Why guilt is pointless?

Asked by Anonymous

Guilt is a feeling people typically experience after doing something they think should or should not have done (examples include not recycling or spending too much money on oneself).  Guilt can be connected to a person’s morals and/or ethics.  People can also feel guilt overlying, cheating, or doing something illegal.  Unless another person was harmed, guilt is typically a wasted and useless emotion.  People can also be made to feel guilty by others for not doing something the other person wanted.

Guilt is about blaming oneself for something that happened in the past, whether an hour before, months, or years before.  Guilt is also typically self-imposed.  Guilt is pointless because the past cannot be changed, and it is an emotion that focuses on something a person may or may not have done.  Ruminating and dwelling on the past continues to reinforce the negative and make the feelings of self-blame worse.  No good comes of this because when the thoughts that come before the self-blame are continuous and constant, the neurons in the brain are connected, and there is a path that is dug between those neurons.  The more thought and emotion are experienced, the deeper the path becomes.  The deeper the path becomes, the more the thought and emotion are experienced without being conscious of it, and the path becomes deeper, thus creating a vicious cycle.

Sometimes the never-ending guilt and self-blame turn into shame.  Shaming oneself never does a person any good and can also impact their self-esteem and self-confidence—the guilt and what comes after can do internal damage to a person.  Guilt can change a person and who they are as well.

Looking at the past and learning from one’s choices and decisions, and taking different paths in the future would be more productive than guilt and self-blame since the past has already happened and cannot be altered.  For example, credit card debt cannot be changed; the debt has been occurred and needs to be paid off.  Instead of guilt and self-blame, a person should look to make different decisions in the future.  Taking accountability and responsibility for one’s behavior and actions is more effective than feeling guilt or blaming oneself.