The guilt complex in psychology is a topic that is actively studied from different sides. Various research works, articles and dissertations are devoted to it. Every person at least once in his or her life has experienced this painful feeling that prevents one from realizing oneself as a promising person worthy of the highest praise.
A guilt complex in people is a condition that arises as a result of certain life circumstances. It does not allow you to feel happy, to strive for great achievements. The feeling that you have done something wrong in life significantly undermines mental health and contributes to the accumulation of negative emotions.
It is often present in parents who, for one reason or another, have failed to make their child happy. It begins to seem to them that nothing can be undone. The psychology of the guilt complex is such that it only increases over time. If the situation is not resolved for the better, then the person tends to withdraw into himself, significantly undermining his physical and mental strength.
Signs of the onset of a guilt complex
There are certain symptoms by which one can notice that a person is burdened with feelings of guilt. Of course, this affects his behavior, his relationships with others. The individual cannot be in a state of constant tension for a long time. Sooner or later it will lead to its consequences. Let’s take a closer look at the signs of the guilt complex. They are so bright that it is simply impossible not to notice them.
1. Psychological discomfort
Due to constant stress, a person gradually develops a condition that can in no way be called pleasant. It begins to undermine him from the inside, affecting the daily process of making important decisions.
Psychological discomfort contributes to the fact that the individual has to constantly suppress his interests. In giving in to our own values, we experience fear, resentment, frustration and ongoing anxiety.
2. Reduced self-esteem
The complex feeling of guilt necessarily changes one’s attitude toward oneself. The personality suffers; desires and aspirations begin to be perceived as unimportant, not deserving special attention. There is a significant decrease in self-esteem. Against the background of the arisen strong experiences, the person begins to doubt his own abilities. Any initiatives seem doubtful to him, and the prospects are unclear. This condition is logical to explain: when we feel guilty about something, then disappears desire to achieve something, to apply some effort.
3. Feeling depressed
Feelings of depression and guilt, in one way or another, affect our worldview. A person begins to think that nothing good awaits him in the future. Of course, this is always an exaggeration, but it is impossible to get rid of negative emotions too quickly. Nightmares can pursue quite a long time, preventing you from feeling happy and self-sufficient. A feeling of depression is a response to a constant strain on the nervous system.
Sadness and discouragement become a companion of the person. He stops noticing how he misses opportunities and often gives up before he even tries to take the first step. Such a state is not conducive to self-improvement, nor does it lead to development. Personality is ruled by despondency, it stores only negative impressions. A person just begins to slowly fade. He can no longer so openly rejoice in some successful acquisitions, because he constantly looks back on his past.
4. The disappearance of one’s “I” and “No” to other people
The guilt complex has a profound effect on one’s relationship with the world around him. One ceases to feel capable of great accomplishments, and is afraid to act in accordance with one’s inner convictions. He unconsciously has a desire to please everyone.
This is done in order not to provoke the anger of the interlocutor and not to provoke a quarrel. However, the habit of justifying other people’s expectations do not lead to good. Soon the person loses his personality, ceases to understand what he needs in life. This is a case where guilt can be so crushing from the inside that there will be no strength for action.
5. Feelings of self-insignificance
Most often such a guilt complex arises in children and appears in response to exorbitant parental demands. That is why fathers and mothers need to give up the idea of comparing their child with other children. Otherwise the child will not learn to understand their achievements. He will cease to feel his worth in some way, so he will strive to please those around him in everything.
A feeling of insignificance is incredibly destructive to the emotional component. As a result, self-esteem falls and the child does not want to make any effort to achieve any satisfactory results.
A parental guilt complex can also appear in adulthood if a person has not been able to successfully arrange his or her life. In some cases, people are so focused on despair and hopelessness that they stop noticing the prospects available.
6. Inability to solve problems
Another sign by which one can immediately suspect that the person is tormented by guilt. He literally drops his hands in front of difficulties and stops fighting for better conditions.
The inability to solve problems manifests itself in all areas of life: in personal relationships, at work, etc. If there is any unpleasant event that imposes a serious imprint on the perception of reality, then the attitude toward the situation itself also changes in a negative direction.
This may include a survivor’s guilt complex, in which a person cannot rejoice in the fact that his or her circumstances were much more fortunate than those of others. When any global accidents occur and people die as a result, the survivor experiences an overwhelming mental emptiness for some time. He feels guilty that someone left this world prematurely when he was more fortunate.
How to get rid of this complex?
Obviously, having feelings of guilt is detrimental to one’s personality. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how much people push themselves into certain limits and are afraid to get out of them. With such discord in the soul one can hardly count on success in life. If a person cannot overcome this state of mind, he or she is unlikely to be able to manage his or her own life in the future.
Let’s take a closer look at how to get rid of the guilt complex? First of all, you need to change your attitude towards life.
1. Understanding the causes
Nothing in our lives just happens. There are reasons for everything. It is necessary to understand the reasons, so as not to stay in such a depressing state for months and years. Perhaps in the past there was some situation that further influenced the way you feel about yourself. Being guilty of something is quite an ordeal.
Not everyone will be able to endure it. It often happens that after a couple breaks up, people feel a certain amount of embarrassment in front of their own children. Guilt complex in front of the child for the divorce is a fairly common situation. Some parents are ready to literally shower their child with endless gifts, just to compensate for the unpleasant feelings he had to endure. Of course, this is not the way out. Positive changes will begin only after the recognition of their own mistakes.
2. Learning how to say “no” to people again?
The habit of always agreeing with the other person on everything can be detrimental to self-esteem. If we become accustomed to pleasing others at all costs, we are bound to lose our sense of worth. This happens quite unconsciously.
Self-sacrifice makes it impossible to remain satisfied with life. Full self-realization also becomes impossible. Developing a new behavioral strategy is never easy, but you have to try. You need to learn to say “no” to offers that do not have a pleasant perspective.
Think about whether there is always a need to pay attention to all the requests of your distant relatives, colleagues at work or just acquaintances? If you seriously fear that people will stop communicating with you, then in vain. Confident people are respected, but the indecisive are used. Take the right decision for yourself and you can get rid of the title of a person with a hopeless “fetch and serve” reputation.
3. Realizing Your Value
This is a very important acquisition that should not be underestimated.
Guilt especially torments those people who, for whatever reason, do not know how to value themselves. In constant worry, we lose a great deal of creative energy that could have been useful for something good. If you are used to living in criticism and simply do not know how to restructure their thinking, it will have to try. Try to look at the problem from a different angle.
Believe me, you don’t have to meet all the expectations of those around you. The main thing is to find an opportunity to live your life, to realize your own desires and aspirations. After all, other people’s demands are still impossible to keep up with. So is it worth torturing yourself in vain suffering?
4. Strive for something
It should be a clearly defined and achievable goal, not that I want to be president or a rock star.
Some people suffer from not knowing where to direct their efforts. This is a big mistake. To free yourself from the oppressive feeling of guilt, it’s worth going deeper into the process of self-actualization. Constantly in search of new opportunities, you will not miss your chance. Respect your desires and try to follow them.
5. Don’t try to change what cannot be changed, but if it can be done – do it!
If guilt is bothering you for a very specific reason, think about whether you can try to change something. After all, there are no hopeless situations.
It is very useful to look for some ways to feel better. Some mistakes in life are quite amenable to correction. The main thing that a person has a sincere desire to do a good deed.
In this case, self-awareness, behavior and even some personal characteristics change completely. Mistakes of the past cease to weigh on us when we let go of resentments and disappointments. Forgive yourself and find the strength to apologize to someone who once made you suffer.
6. Find new friends
Guilt disappears where a meaningful decision is made to bring joy to those around us. When we, in good faith, want to remain useful to the people around us, life has a special meaning. Short-term failures no longer knock you out of the rut, do not make you doubt everything in the world. Man begins to realize his own destiny, wants to create, to unleash creativity, to build relationships of trust.
A guilt complex is a condition that absolutely must be dealt with. If this is not done, it is unlikely that mental equilibrium can be restored.
Harmony with oneself is possible only when one realizes one’s own value and strives to perform the tasks one can do. There is no point in trying to please everyone, even if it’s your closest relatives. You should always be yourself, to preserve individuality.
Unfortunately, the feeling of guilt does not allow to reveal their best personal qualities, to show their abilities from the best side. This complex is described in psychology as a condition that directly affects self-esteem and the way of perceiving reality. That’s why in this state can not stay for a long time, you have to deal with the problem yourself or go to a psychotherapist.