Do you know someone with overactive conscience or guilt complex? These people have exaggerated feelings of personal culpability and responsibility. They are hypercritical of themselves and others. How can you help a person with an overactive conscience or guilt complex? These people take more than their fair share of responsibility. They are usually unable to forgive themselves, even though others see no fault in their behavior.
Since these people are so hard on themselves, you mustn’t confront them with anything that offends you or that they have done wrong, correct? You have to tread very carefully around them, right? Wrong. In fact, just the opposite is usually true. Guilt and over-active conscience are based upon fear, nameless, shame-based fear. Fear of punishment, fear of abandonment, fear of hell, fear of reprisal, ugly naked fear. People with guilty consciences cannot bear to hear that they have hurt someone or that someone is angry with them. They fear that others will chastise them as severely as they chastise themselves. But if you avoid sharing any critique or concerns with a person with hyperactive conscience and guilt complex, you will underscore their own fears and paranoia.
One of the healthiest experiences that a person with overactive conscience can have is to be confronted in a healthy, loving way about issues. When they see and feel that you accept their apology, understand them, forgive them and move on, it can be an incredibly healing process. The more positive experiences with the remorse-guilt-confession- forgiveness and healing process, the more those old demons of guilt and shame can be exorcised. It’s a process. The older the person, the longer and slower the process may take It’s taken years to become so guilt ridden and it may take years to overcome the shame.
Love, mercy and kindness are super powerful antibiotics for emotional health. It’s about progress, not perfection. You can’t heal another person’s illness for them. But you can be nurturing and caring. And you can demonstrate healthy conscience by taking care of yourself. it’s not so much that you have to be healthy to be a good role model. Make healthy choices for yourself, first and foremost. We all have emotional needs and down times. Don’t overlook your own emotional needs or put them on the back burner for someone else all the time. But your emotionally healthy choices do have a positive impact on those around you. People who like themselves and are content communicate that positive well-being to others.
For more on emotional health, visit me at www.healthhelp4u.blogspot.com and www.emotionalhealthhelp.blogspot.com.