Guilt can be positive when it is used for growth and learning. When it turns into punishment and begins wearing on mental health, guilt becomes toxic.
Learn About Making And Breaking Rules
Rules aren’t always written in stone. Sometimes, they aren’t written at all. Toxic guilt can come from breaking rules you didn’t know existed and feeling as though you are being punished for that. Making rules, oftentimes boundaries, helps you to understand where your actions are and are not welcome, what needs to be done to respect rules and boundaries, as well as create specific reprimands for breaking them. Toxic guilt is easier to process and release when there is a clarified understanding of what might have been done wrong. Positive guilt is learning an important lesson and using that information as an opportunity to act differently in the future. Rather than sentence yourself to a lifetime of punishment, create more structure to learn from mistakes and be proactive in your decision making.
Understand Cultural And Religious Guilt
Guilt can be inherited, passed down from one generation to the other through religious and cultural traditions. Certain religions and cultures have notoriety regarding the way they use guilt as part of their tradition. Though sometimes it can be humorous, it can also cause generations of toxic guilt, where people struggle in learning what should be felt guilty about and what should not. Cultural and religious guilt is not eternal damnation but a dysfunction. Part of releasing toxic guilt is understanding it’s roots and how it developed in your life.
Build Better Relationships
Healthy relationships can come with healthy guilt. Toxic relationships can come with toxic guilt. Rarely do the two intersect. Learning to build healthy relationships means recognizing what is emotionally yours to take on and what is not. When you start to experience guilt which becomes toxic, it is important to look at your relationships and see where you might be taking more responsibility than you should. Toxic guilt on the part of one partner can create toxicity in a relationship. Loving healthy relationships in recovery have balance, communication, and respect. Continue to articulate your experience, even when you think you should feel guilty about it.
Avalon By The Sea helps clients heal mind, body, and spirit, while creating a lifetime of recovery. From our breathtaking estate on the cliffsides of Malibu, California, our residential treatment homes provide excellence in a full continuum of care. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call us today at 888-958-7511.