Guilt is an emotion we all can relate to because we feel guilty at some points in our lives.
While guilt is a negative emotion that could help us maintain a clear conscience and modify our behaviours, sometimes we feel guilty when we shouldn’t and for what we shouldn’t.
This could be due ignorance, a weak conscience, family upbringing or societal expectations.
Whatever it is, I believe there are some things we shouldn’t feel guilty for.
Here are TEN of them.
10 Things You Should Never Feel Guilty For
1. Loving and Taking Care of Yourself
Some people see this as selfish, but it isn’t selfishness. When you love and take care of yourself, you’re setting the pace for others to treat you the same way.
Besides, you can’t be of much value to anyone as you’ll not be in your best elements if you don’t love and take care of yourself.
So, don’t ever apologise for putting yourself first, pampering yourself whenever necessary, investing in self care, and doing anything that’ll keep you in good shape.
2. Saying “No” to When Necessary
Human beings naturally have the tendency to project themselves in a positive light to others.
We want others to have good opinions about us.
Come on, doesn’t it feel nice when people talk about how nice you are, how you’re always there when needed and all that?
And it’s crucial to have a good standing with people. A good reputation is a worthy thing to have because your reputation preceeds you.
However, there are times people want us to do things that will bring discomfort and regret to us.
I understand that we have to be selfless sometimes and make ourselves inconvenient and vulnerable for others because caring for others will put us in such position at times.
However, it takes wisdom to know the sacrifices that are worth it and those that’ll bring harm to you.
If someone wants you to do something you know will bring unpalatable consequences to you, don’t feel guilty for turning them down.
You should never feel bad for rejecting things you’re uncomfortable with.
You can’t make everyone happy. You can’t please everyone. There’s only so much you can do.
Here are 12 examples of ways to say NO without sounding insensitive:
1. I really wish I could be of help but…
2. I’d have loved to help but…
3. I’d love to but…
4. I’m afraid it’s not the best time for me to…
5. I’m really swamped with work at the moment…
6. I have another commitment.
7. I can’t right now, maybe some other time…
8. I really appreciate the offer but it’s not for me.
9. Unfortunately, now is not a good time for me.
10. I wish I could make it work.
11. I really want to but my body says no
12. I know this is important for you but I can’t…
3. Following Your Dream/Passion
Life is precious gift that doesn’t last forever. If you think your life is worth spending on your dream/passion, then go for it.
Following your dream brings you a sense of fulfillment and importance no one can ever give you, so don’t deprive yourself of these benefits.
Pursue your passion. Doing this will even motivate others to support you when and where you need it.
I can relate to this because I had to make a tough decision to pursue my dreams even when the whole world was against me.
Quitting my job and going back to school fulltime to study a ‘less lucrative’ course (in people’s opinion) was a bold choice I had to make.
Was I afraid?
You have no idea.
Was it a tough experience?
Did I regret it?
I’d do it over and over again.
This is my life and I am committed to doing whatever brings me fulfillment regardless of societal expectations.
Don’t ever apologise for pursuing your passion or doing what you love.
If you don’t want to earn a living with what you studied in school, find out what you want to do and how to achieve it.
Don’t be obsessed with what people will say. It’s your life, not theirs.
Of course, you shouldn’t make irrational decisions. Make informed decisions and take calculated risks.
If you want to pursue your dreams, ensure you plan well. Don’t just jump into things.
4. Being Yourself
Don’t ever be ashamed or sorry for being yourself. That is what it means to be authentic.
Whoever doesn’t like you being yourself is toxic and should not be found in your circle.
It’s your own uniqueness in this vast world, be yourself with pride. Besides, being yourself attracts truthful people who really care about you to you.
If you’re an introvert who loves her world/space, don’t be forced into being the life of the party.
We all can’t be social, outgoing, gregarious, and carefree.
Yes, timidity is a problem that can limit your potentials because I’ve been there and you should do something about it. I wrote about how I overcame timidity HERE. However, you shouldn’t expect a total personality transformation.
I’m more of a listener than a talker. Although I talk when I’m with people I’m comfortable with, but not as much as being an extrovert.
I’m not sorry for who I am – my personality, its strengths and weaknesses.
I love me, flaws and all.
No one has it all.
5. Dissociating Yourself from Toxic People
As a matter of fact, this is one of the ten things I did to become a happier person.
I used to feel so bad about having a strained relationship with anyone. I hate it when I have (unresolved) issues with someone. I feel uncomfortable whenever things go south between me and anyone.
But I’ve come to understand that not every relationship will last forever. Some people are in your life for a reason, some for a season, and others for a lifetime.
If you keep those who are for a season in your life for a lifetime, the relationship will get toxic because they have no usefulness in your life anymore.
I no longer feel guilty if someone decides not to have anything to do with me again or if I stay away from anyone robbing me of my peace of mind.
Identify the toxic people in your life and don’t feel guilty for sending them packing from your life.
I don’t care if such people are family members or close friends. Anyone who is constantly a pain in my neck isn’t worth staying in my life.
Blood is not thicker than peace of mind. IMO.
6. Expressing a Different Opinion
While you should apply wisdom in expressing your opinion, you shouldn’t also hold back your opinion because you feel it’s not what people want to hear.
We sometimes don’t say what we really think because we want to conform, but keep in mind that your opinion could help people to see a matter in a perspective others never thought of.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for thinking differently from others.
7. Demanding for What You Deserve
You have every right to have a fair share of anything you have a part in.
If you think your reward isn’t commensurate with your efforts, don’t feel guilty for asking for more.
You’re not greedy, you’re only determining your own worth.
8. Demanding to be Treated Better
You shouldn’t feel guilty for demanding a better treatment if you see you’re treated otherwise.
You’re not inferior to anyone and you matter.
Don’t hesitate to demand to be treated the way you want even in a love relationship.
If you feel disrespected, don’t feel sorry for demanding to be respected.
Also, don’t hesitate to walk away from places and people who treat you lesser than you deserve. They are simply blind to your worth, but that doesn’t decrease your worth in any way.
9. Defending Yourself and Others
You’re not wrong when you challenge expressions and actions that you deem unworthy or harmful.
It’s absolutely okay to stand up for yourself/protect yourself and others whenever necessary.
Don’t allow anyone taunt you for defending others, especially those who are ignorant or timid. You’re being your brother’s keeper and it’s a good thing.
10. Loving Your Loved Ones or Staying Loyal to Them
Your loved ones (friends and family) are an integral part of your life, your own people in this big world.
You should never be ashamed of them no matter their socioeconomic status.
They love you and you love them, that’s all that matters.
You shouldn’t also feel guilty for staying loyal to whoever you’re loyal to.
Loyalty is a big thing. You have no business being with someone if you’re not going to be loyal to them.
Being loyal to someone doesn’t mean you should swallow whatever they say or do hook, line, and sinker.
It only means when you’re with someone, make sure you’re for them.
And if your loyalty to someone will put you in a fix, it’s better to stay away from them.
Yes, don’t feel guilty for withdrawing your loyalty from someone who will put you in trouble.
Don’t suffer from blind loyalty.
I hope you have the courage not to feel guilty for things you’re not supposed to feel guilty for.