How and Why to Say You Are Sorry - Ways to Deal with Guilt

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Old-fashioned Confession: You have to let it out to let it go

It’s hard to admit that you made a mistake. Some people find it impossible, but the cost of forging ahead regardless can be terrible. The worst of it is that it isn’t just the bull-headed perpetrator who loses the chance to improve, to be healed, but also many others who come into contact with him or her. The victim is denied the opportunity to forgive, because the damage is denied.


Some people who are the picture of sweet reasonableness, are in fact stuck emotionally, and try to protect their public image at any cost, any cost at all. In this way, the secret problem with alcohol, the childhood rage still bottled inside or the paralysis, the simple inability to do what they really want to do, is never addressed. Such people, to paraphrase John Keats, sink into their graves, their body and their mind unsatisfied. It is even worse as they hold others in their thrall of inauthenticity.

The effects of such a refusal to show remorse may go on for generations.

How to say sorry, international coaching network, your24hcoach, coaching directory

Apology is an opportunity, not a shame.

It cleanses and allows us to start again. Both parties, the guilty and the aggrieved party, benefit through this.

Of course, there are dangers and things that can go wrong with confessing.

For instance:

  1. We may be feeling guilty when we should instead feel guilt free.

  2. We may be projecting our guilt onto something fairly innocuous because we refuse to admit what we really do and perhaps really should feel guilty about.

Guilt is an underminer, always destructive. It’s so important to bring up your problems to be examined and dealt with. You have to deal with it and get support. This can be done by yourself or someone external such as through professional life-coaching. 

“Confession” is a minefield in another way too, because the person who receives the apology may try to manipulate the penitent, who appears to be vulnerable.

For all these reasons it’s wonderful to have a professional guide as you look at your feelings of guilt and get them out of your way, so that you and those you influence can live more freely and more beautifully. You don’t have to carry that burden of guilt; you can deal with it!

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!


Kim Knight (32 reviews ) Business Coach, Executive Coach, Love & Relationships Coach, Life Coach

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