Not that long ago, contributing writer andyiccee wrote an article about guilt. It’s a great topic, one I would never have thought of myself, but it is something that everyone deals with. Like most feelings a s-type has in a power exchange relationship, guilt is one of those not so great feelings that can be magnified and make us be a lot harder on ourselves than we really need to be. Since andyiccee shared her opinion on how to deal with guilt, I want to share mine so readers can get another perspective on the topic.

In my opinion, channeling guilt isn’t exactly dealing with guilt. Channeling any kind of feelings into an activity, whether that be cleaning, exercising, or even binge eating, is a band aid approach to dealing with how you’re feeling. It’s a quick, temporary fix that does nothing to fix the problem. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been guilty of using this method to deal with pent up frustrations or anxiety or with dealing with my own guilt. Yeah, you do feel better afterwards, but you’ve not gotten to the root of the problem.

Like andyiccee, I used to feel guilty for things that were completely out of my control. Heck, there’s no point in lying because this is something I still struggle with. It’s not as bad as it once was but it’s still there lurking in the back of my mind, making an appearance when certain situations happen. Dealing with guilt is one of those things that is a lot easier said than done.

When it comes to dealing with guilt, you have to talk about it. You can’t just shove it somewhere deep inside and expect that to take care of everything. Neither can you throw yourself into an activity and consider it done. You have to talk it out with the person, no matter how difficult that may be. Talking it out can help you realize why you feel guilty and what can be done to help you not have feelings of guilt in the future. While it is extremely important to keep an open line of communication open with your dominant, sometimes you need your BFFs to talk to. I am very lucky to have four extremely awesome BFFs that I can talk to when I’m feeling guilty about things. It’s nice because they’re not directly involved with the situation and can offer me a different point of view that I couldn’t see myself because I was directly involved . I don’t know how many times I have had conversations with all of them and have felt better about a situation because of their advice and support, not to mention a virtual ass kicking if necessary. Because hey, we all need an ass kicking from time to time.

You also have to realize that you’re human and that you are going to make mistakes and that you are going to accidentally do or say something that’s going to hurt others. When this happens, you need to apologize for what was said or done. With this, the other person may or may not accept your apology and this is something you have to deal with. If they don’t accept your apology, this will probably make you feel guiltier, but you need to be able to say to yourself that you did what YOU could do to make the situation better and walk away from it. You can not hold yourself responsible for other people’s behaviors.

And speaking of other people’s behaviors….sometimes that guilt you're feeling isn’t yours at all. People tend to use guilt trips to manipulate people into a situation that the person really doesn’t want to be in at all. If someone knows you’re prone to feeling guilty, they will purposely make you feel guilty to do their bidding. This is where you need to take a moment and step back and think about where the guilt is coming from. Is it really your guilt or is someone putting unnecessary guilt on you?

Guilt also stifles growth. I came across this in an article on Elephant Journal, and towards the end, there’s a line: “Guilt is a stifling, self-inflicted feeling we endure, embrace, cultivate and allow to control our lives” and that is exactly what guilt does. We start second guessing what we’re doing because we are so consumed with making sure that our decisions don’t make us feel guilty about what we are or aren’t doing or how we’re spending our time. This is something I do struggle with as well. That 5 euros I spent for a cup of coffee at Starbucks, it could have been put towards groceries or into The Snowman(that’s my bank), that I could be spending that 5 euros in a better way than on ONE CUP OF COFFEE. But you know what? There’s food in the fridge. My snowman isn’t going to know the difference whether the money went into him or a cash register at Starbucks or if I throw that 5 euros in the next month. I shouldn’t let guilt stop me from doing a little something for myself.

Also, not only do we feel guilty about things that happened, but there are times when we feel guilty for the things we like and don’t like. This is something that isn’t always obvious. It’s something I struggle with from time to time. A perfect example: Daddy loves games that take place in space. One of His current favorites is Space Engineer, where you build your own spaceship. I have zero interest in that. Personally, the only building I’m interested in doing is with Lego blocks. He usually has to play the game alone, which we know, is always more fun when played with others. So on occasion He’ll ask me if I’m really, really sure about not wanting to join Him. I nod my head yes but on the inside I feel bad. I feel guilty because I know how much Daddy loves this game and He wants to share it with me(I’m the same way with movies and TV shows.If it’s something I really love I want to share it with Him and that’s totally normal). I know if I tell Him yes and do play with Him, I’m gonna be bored out of my mind because my heart isn’t in it. I have no interest and while I may be able to fake interest for a while, it’ll eventually show that I was lying. Then, well for me anyway, the passive aggressive feelings start to build up inside, and then I’m watching the clock and coming up with some reason so I can escape. Daddy then realizes how so not into the game I am and nobody has a good time. When I start feeling this way (because my interests aren’t the same as Daddy’s,) I have to remind myself that it’s okay that I don’t like everything He does and I don’t have to like everything He does. I’m allowed to be my own person and that includes having my own set of likes and dislikes. Also, I have no reason to feel guilty because I have done nothing wrong!

Guilt is a complicated feeling. It’s also a very icky feeling to have, but like all other feelings, it’s going to be something we have to deal with over and over again. Guilt isn’t always a bad feeling either. It’s good to feel guilty sometimes. I’m not talking about those guilty indulgences such as a pint of Ben and Jerry’s or watching an entire season of a TV show in a short period of time. Guilt helps to remind us that we’re good people, that we care about and love other people and don’t want to hurt them. If you don’t feel guilt about certain things you do, then well...I don’t exactly consider that a good thing. I don’t know of any way to completely stop feeling guilt or know of anyone who has done this. I’m sure if someone had they’d be on the Internet selling their secret to the rest of the world. Until that happens, you gotta deal with it. Okay, you don’t have to, but you’ll be better off and a lot happier if you do.

If you're interested in reading about more ways to deal with guilt, here are some articles that I've found.