Episode: How to Lose Half of Your Guilt (episode # 221)
Podcast: We Can Do Hard Things
Hosts: Glennon Doyle, Amanda Doyle, and Abby Wambach
What It’s About:
If you haven’t read the bestselling book, Untamed, by Glennon Doyle you’re missing out. If you haven’t listened to Glennon, Amanda, and Abby’s podcast, you’re also missing out. This particular episode, How to Lose Half of Your Guilt, really hit me. And while I’m not sure that this is the best introductory episode for this dynamic trio, it is definitely a must-listen. Especially for anyone struggling in perimenopause.
I had always assumed that my catholic upbringing made guilt my default emotion. Although lately I wonder if guilt isn’t the default emotion for most. Especially for those of us in the throws of perimenopause.
Do you spend a lot of time agonizing over how to fix things? Maybe you ruminate over what you said at a party two weeks ago and how that may have upset someone. Is your first instinct whenever anyone is unhappy “what did I do?”. If any of these behaviors sound familiar, you need to listen to this podcast.
After listening to How to Lose Half of Your Guilt you’ll learn:
- The difference between true guilt and what is just the uncomfortable ‘ickiness’ of defying others’ expectations; guilt vs. ‘not guilt’.
- How to hold boundaries in order to live shamelessly within your own values.
- How to maintain empathy by staying with our own emotions instead of internalizing the emotions of others.
Guilt is what happens inside of us when we do something outside of our values. ‘Not guilt’ describes the discomfort we feel when we’ve acted outside of cultural norms or pressures. It’s also what we feel when we express needs or act in a way that is in line with our values, but causes someone else to be upset.
‘Not guilt’ often comes up when we are setting healthy boundaries. For ourselves and/or our families. The key is to learn that others have a right to be upset with our boundaries. And we need to let them have those feelings. There is nothing to fix. The boundary shouldn’t be changed. Big feelings are okay.
In fact, having the courage to hold our boundaries born out of our values allows us to be more empathetic.
Why you should listen to this podcast:
Guilt is a very common and misunderstood emotion. It can also be very damaging. Understanding the difference between guilt and ‘not guilt’ will help anyone better understand themselves and improve their ability to relate to others.
Guilt caused when we act outside of our values needs to be fixed or repaired. Sincere apologies are the right thing to do, when you can be…sincere.
‘Not guilt’, or discomfort created when setting a boundary in line with our values, should not be fixed or repaired. Apologies, sincere or otherwise, are not in order. Acknowledging the discomfort and the big feelings of the other party(ies): totally appropriate. Not taking on the feelings of the receiver of the boundary: critical. Letting the boundary stand: a must.
Think of all of the time and energy wasted on ‘not guilt’. All of the people pleasing. The time you’ve spent trying to meet other’s expectations. It’s time to set, and start meeting, your own expectations. Is it hard? Yes. Will others be upset? Likely. Will everyone benefit? Absolutely.
Stop wasting precious energy on ‘not guilt’. We can, and should, learn to do this hard thing.