Often we want to understand another’s feelings, perspective, or desires. This search for understanding is done with the intent to help another. It is the thought to “put oneself in the other person’s shoes.” Choices or decisions are then made. We feel responsible. When things do not work out a sense of guilt takes over. We feel responsible for everyone’s feelings, their happiness and their need to feel accepted. It is impossible to be responsible for everyone’s happiness nor is it your responsibility to do so.
It is a matter of time when the fuel that feeds the fire runs out. We feel exhausted as we still feel compelled to provide another dose of kindness or a “happy pill.” People often will lash out declaring that they have been let down, that they have been rejected, or that their feelings have been hurt. Apologizing to another person in these situations is unnecessary nor is it necessary to feel that one must make amends. Feelings of guilt hover over of us for not providing the help to others. Guilt then leads to a lack of self-esteem. All of this is unhealthy thinking. There is a better way.
If guilt feelings are taken on by oneself without cause, then a careful viewing of one’s situations must be done with honesty, putting the fault where it should be, instead of accepting the guilt oneself.
Maintaining a healthy self-esteem means no longer harboring guilt but instead to possess a healthy concern for your fellow man. One needs to understand fully that a healthy self -esteem comes from knowing another’s challenges in life with a caring interest, not with a sense of we can. Therefore, we must help one afflicted. One is successful when one helps others in finding their solutions to their problems.