5 Surprising Tricks Guilt Can Play on Your Mind

#truelove #allowing #dating

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
5 Surprising Tricks Guilt Can Play on Your Mind
The purpose of guilty feelings is to alert you when you’ve done or are about to do something that might cause harm or distress to another person. You can then avoid the action in question or make up for your wrongdoing with apologies or gestures of atonement. As such, guilt serves an important role in helping us maintain and preserve our most valuable relationships.

While guilt is useful in smaller doses, it is anything but in larger ones. Excessive or unresolved guilt is in essence a form of “psychological injury” because it impacts psychological functioning. Specifically, guilty feelings are preoccupying and distracting, they impair focus and concentration (e.g., being productive at work will be a struggle if you just realized you forgot your spouse’s birthday), and they prevent you from enjoying life and experiencing the full range of happiness you could and should.

But that is not the whole story. Recent studies demonstrate that guilt is more of a trickster than we realized. Guilt influences our unconscious as well as our conscious minds. The ways in which it does so are quite surprising:

1. Feeling guilty can make you feel physically heavier and more labored.
Researchers divided participants into two groups. One was asked to recall a time they acted unethically (the guilt group) and the other, a time they acted ethically (the control group). They then asked both groups to estimate their current weight compared to their “usual” weight. Guilty participants estimated their current weight compared to their normal weight as significantly greater than those in the ethical memory group. They also estimated the effort required for them to do certain tasks as much greater than non-guilty participants (indicating that guilt made them feel more labored as well).

2. Feeling weighed down can make you more vulnerable to guilt.
The relationship between guilt and subjective weight runs both ways. Guilty feelings can make you feel heavier, but being physically weighed down also makes you more vulnerable to guilt. Participants were given either heavy or light backpacks and put through a manipulation to induce guilty feelings. Participants wearing heavy backpacks were significantly more likely to feel guilty than those wearing light backpacks.

3. Feeling guilty can make you self-punish.
In this series of studies, researchers made participants feel guilty for depriving a fellow participant (who was actually a research confederate) of a few lottery tickets. Guilty participants were willing to resort to giving themselves mild electrical shocks to atone for their guilt, especially when they found themselves in the presence of their “deprived” (and fake) fellow participant. Researchers found such strong evidence for this self-punishment-as-atonement-for-guilt phenomenon they gave it a name — the Dobby Effect (named for the self-punishing elf in the Harry Potter books).

4. Guilt tripping your partner can backfire.
Guilt trips are a form of verbal or nonverbal communication in which a guilt inducer tries to induce guilty feelings in someone in an effort to control their behavior. As such, guilt trips are a form of psychological manipulation and coercion. Scientists found that when people responded to criticism from their partner with exaggerated expressions of hurt (in other words, by giving them a guilt trip), their partners responded by reassuring them. However, the reassurance came with a price. Their partners also reported feeling less satisfied in the relationship as a result.

5. Partial confessions aren’t worth it.
In another series of studies, researchers found that people who cheat might favor making partial confessions, as doing so allows them to relieve their guilt without admitting full responsibility. They also assume (correctly) that a partial confession will be more believable than none. However, it turns out partial confessions come with a price. People ended up feeling worse emotionally after a partial confession than those who did not confess at all or those who confessed fully. They felt more guilt about their actions than those who confessed fully, and they felt more regret about confessing as well.

The best way to manage guilty feelings is to address them as soon as possible by treating the emotional wounds they create. But try not to feel guilty if you don’t.

9 Little-Known Habits of Confident People
“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” — Marcus Garvey

Confidence is often the single differentiator between people who get what they want and people who don’t. Those who think and believe they can do something — run a marathon, start an entrepreneurial venture, ask someone out (and have them say yes), win a competitive promotion, fit into their pre-pregnancy jeans, build a fun social circle, well… they do it.

Our mind is a very powerful tool, and the impact of our thoughts and words cannot be underestimated. Our thoughts create our emotions. Our emotions create our actions. Our actions create our life. Confident people have greater control over their minds and have tuned their mental station to one of “I can.”

Here are nine things that confident people do that you can apply to your life:

1. Do not overcomplicate. You want something? Great! Create a plan to make it yours. Keep your eye on the prize and do not get distracted by other peoples noise or by your own ability to over-think.

2. Focus on what you want. Confident people keep a positive vision in mind of the future. They expect good things to happen to them, and as a result they do, as expectation is a very powerful force.

3. Act as if it’s already yours. People who are self-assured allow their language and actions to be in line with their outcome. This inspires confidence in others.

4. Use words with intention. Consider the difference with two people discussing their new blog. One could be, “Yes, I am a blogger. You like vintage purses too? Awesome! We must connect — check out the new images I posted at…” vs. “Well, I am trying to blog but am not sure I am doing it right (nervous laugh).” Who do you think gets the most views and shares?

5. Listen but don’t pay heed to others opinions. Other people are well meaning and sometimes err on the side of caution. Confident people listen to other people but do not let their difference of perspective take them off track. It’s your life!

6. Dedicate time to what matters. Confident people are happy to say no to things to make sure they have time and energy for their priorities. Funnily enough, people treat them with more respect as a result.

7. Act humble. Confident types don’t talk endlessly about their successes. I was once at a large corporate event and I was speaking to an outgoing and likeable woman who said she “worked in publishing.” I found out later that evening that she was the editor-in-chief of one New York’s most influential magazines. Confident people let their success speak for itself and don’t need to vocalize it.

8. Know failure is sometimes inevitable and don’t fear it. Worrying about failure can keep us from doing anything at all. Confident people are still confident even when they fail. When the chips are down they know it will pass.

9. Repeat all of the above! Confidence building takes a lifetime. The more we practice confidence as an attitude, the easier it becomes.

The most successful and happy people are not born the most rich, beautiful or talented. They just believe in themselves and go for what they want. Confidence is also a highly attractive quality in others as we all secretly aspire to have more self-assurance. “I can” and “I can’t” thoughts create very different emotional spirals, as the mind is very obedient and follows whichever path we direct it. Which do you choose?

6 Quotes To Encourage You To ‘March On’ This March
The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life — and your well-being — off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others’ stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing “secret weapons” that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

With the winter weather dragging on into March, we could all use a little motivation to keep going. Whether it’s our work projects or personal endeavors, sometimes that little extra push of encouragement is all you need. If you’re feeling a little drained, take a look at the six quotes below and get inspired to soldier up and march on through the rest of this month. You can do it!

For more GPS Guides, click here.

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