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

How Does a Lung Cancer Diagnosis Change a Life?

Does a lung cancer diagnosis lead to new ideas about lifestyle, stress relief and disease? Yes it does.

Fear of Inadequacy and What to Do About It

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on July 25, 2016 in Ambigamy
More than we notice, we're driven by fear of inadequacy. Here's the way to manage it.

Culpably Unwarranted Delay: Is There an App for That?

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on July 15, 2016 in Don't Delay
Once it becomes clear that procrastination involves a mens rea (guilty mind), significant opportunities for intervention come into view.

4 Parts of a Real Apology

Apology is a relational process that leads to change.
Google, CC 4.0

Loyalty Is Overrated

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 14, 2016 in How To Do Life
Why loyalty's benefits are often outweighed by its liabilities.
Pixabay

“I’m Sorry You Were Offended” Is Not Really an Apology!

Consider these 5 steps to get good at saying sorry when you aren’t even sure you did anything wrong.

The Manipulator

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 09, 2016 in How To Do Life
We're more vulnerable than we may think.

Guilty of the Sin of Outdoing

Some families are truly happy to have their child outdo them. But others may resent our success.

Are They Shooting at You?

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on June 14, 2016 in A Swim in Denial
The Orlando massacre, and reactions to it, turn flight to fight. The denial is as self-intoxicating as American gun mania.

Religious Disapproval of Porn

By Temma Ehrenfeld on June 07, 2016 in Open Gently
Using porn more than once a week seems tied to shame.

5 Psychological Habits That Limit Your Ability to Think

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on June 01, 2016 in The Squeaky Wheel
Your brain has a finite amount of processing power. Here's how to avoid wasting it.

The Guilty Pleasure of True Crime TV

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on May 30, 2016 in Wicked Deeds
Watching true crime TV is like eating candy in bed at three o’clock in the morning.

Get a Grip on Guilt in Three Simple Steps

Guilt is natural because your brain is designed to scan for threats, and social threats are survival threats to the brain we’ve inherited from earlier mammals.

We Don't Know if Dogs Feel Guilt So Stop Saying They Don't

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on May 22, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Myths about dog behavior abound. Individual differences must be appreciated and it's essential to get things right so dogs and humans can live together as harmoniously as possible.

Man’s Best Friend Meets Man's Best Robot

Scientists have distilled the elements of dogs’ behavioral language for use in robots.

Happy Mother's Day

A little dated? Maybe. But I think you get the idea.

A Human Face on Survival Guilt

Holocaust Remembrance Day marks the anniversary of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Here is the story of Sande Boritz Berger's discovery of family history.

Hinda the Hypocrite

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 23, 2016 in How To Do Life
We're often made to feel guilt and shame by people who don't walk their talk.

Does Love Really Mean Never Having to Say You’re Sorry?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on April 10, 2016 in Talking Apes
Both the victim and the perpetrator bear considerable psychological burdens until the atonement-redemption cycle is complete.

Shame and the Pendulum of Blame

Often, our targets of blame are determined primarily by our states of mind rather than any objective reality.

A Sure-Fire Way to Silence Your Inner Critic

Most of us have been conditioned from childhood to be our own harshest critics. That inner judge can shadow us, scrutinizing our every move and making us quite miserable.

Got Mothering Guilt?

By Amy Tuteur M.D. on March 31, 2016 in Push Back
You shouldn't feel guilty about an epidural, a C-section or formula feeding.

Eco-Indulgences for Eco-Sin?

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on March 28, 2016 in The Green Mind
Climate disruption has arrived and is worsening. Many solutions are possible. Are carbon offsets a viable one, or do they merely alleviate guilt and promote more carbon sin?
Krystine I. Batcho

What Do Your Secret Playlists Reveal About You?

Do your secret playlists bring you the pleasure of private enjoyment or hide aspects of yourself you'd rather not share?
Krystine I. Batcho

Are You Afraid to Be Happy?

Happiness can be elusive, especially for those who fear it.

The Illusion of Free Will and Mental Illness Stigma

Why we prefer needing the help of a neurologist rather than a psychiatrist.

Why Do Certain Foods Seem to Have Power Over Us?

By Gregg McBride on March 12, 2016 in The Weight-ing Game
Sure, I took off 250 pounds of excess weight without pills, surgery or gimmicks. But keeping it off still requires commitment—especially when it comes to certain food groups.
Irina Bg/Shutterstock

What Postpartum Depression Feels Like

Postpartum depression and other mood disorders can have surprising symptoms you might not expect. Real women share what it actually felt like.
theskinnydc

Irrational Guilt: How to Put It to Rest

By Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. on February 19, 2016 in Fixing Families
Guilt is the big wagging finger that can forever nag us. But there's two types: rational and irrational. Here's how to tell the difference and put irrational guilt to rest.

Hungry for Answers: Questions about The Walking Dead

Students pose questions about character behavior as it relates to what we know about human behavior.