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

Angus Third Pounder/Adam Kuban/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Why Are Most of Us So Good at Deceiving Ourselves?

By Barb Cohen on October 08, 2017 in Mom, Am I Disabled?
Columbus, cognitive dissonance and autism shed light on our coping strategies.

When Forgiving Yourself Is the Hardest Kind of Forgiveness

By Andrea Brandt Ph.D. M.F.T. on October 02, 2017 in Mindful Anger
When it’s you who’s done the wronging, you might not believe you deserve forgiveness.

Feeling Guilty About Feeling Bad

You may have heard, "things could have been worse," or "that's what you get," after experiencing a trauma. Your feelings are always valid, no matter what others tell you.

Does Severe Remorse Require a Specialist?

There are few resources specifically for "accidental killers." Can people with severe or unusual emotional suffering get help from mainstream sources?

Embarrassment, Guilt, and Shame

Our possibilities for cooperating depend on respecting other people and courting their regard. Embarrassment, guilt, and shame keep us attentive to those concerns.

How to Email a Professor, or The Art of Kissing Pompous Butt

Do you want your professor to like you? Then you should probably play it safe and assume he/she is a jackass.

The Antidote to Grudgeholding

In July of 1984, Jennifer Thompson was a 22-year-old college student in Burlington, North Carolina, just about to graduate. She had a boyfriend, also a college student...
fizkes/Shutterstock

Fantasies of Other Lovers? Relax, Almost Everyone Has Them

By Michael Castleman M.A. on August 15, 2017 in All About Sex
While making love with your honey, do you have erotic fantasies of other lovers? If not, you're unusual.

How to Bounce Back from Epic Parenting Fails

Social media has changed the way we talk about parenting failures. And not necessarily for the better.

Criticizing a Saint Part 2

Revisiting the decision not to interview Viktor Frankl.

Considerations on "The Big Sick"

By Roberta Satow Ph.D. on August 05, 2017 in Life After 50
Does Kumail Nanjiani's relationship with his parents ring bells for you?

The Psychiatric Scapegoating of Michelle Carter

The woman convicted in the texting-suicide case is guilty of no crime.

Shoe Shaming in the Strictest School in Britain

Merchants’ Academy was called the strictest school in Britain, a tough label for a good school. But Merchants’ may not make it easy for itself by using shame to enforce behavior.

5 Ways Your Struggling Adult Child May Be Manipulating You

Is your unjustifiable, yet unshakable, guilt making you vulnerable to the manipulations of your adult older child?

Have Fun With Sexual Fantasies

By Ari Tuckman PsyD, MBA on July 21, 2017 in Sex Matters
Sexual fantasies are private experiences, but sharing them with your partner can ramp up the passion and increase your intimacy.

The Cure for Self Loathing? Self-Forgiveness

Self-loathing can take its toll on a person, robbing the self of vitality and happiness. Self-forgiveness can restore that vitality and set you free from the bondage of your past.

How to Talk to a Vet

By Robert Dingman Ed.D. on July 18, 2017 in Mind Matters
So many veterans feel distance and alienation from their civilian compatriots because they conclude that we really don’t want to know or can’t understand how they feel.

Dealing with the Death of a Child

By Kenneth J. Doka Ph.D. on July 10, 2017 in Good Mourning
Do parents soon divorce after a child dies? What effects does the death of a child have on family systems? How can families cope with such a traumatic loss?

A Better Understanding of Betrayed Spouses

Do therapists sometimes treat betrayed spouses in unhelpful ways?

The Good-Enough Daughter: Is it Okay?

In assuming a caretaking role for a family member, we must accept that everyone has limitations (us as well as the recipient of our care).

Blame: A Not So Guilty Pleasure

By Mark Alicke Ph.D. on June 14, 2017 in Why We Blame
Everyone tells us that blame is a sin and to forgive is divine. Think again.

The End of Guilt

Has shame taken over from guilt as the marker of American culture? Or was guilt never very important in the first place?
Woman writing. Pixabay, Public Domain.

Learning by Writing Fiction

By Laura Otis Ph.D. on June 04, 2017 in Rethinking Thought
Tell co-workers that you're writing a novel, and you're likely to get nervous glances.

Enhance Self-Esteem by Embracing Imperfections

Do you ever wonder why “being bad” almost always feels so good? Can you let go of guilt when you fall back into a less than ideal habit?

Government Criminalizes Sexual Fantasy

Erotic age role-play between adults is incredibly common. Unfortunately, prosecutors and juries think it's sick and dangerous.

Keeping Patients Safe

Have you given enough thought to what's necessary to stay safe during a planned or emergency hospital visit?
Tamarcus Brown

When Guilt Keeps You From Setting Boundaries

When you set appropriate boundaries and stop taking on other people's responsibilities, they're left with no choice but to complete their own tasks, resolve their own problems ...
Les Anderson/StockSnap

Guilt and Grief: Placing a Loved One in a Nursing Facility

10 ways to cope with one of the hardest decisions.
Darlene Lancer

Are You Being Manipulated?

Manipulation is veiled influence or hostility that may seem benign, friendly, or flattering. It can be hard to detect and know how to respond, unless you can spot the signs.