all about our actions, what we do or say. Guilt is ‘I did something bad’.
Shame is how we feel about ourselves, the feeling of being wrong. Shame is ‘I am someone bad’.
There are lots of things that can cause a person to feel guilt. You can lie, cheat, steal or harm another person.
Causes of Guilt and Shame
1) Saying “No”
Who would have thought that simply saying No to a person would make us feel guilty? It affects women more than men. This is because women are taught from an early age to be polite and accommodating to others. So when we go against this that causes us to feel guilt and shame.
The answer is to you do not need to be perfect all the time. There is no such thing as perfection.
And remember, your perception of perfection is likely to be different from everyone else.
Just relax and enjoy yourself. And practice in front of the mirror saying “No”. Sometimes we have to be strong.
2) Your appearance, intelligence, etc.
Being the subject of criticism can cause feelings of shame, especially when the person doesn’t think that they are good enough in the first place. The truth is it’s not necessary to be handsome or beautiful or a genius to have a fulfilling life. If your family or friends are too critical, well…. make better friends. Of course everybody can improve, but the best way to improve is by encouragement. And you can even encourage yourself! Everyday say this ten times: “ Everyday in every way I’m getting better and better.”