How to Stop Feeling Guilty

Alice Hanke
3 min readJan 28, 2022


Notice how many ads and people are trying this on us. It’s unbelievably rude! People can’t do anything wrong, they just go a different way than advertising (or even other people would like).


The worst ones are the ones that attack you in a “How come you’re not doing it yet?” kind of way — well, you’re not. You’ll do it when the time comes, or you won’t do it at all, who knows. It’s your way and your choice. You don’t have to do everything and be everything.

Try to remember how many times someone/something has triggered guilt in you in recent times and try to continue to notice it. See how many times we have been attacked like this. Sometimes the feeling just appears and then disappears again, but it still appears.


Guilt is one of the worst emotions we can experience as humans. It can crush our souls so deeply that it makes us feel small and insignificant. You have two choices about what to do. As with stress, it’s:

“Fight or flight.”

Flight is clear, you start avoiding everything that triggers feelings of guilt in you, but also other negative feelings. Fighting in this case is seen as accepting emotion and asking the question, “Why does this trigger this feeling in me?” And then seeking an answer to that question, then processing that answer, and getting rid forever of what was causing that feeling.

If you don’t feel up to confronting what these negative interventions are reacting to within you internally, then you can do the flight thing for a while. But trust me, sooner or later you will confront it anyway, otherwise, it will all repeat itself and you will have to deal with those repressed emotions on the verge of some crisis or block. Which is a shame. Better try to work on getting some strength (and preferably a guide) to help you find and heal what’s cowering inside you.

People making us feel guilty

I’m sure you know this joke (let’s not take this completely serious, although it’s important to pay attention to this topic):

“How do you know if someone is vegan (does cross-fit, yoga…)?”- He’ll tell you.”

This is a great example. Then you hear from them sentences like:

“You’re not vegan? I guess you don’t care about our planet… — Hmm, weird…” (and they look at you from the floor as if being vegan is as essential a thing for a person as taking a shower.)

But these are just examples, nothing against vegans or cross-fitters. The example was meant to imply forcing someone else’s opinion and attitude on others so that they try to induce a sense of guilt in the other person that will allow them to elevate themselves above you because they are doing something right and you are not.

So don’t let guilt get into your head. You’ve done nothing wrong. You only have your path, which means that there are people who may be completely different from you, there are people you have met on your path who are further along, others who are not even as far along as you are. That’s just life. Our journeys are as unique as we all are. Remind yourself of that uniqueness whenever you feel smaller because of someone. Choose people who make you feel stronger.



Alice Hanke

A young woman who is on her way to healing herself. I mostly write about women’s health and health in general, well-being, coffee, and culture.