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Guilt Emotion

An exploration of the emotion of guilt and its relationship to self pity.

Guilt Emotion

Guilt (= self-pity + self-hate)

Guilt prevents me from seeing life as good, as worthwhile in itself ; it neutralises aesthetic enjoyment of the world. Guilt focuses on my failures in life.

Types of Emotion

The self-pity mode knocks out all meaning in anything and my motivation collapses ; to survive it I become rigid and accept dogmatic rules. I become a perfectionist in my work. In this mode arises the need for psychological support, for a confessor or a confidante, and I embrace authoritarian methods of control. Without support, life becomes unreal. I practise a different form of homeliness from jealousy – I keep my house tidy.

The self-hate mode belittles me as a person, I am not worth anything. My motivation is retained but my self-image is pitiable. I have no value (either individually or socially). My faith in my own abilities becomes eroded. I romanticise the life of simpler, less intellectual (therefore more ‘grounded’) peoples as my life transforms into purgatory. To survive I develop concepts of purity and cleanliness ; only sexual practice that is ‘pure’ is acceptable. In my homeliness I keep my house clean. When self-hate is intense I feel sick of my past life, my life is a wasted life ; I wish that I could forget my past so that I can start afresh.

Copyright © 2002 Ian Heath All Rights Reserved

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