Guilt and its handmaiden, shame, can paralyze us––or catalyze us into action. Appropriate guilt can function as social glue, spurring one to make reparations for wrongs. Excessive rumination about one's failures, however, is a surefire recipe for resentment and depression.

Recent posts on Guilt

Guilt Me Not

Stop the guilt talk in your head.

What's the Difference Between Guilt and Shame?

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 16, 2017 in Hide and Seek
Shame and guilt often go hand in hand, which is why they are readily confused.

If Only

By Kenneth J. Doka Ph.D. on March 09, 2017 in Good Mourning
Guilt can take many forms in grief. Yet, whatever form it takes can complicate grief.

Your Career and the Tyranny of the Shoulds

The word "should" creates two selves: an ideal self and a real self. Here’s how to escape the tyranny.

Can I Trust Him? The Psychology and Philosophy of Trust

By Neel Burton M.D. on March 07, 2017 in Hide and Seek
What is trust, when does it pertain, and can it ever be absolute?

The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Coping with Parental Guilt

By Dena Kouremetis on February 17, 2017 in The Unedited Offspring
What can we do to assuage the guilt we feel over not being the best parents we could have been?
Erik Hans Krause in employ of WPA/PD-US-not renewed

"Refrigerator Mothering" Is Dead but the Blame Game Lives On

By Barb Cohen on February 16, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
The mother—and now the father too—are still suspect. Suspected of what? Nobody knows for sure, but whatever it is, we are expected to defend ourselves against it.
CRC Press

Was it Really a Suicide?

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on February 05, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
A new book shows investigators how to interpret seemingly innocent 911 calls that might actually be from a killer.

Watching Football Is a First World Guilty Pleasure

By E. Paul Zehr Ph.D. on January 29, 2017 in Black Belt Brain
Many of us will tune into the upcoming Super Bowl. Enjoy it for what it is but also respect what these players go through. And see if there isn't a bit of guilt there too.

The Emotions of Grief After a Breakup

Many will tell you not to waste your tears on a former love, but grief is the healing feeling. It must have its due for you to be happy once again.

Gary Taubes's New Book Puts Sugar On Trial

By Michael Bader D.M.H. on January 25, 2017 in What Is He Thinking?
In The Case Against Sugar, science writer Gary Taubes shows how Sugar fronts distorted science and politicized nutrition politics to sell what Taubes shows is actually a a poison.

VA Says 68,000 Vets Addicted to Opioid Painkillers

By Eric Newhouse on January 23, 2017 in Invisible Wounds
Opioid painkillers are addictive, but the VA has been prescribing them to about a half million vets—and treating nearly 70,000 of them for addiction to their meds.

White Guilt vs. White Empathy

Thoughts to commemorate the Martin Luther King holiday.

Are Psychopaths Happy?

By Mark Holder, Ph.D. on January 07, 2017 in The Happiness Doctor
Psychopaths tend to get what they want and feel no remorse. However, they have superficial relationships characterized by lies and manipulation. So are they happy?

How to Overcome Guilt?

By Sheila Kohler on January 05, 2017 in Dreaming for Freud
Of course, there are people who should feel guilty. Yet, ironically these are the very ones who often do not feel any remorse like the young man who shot nine black parishioners.

Saying “I’m Sorry”

Many people seem to find saying “I’m sorry” an extremely difficult thing to offer. Here are four guidelines for an effective apology.

Is Guilt Affecting How You Manage Your Child's ScreenTime?

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on January 03, 2017 in Mental Wealth
Parental guilt can undermine the best of intentions when it comes to restricting children's screentime. Here's how to give guilt the boot.

The Surprising Ways that Guilt Can Help Your Relationship

Feeling guilty may or may not have a rational basis, but according to a new study, the guilt-prone may actually be better at reading other people’s emotional states.

Feeling Shame About Shame

Is it shame or guilt you're feeling about having an LGBT child? Learn the difference so you can resolve the conflict.

You’re Not a Bad Person: Facing Privilege Can Be Liberating

By Miki Kashtan Ph.D. on November 25, 2016 in Acquired Spontaneity
Time and time again I notice just how simple and strong it is to own and acknowledge my privilege where I have it, and to do so without guilt and shame.

An Uneventful Thanksgiving Trip

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 25, 2016 in How To Do Life
Thoughts on your next long-distance family get-together.

A Roommate Asks: Is Living and Working Together Too Much?

By Irene S Levine Ph.D. on November 18, 2016 in The Friendship Doctor
A woman living and working with a friend feels guilty about setting boundaries.

The Grudge Holder and the Guilt Catcher

For several years, this couple had a moderate level of satisfaction in their marriage even though they lived a financially marginal lifestyle.
CCO Public Domain/Permission to Use

Do You Feel Guilty About Having (or Not Having) Money?

Do You Feel Guilty About Having (or Not Having) Money? Our attitudes about money often come from our family. By Lisa M. Juliano, Psy.D.
Pixabay image by bykst

An Inauthentic Apology Can Be Maddening

Why is apologizing as difficult as a root canal for some people? This is how we may respond when we're protecting our image rather than sincerely apologizing.

Just Say No

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on October 07, 2016 in Life After 50
Are you afraid to say "no"? Do you often feel angry because you are spending time with people you don't like? Are you wasting time doing favors for people who don't matter to you?

How Your Regrets Can Actually Help You

Today in America the dominant opinion on regret is to get over it, let it go, or—if you’re a New Yorker—“fuhgeddaboudit!” In her TED Talk on the subject, Kathryn Schulz notes . . .
flickr image by Anant Nath SharmaAnant Nath Sharma

Do You Feel Guilty or Ashamed?

This article helps us find a language to differentiate between how we feel when we make a mistake or fall short of our ideals from the paralyzing shame of being a mistake.

Television With Tots: Guilt Free Co-Viewing Recommendations

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on September 29, 2016 in Screen Time
Have concerns about your young child's screen time? These few recommendation may help.

Guilt and Shame

Guilt and shame are two rather different negative emotions which are often confused. In both cases, people feel bad about themselves—but that is where the similarity ends.