Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?


Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby terri on February 17th, 2011, 2:19 pm

I was just thinking about this when I was responding to the facebook topic. I felt guilty for not checking facebook.. but why? It's my choice not to do so and there shouldn't be any guilt associated with your preference of communication with friends but there you go, I do.

I do think guilt is pretty useless as emotions go. It is a very negative emotion that can have people feeling bad for years. And you should never base any of your actions or reactions on guilt as you may come to resent doing said action later on.

I think deep down we are all good people. We may have different views and ways of doing things but that's ok. Just because it's not how you view it or would do something doesn't make it wrong (or right), it just is.

And I'm not talking about morally wrong things here... I just mean how can you fault yourself, or anyone else for that matter, if you do your best given the information you have. I really don't think you can. And if you find something out that may have altered your original actions then learn from it and modify your actions accordingly next time. End of story.

Am I over-simplifying this? Maybe but isn't simplicity best.
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Re: Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby TomEC on February 17th, 2011, 3:19 pm

I think guilt can be a lot like regret in it's uselessness. After all, what's done is done. But I also think guilt can a hopeful sign. It means we have a working conscience and we need that. Would we really want to change for to better, morally speaking, if we didn't feel guilt? And where would a writer be without it? It's a wonderful dramatic device that makes us feel for our poor tormented heroes. Guilt is a sign of a good person, thought too much it is very unhealthy. It can weigh us down and be used against us by the well-meaning and the unscrupulous.

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Re: Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby sin on February 17th, 2011, 4:48 pm

Well said Terri. The biggest guilt I have is when I was off the forum for a couple of months. I don't feel guilty for being away from IRL family but this is the family I do.. Make sense?
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Re: Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby MsKitty on February 18th, 2011, 5:13 am

I feel guilt about alot of things - being absent from the forum is one of them!!
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Re: Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby wren on February 18th, 2011, 5:48 am

Well said, Terri, Thomas, and sin! You all have made excellent points.

Just like Anger, which has both useful and useless types, Guilt goes both ways emotionally.

Guilt is a useful emotion when it brings about remorse or repentance for past wrong-doings or misdeeds. Whether intentional or unintentional wrongs, or brought about by learning new information regarding the situation, useful guilt can help a person seek to change for the better and often leads to making amends when possible.

Guilt is a useless emotion when it brings us to shame or self-reproach that isn't deserved or we allow a guilt-trip (feelings of guilt) to be put on us by others, either of which causes us to do something we really don't need or want to do (such as the facebook example or feeling that we must help with a project that isn't our responsibility.) That useless side of guilt makes us think or say "I should ____." When that happens, say to yourself "Thou shalt not should on thyself!" :) Learned that in a group therapy session, and if you're prone to doing things out of guilt, it's a good coping technique to put unnecessary, useless guilt out of your way...without feeling guilty about it! 8-)
Last edited by wren on February 19th, 2011, 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby jill on February 18th, 2011, 6:20 am

I think if I didn't feel guilty about everything in my life I wouldn't know what to do with myself.
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Re: Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby sin on February 18th, 2011, 9:52 am

MsKitty wrote:I feel guilt about alot of things - being absent from the forum is one of them!!



Lyns's forum is like our second home if not our first. Ms. Kitty soooo true..
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Re: Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby sin on February 18th, 2011, 9:53 am

jill wrote:I think if I didn't feel guilty about everything in my life I wouldn't know what to do with myself.



Choke someone maybe? :)
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Re: Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby sin on February 18th, 2011, 9:54 am

@ wren ...:)
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Re: Guilt... Is it a useless emotion or not?

Postby jill on February 18th, 2011, 8:36 pm

sin wrote:
jill wrote:I think if I didn't feel guilty about everything in my life I wouldn't know what to do with myself.



Choke someone maybe? :)



just waiting for them to make homicide legal lol...
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