Guilt is an unhappy feeling as you believe you have done something wrong that goes against your values, beliefs or morals.
Guilt is a healthy emotion to have when used correctly, as often it stops us from doing things we shouldn’t to avoid those feelings of guilt, and it prevents people from breaking the law, taking advantage or doing wrong by others. Unfortunately, sometimes it can stop us from doing things we need to, as our beliefs are to be kind to others and help others which is true. Unfortunately, those beliefs to be kind to others often mean that when people are unkind to us because we care about those people, we don’t always walk away when we should, that self-doubt of ” Was it me?” or ” It wasn’t that bad.” And thinking, ” If I just do it this way, I can help them. ” drilled into us by the narcissists gaslighting, we can then be left with feelings of guilt when we realise they are manipulative and walk away. Also, when we don’t understand the situation we are in, we can Unwittingly become an enabler of their games. When we realise the extent of what’s genuinely been happening, we can be left with feelings of guilt and remorse.
Narcissistic people don’t feel that guilt, at least not in the way we do. Why they go around doing what they do, most can feel shame for their actions towards others. Yet, they quickly shift that feeling by projecting their faults onto others, blame-shifting and gaslighting to escape responsibility and avoid accountability.
Often with the narcissist’s blame-shifting, the innocent party is left with all the guilt and remorse for things they didn’t actually do, and sometimes not in all cases, something they did. This can lead to depression and other mental health problems.
We all make mistakes, and we can all have errors in judgment. We are human. We learn from these, a narcissist does not learn from their wrongdoing as they’ve already blamed those around them, so they no longer have the feeling of Guilt, Shame, or remorse to see the error of their ways and change them. They lack in the empathy for genuine care for others. Why often they’ll not feel guilt, only shame if they get caught out. Why they continue to cycle around their negative life cycle.
Some people blame all others and never truly learn.
Some people blame themselves.
Sometimes neither is at fault for why they think the way they do. It’s usually programmed in throughout childhood, passing down from one generation to the next.
What we all need to do, is pass responsibility back to the rightful owner for their actions towards us and learn from our own actions, no longer giving time or attention to those unwilling or unable to admit their own errors and always pinning ALL the blame onto those around them.
( No matter what, NO one deserves to be abused. )
Within any relationship, we can be at fault when we react to their provocation, and as we know our own reactions were not good, we are often left with guilt, not only from our reactions but also from their twisted gaslighting words of “If you hadn’t I wouldn’t.” Or “I never did that.” This, then, within our thinking, minimises what they did and exaggerates what we did, and with those feelings of guilt, we then do our best to see the good in them and help them out, make it up to them.
At some point, we have to pass the responsibility of their actions back to the rightful owner, The Narcissist. Then we can focus solely on learning from our own. ( no one deserves Abuse.) But what defines us from them is that they can not see the error of their ways to change. We can.
Yet carrying guilt around from past mistakes does not serve our present or our future. Learn from it, grow from it, and then let it go. You can not change your past, you do not need to carry into your present, and you can change the direction of your future.
If your feeling guilty that you can not help?
Feeling guilty that you’ve had to stop the kids from contact with their own parents for safeguarding from mental abuse?
Feeling guilty because you’ve had to block and delete their friends and family?
Feeling guilty about walking away from a toxic person because all they do is bring you down?
Learn to stop feeling guilty now. Guilt only eats into your present from your past. You’re a genuine person that has done your best and at that time with good intentions, in challenging, horrendous circumstances, it’s ok.
When you feel guilty about having to do something for your own happiness, it stops you from doing something practical, and you are right to change it.
You end up finding and making excuses to stop you from doing what you need to do and actually take control and solve the problem, and one of the worst things about excuses is within our thoughts. They are incredibly valid.
One of the worst things about excuses is within our minds. They are extremely valid.
Guilt can be a very destructive emotion.
You need to stop finding reasons for not cutting them out, things like ” I feel mean their mother, father, brother, sister, the third cousin twice removed never did me any harm, I’m going to look like a horrible person.” And start thinking I deserve better than to be used, abused and thrown away.
You need to have a different attitude to any mistakes you’ve made, any reactions you made to the narcissist, and you’re far from alone in reacting. You need a different perspective on those misdeeds.
Children are practical. Those who’ve not learnt about guilt yet, yes, they need to be taught about it so they don’t grow to harm others. But you need to teach them and yourself to get practical about your guilt for not listening to your instincts because you didn’t know what they were telling you. For reacting because you wanted to be heard and stand up for yourself. ( not everyone reacts.) And most end up walking on eggshells around them, then at some point through fear, after what happened the first time you stood up for yourself. Forgoing no contact for anything and everything you feel guilty about within that relationship and after that relationship.
If you’ve made a mistake, and either you feel ashamed of it, your ex-narcissist had made you feel embarrassed, or you feel like others will judge you, and you can not handle that because you feel ashamed and guilty. You have nothing to be ashamed of, and you are far from alone in what’s happened or how you think.
You can go around protecting your ego, and your pride, for fear of being judged by others.
You need to know, and always remember, we all make mistakes, even if a narcissist will never admit to theirs and lay all the blame on your door, making you feel even worse. We are all human. It’s never a failure to make a mistake or an error in judgment.
We all make mistakes. We have no choice in that. We have no way around not making a single mistake in our life or sometimes repeating that same mistake. Life happens. Making mistakes is all about learning. We can not learn unless we make mistakes along the way.
Thomas Edison, the great inventor’s quote who too 10,000 attempts to invent the light bulb said.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
You must never be afraid of making a mistake. Just learn from it.
Cutting people out of your life, who only seek to destroy you, even when that means cutting genuine people out who chat to the toxic person, splitting up a family home, children don’t need to live in a toxic environment. They need a healthy one, and if you stayed way longer than you should, it’s ok. You did what you thought was best at the time, now is the time to let the guilt go.
You are doing those things for freedom. Freedom is being allowed to make mistakes. You made mistakes. You ignored your instinct. You tried to help. You’re not alone in this trying to help. This makes you a genuine person, but now you have got to let them go, lose the guilt, lose the ego and lose your pride, so you can learn from your mistakes, change direction in your life and do whatever is necessary for your freedom and happier life.
We are allowed mistakes. We are permitted errors in judgment. We are allowed to take action to protect ourselves. We are entitled to become free from all that guilt, hurt and pain we’ve been through.
Once you have a clear reality of what has actually happened, don’t do it again. Or at least realise sooner what is happening.
You are not alone if you went back a few times, trauma bonding and not knowing reality. You are not alone. If you went from one narcissistic relationship and then met another narcissist, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or you caused it. All that means is you didn’t learn all the facts of what they were, you didn’t honestly know you, you were healing scars and deep wounds you didn’t think you even had, now you do, you can heal them the right way, be aware and not make the same mistake.
Forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a choice to free yourself from the past situation, forgive yourself despite what others might think of you. Their opinions are not for you, they have not lived your life, and you have nothing to be ashamed of. You did what you believed to be right at that time with good intentions.
When guilt pops into your mind, stop. Tell yourself it’s the past, or you need to do it now to protect yourself, don’t let guilt stop you from doing what’s right for you. You are not harming others by walking away from their hurtful behaviour towards you. You are hurting yourself by staying. Same as blocking friends and family. It’s not to be mean or spiteful. It doesn’t matter what they think. You are doing it to protect yourself from the harm others cause you. Cutting out toxic people and their flying monkeys is self-care. You can not help those who do not see, just like those who perhaps tried to warn you couldn’t help you when you could not see.
You are worth more than those who seek to harm you or gossip about you behind your back. Some might not gossip intentionally, and you don’t need to be mean about it. Just step away from it and leave them to it.
When you feel that guilt, stop and think about five things you did to try and help them, only to be let down, you tried at some point. You have to stop trying for those who are unwilling to try for themselves and continue to hurt you. Think about all you did do for them. You are not a bad person.
“Listen to your intuition. It’s a wonderful gift. It knows what it’s on about even when you don’t.”
Click on the links below to join, Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.
How they take your boundaries.