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Discussion Starter #1
As some might guess from the excessive posts I've made about it already, I've been feeling incredibly depressed for quite some time now. One of the things about it I've found hardest to deal with are the horribly disproportionate feelings of guilt it's created in me. I'll remember every little thing I ever did wrong or every small action I ever did that ended up hurting someone, and I always end up dissolving internally into a mess of shame and self-loathing. It becomes difficult for me to consider myself anything close to a decent person, and then despair is free to hit me full force.

But I remember that I've actually had deeper feelings of guilt than most anyone else I knew even from a young age, which leads me to wonder if it's also a part of the INFJ personality. So, do any of you have experiences of excessive guilt, and how do you deal with it?

Any and all insight or advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Sometimes I feel guilty for the dumbest things, and I'll apologize for what I perceive are the smallest of transgressions. What I've learned in the past few months is this: half of the crap I feel guilty about, no one even remembers or thinks twice about. It doesn't stop me from feeling at least a little guilty, but I now feel a lot less guilty now that I know people don't really pay attention to what I say. (Which is a little sad, but oh well.)
 

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I deal with guilt quite often, more than I like to admit and since I can remember.
I think it has to do with the way I was raised hmmm maybe.
I never knew how to deal with it and I usually adopted a self destructive behavior ( I stopped eating, smoked more cigaretes than usual, didn´t have a proper rest I didn´t sleep for a long while, I needed to punish myself somehow) and it was that way until I understood (well, I am in the process to understand anyway) that I am a human being and human beings make mistakes and hurt people even if they don´t want to do just that.
Last time I felt I hurt someone I did something different, I talked to a friend and told him the way I was feeling and why and he helped me to see things from a different perspective, he told me that making a mistake doesn´t make me a bad person it just makes me human and I have to accept that and move on, it sounds easy but it is something hard to do, I try every day though. I still feel guilty, even for things that has happened a long time ago, but I try to learn from my mistakes and don´t do it again and move on, take that out of my system because that feeling doesn´t help.
 

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You say you've been depressed, then you have an awareness of it, you should also then be aware that part of the depression is feeling guilty. I know it's easy to say here, but don't dwell on things in the past, you can't change them. We've all hurt someone in one way or another, don't beat yourself up about it, it's part of life to make mistakes.

And also, guilt means that you are aware that your action was wrong at the time you did it and yet you still did it; don't confuse guilt with regret. This is a mistake I have made and suffered for it.
 

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INFJ 6w5, 1w2, 2w1 Sx/Sp
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Well I do tend to indulge in self-pity (due to guilt) every now and then but it's a slippery slope and I can easily blow things out of proportion if I let myself so I am careful to let the little things go and not obsess over them so much otherwise I really would become a basket case. Sensitivity is a gift but it can also become a curse if you let it. Don't let it rule you. Control your thoughts and let it go. Let yourself off the hook. We've all been there. All that matters is that you're sorry and you did what you could to make it right. Treat yourself like you're own best friend. There is freedom to be had when we forgive not only others but also ourselves. Then we can finally be free to love others and ourselves again. It's hard to love others if you can't even love yourself and apart of loving yourself is forgiving yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you so much for all the responses so far! It's my first real thread, and I wasn't sure how well it'd go over, but you've all given some great advice.

I think the problem for me might lie in my sense of perfectionism. I want and even feel the need to be as good a person as possible, so the littlest mistakes make me feel like a failure. It's hard to forget those little bits of the past that you sincerely wish you could take back, or even to stop beating myself up over them, but I think I see now that the best way to go forward and even improve myself is to ease off the heat a little.

It really is true that those mistakes are just a learning opportunity, and as long as you realize it's something you aren't proud of and don't want to do again, you've done as much as you can do. But I lose that bit of perspective in the heat of the moment, and I never really have anyone else to help me regain it. It can also be hard to forgive yourself when you're not sure if others ever have, and in that moment of doubt, your bad qualities seem to overshadow all your good ones.

Maybe I just more reassurance from myself.
 

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Guilt is something I am very in touch with. The things I feel the most guilt about, that fill my mind with such feelings of disgust and horror, are things that I feel I SHOULD have known not to do/or do (depending on the situation) that there was no way I could have possibly known. This and thinking of actions I have done that might hurt someone I deeply care about can drive me to craziness.

In the past I have seriously taken these feelings out towards myself. I have been practicing talking through these feelings with a close confidant that is willing to listen with an open heart and mind. Usually what happens is them telling me what I secretly already know, but am not willing to believe, because, we all know, it's easier to blame ourselves then admit that someone else did something wrong.
 

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One time I killed this spider that was outside on my porch, I just stepped on him. I was feeling bad all day long. I kept thinking "he didn't even do anything." "What if it had babies?" I felt comfort in knowing that I have a really good conscience, and that it keeps me from hurting people, or doing bad things. Still remember that spider though...still feel bad. =/
 

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I don't usually feel guilty for things, I don't really do much I guess,

however I feel a lot of regret for half the things I say, I'm not a graceful speaker...unless I've already thought over what I'm about to say

I'll regret doing/ saying something that I wish i hadn't for a very long time until I make myself "forget" the situation
 

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Well I just realized I've been feeling guilty for my past for over half of my life now. lol...Not totally constantly, but quite often I think about it. Dealing with it, I don't know, in some ways it defines me. It's more like baggage now, since I do understand it's impossible to correct. Just a scar.
 

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I had horrible problems with guilt and depression my whole life but I recently had a breakthrough in the way I think about life and decided to just get rid of the guilt. While we are alive we have two choices enjoy it or don't. It is simply a choice and nothing more. When you make the choice, people who help you achieve your goals will start to pop up in your life as well as enjoyable experiences. We go where we direct our attention. You can look to the right or to the the left but not both at the same time. All you have to do is turn your head. The consequence of good is good and the consequense of bad is bad. I know we have been taught by many and sometimes even ourselves that it is the opposite, if you want happiness you have to let go of unhappiness first or their will be no room for it. The last thing you need to feel is guilty for feeling guilty or what you have done in the past. The past is the past and the future is the future, not the past. You can let go of it. Just say screw it and free yourself. Free yourself to love others and yourself. You can't really do that when you have no energy from guilt and depression all the time. It will happen. Bring in the prana. Open and balance your orange and yellow chakras. You are stuck in crown. Remember to remain grounded when you are alive on this earth. It loves you and wants to give you all the presents of joy and personal power it has to offer. Let it love you. You can love it back. Good to see you GreyWaveBeam! :)

Come down and play with us! :D
 

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I am plagued by guilt as well, most of it unearned. I tend to feel responsible for the happiness of others, and to feel excessive guilt at hurting others, even though the action involved is generally inevitable and I do try to soften the blow as much as possible. Regarding most of what I feel guilty about, it could not have been otherwise, and I do not really want to take the steps necessary to sacrifice my free will and what passes for my happiness on the altar of pleasing or living for others...so I would not change any of it. Interesting is the fact that I know this, yet I still cannot kick the guilt monkey off my back. My avatar should give some inkling as to the effect of this guilt on my person and self-esteem. Leads to depression and a lot of self-loathing buried just under the surface.
 

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I believe your problem may be more closely associated to your enneagram type than your MBTI type, MBTI is more for information gathering and how you use that information, ennegram is all about motivations.

If you need a kick start for the enneagram typing, I suggest trying out 1w2 or 2w1.
 

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I can relate, I used to feel bad this way too, but then I realized I'm a good person who cares about others and the good outweighs the occasional bad
 

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Funny... I can relate to the ''feeling guilty for killing a spider'' post.

I'm a very cautious person in terms of ethics and morals, I always, always, always feel like I need to do what's right.

I have learned that there is perhaps a lack of trust, at some point, within the guilt. We feel like we have to do everything by ourselves. I learned that I could do better in life if I consciously try to trust the environment and the people around me just a little bit more. The problem is that some people are so, so, so obviously lacking in depth, sometimes... so it is hard to trust them. So I think there's a balance to be had.
 

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I do feel guilty quite often. Actually, even if someone else does something bad, I have the need to apologize to him, and to tell him everything will be allright. lol...
 

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As some might guess from the excessive posts I've made about it already, I've been feeling incredibly depressed for quite some time now. One of the things about it I've found hardest to deal with are the horribly disproportionate feelings of guilt it's created in me. I'll remember every little thing I ever did wrong or every small action I ever did that ended up hurting someone, and I always end up dissolving internally into a mess of shame and self-loathing. It becomes difficult for me to consider myself anything close to a decent person, and then despair is free to hit me full force.

But I remember that I've actually had deeper feelings of guilt than most anyone else I knew even from a young age, which leads me to wonder if it's also a part of the INFJ personality. So, do any of you have experiences of excessive guilt, and how do you deal with it?

Any and all insight or advice is greatly appreciated.
Brené Brown: Listening to shame | Video on TED.com

I'd whole-heartedly suggest you give this a thorough listen-through. Shame and guilt are not the same, and I believe INFJs suffer a lot more from shame, not guilt.

I occasionally feel guilty when I did something I shouldn't have, but shame? I'm not sure I've known that ever since I got out of my depression and started growing into the person I am today. People have tried to push me into it, but no more. I'm not having it anymore.
 
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