Guilt - hand

Coping with Guilt

Everybody feels guilt at one point or another in their lives. Feeling guilty is that little voice inside your head telling you that you’ve done something wrong, and because of that, you’re a horrible person. What you’ve done wrong to feel guilty could be something as little as forgetting to call someone when you said you would, or it could be something as big as causing someone a lot of pain.

The good news is that how you handle guilt is something you can change. You can learn how to react to your feelings of guilt in a way that is more healthy and lets you get on with your life while putting the negative emotions behind you. There is a healthy way to cope with guilt, and we’re here to help you figure it out.

We’ve compiled our library of articles on guilt to help get you started. Most people find these articles helpful in better understanding the emotions that accompany guilt, but real change in your behavior may take more than simply reading a few articles. You may need to commit to change, and work on those changes on a daily basis. Some people find it helpful to seek out a therapist to help them with these changes, since they can sometimes be challenging to do alone.

Managing & Coping with Guilt

Understanding the Cycle of Guilt
By Laura Prins, MA, Dip Psych

5 Tips for Dealing with Guilt
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Guilt: The Crippling Emotion
By Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP

Is Your Guilt True or False?
By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT

Serving Up Guilt
By Lynn Margolies, Ph.D.

Overcoming Guilt in Depression
By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S.

Saying Goodbye to Guilt & Shame
By Nicole Lyons

False Guilt: What It Is, How to Overcome It
By Mike Bundrant

Saying No! The Secret To Getting Over The Guilt
By Cherilynn Veland, LCSW, MSW

The Guilt About Feeling Guilty
By Erica Loberg

OCD, Guilt and Religion
By Annabella Hagen, LCSW, RPT-S

Ask the Therapist: Guilt/Shame Issues and Social Anxiety
By Ask the Therapist

Guilt in Families

The Pros & Cons of Mother Guilt
By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Dealing with the Guilt-Tripping Mother
By Peg Streep

Got Mother’s Day Guilt?
By Sharon Martin, LCSW

The Impact of Guilt on Relationships
By Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP

Secrets, Shame, and Guilt
By Nanette Burton Mongelluzzo, Ph.D.

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2020). Coping with Guilt. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 22 May 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 22 May 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.