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When Are Guilt and Shame Useful and When They Aren't (By Mr. M. Svartgold)

Updated: May 10


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(Disclaimer: The guest posts do not necessarily align with Philosocom's manager, Mr. Tomasio Rubinshtein's beliefs, thoughts, or feelings. The point of guest posts is to allow a wide range of narratives from a wide range of people. To apply for a guest post of your own, please send your request to mrtomasio@philosocom.com)


The disadvantages of guilt are many, and of shame even more. With the emotion of shame, a person comes away from others. He learns to avoid social situations lest he get hurt. The matter of shame is a humiliating thing, as the ashamed is rejected by a group of others. That is regardless or not if the reasoning stems from morality or maliciousness.


For example, if a woman posted an intimate photo for her boyfriend to others, the boyfriend may be ashamed even though he didn't really do anything immoral or wrong. Shame is an effective tool for manipulation and extortion, unfortunately.


A state of great shame can even lead to suicide. And narcissistic people and toxic people tend to transfer their shame to the victim they have chosen.


In every complex family there has been one since childhood. So as not to feel ashamed of themselves. But this does not help in the long run and harms both the victim and the perpetrator.

Toxic people Toxic people feel superior after they find at least 1 to 3 people to make them fill their shame and guilt after they notice this person is too polite. Doing a lot of them because they are envious, and need to project their behavior through them. They find 1 to 3 people who are looking weak, and are too genuises for them.


This is deep in their psyche, and they never let emotions affect them. They pass this on to their chosen victim. They pursue power, control, and superiority from a person they see as a victim, whether they are their child or someone who is difficult for them to set limits with or who they give to excessively out of kindness or excessive generosity that hurts them too.


They want others to see them as a role model, and think that everything is seemingly fine at home, and they are perfect. This usually starts in childhood.


Such parents use their parental status as a weapon against one of their children, often in a family with more than two children, to make the scapegoat child bear all the blame and shame for everything that happens.


They feel like people who can't make mistakes, so everything goes to one victim in the family. That way they won't get caught. If there are 3 or more children, it is easier to hide. Even in traumas, as only one child was affected.


The child is also afraid, especially when it comes to money and the attacker helps the family. The same victim, even if sexually assaulted by his or her uncle or father, may be afraid to speak out because the economic issue pushes the mother to be on the side of the aggressor and broadcast a "perfect" family image.


The child's clothing may also be monitored. What one child wears may be denied to another child, who will get clothes, brands, and everything else.


The child victim may also be blamed and made to pay money to their parents in order to control them and prevent them from being abandoned. The child may also work and give everything to their parents, even to those who attacked them.


(By "child," I mean male or female.) This child does not differentiate between good and evil and does not know that is a crime.

Afraid of being on the street or in some boarding school. Usually, the rest of the more distant family members don't know the real situation because it happens behind closed doors at home. Those who are close and know prefer to remain silent or believe the parents of the scapegoating child. They may even deny it to themselves and suppress their feelings for this child.


He is not taught about the meaning of emotions. Information is hidden from him. The scapegoating child is humiliated and isolated from his classmates to the extent that he chooses not to go to school or to social events. He feels guilty and ashamed, and he is flooded with emotions that he doesn't understand.


They give him the silent treatment to make him feel an invisible rejection. He is filled with guilt and shame, which feels like a poison. Guilt is an emotion that is sent from the person who feels it. So, if you feel guilt, it is from the person who made you feel that way.


For example, a person found guilty of sexually assaulting a child or woman. We will see in the news that he hides his face with a garment. Or comes with a kippah or anything religious. To say he understands. who conveyed a message that feels guilty. who feels ashamed of the serious crime he committed.


A person who murders his wife, friend, girlfriend, or neighbor and buries the body in a remote area may feel great guilt, which also comes with shame. The guilt may lead him to go to the police and testify about the crime he committed. In cases where he committed the crime with another person or people, one of the criminals may feel remorse and see the harsh sights of the blood in flashbacks. (There are also victims of assaults who see this sight, as well as the attackers.)


But the flashbacks kept him awake at night, making him regret his actions. He could go to the police and give the names of the people he committed the crime with, and ask to be a state witness in exchange for the information he would provide. This way, he could relieve his shame by pleading guilty.


As it is written, for example, in Rambam 23, Proverbs 28:13: He who conceals his sins will not succeed, but he who confesses and abandons [them] will obtain mercy.


Those who participate in hiding crimes, maybe will be successful for many years. 20-30 years. But in the end, people will really understand who he is and not feel sorry for him.


It can be concluded from what I explained that:


1. Guilt and shame are negative emotions that can lead to moral action and truth-telling. They are feelings that can motivate a person to become a better person.


2. Feelings of guilt and shame can remind us that we have done something wrong and need to make amends. This can involve admitting the truth, asking for forgiveness, and expressing regret.


3. These feelings can encourage situations that lead to behavior change and learning.


4. Guilt and shame can be a source of correcting injustice. When guilt is healthy, it motivates a person to correct their behavior or be punished for it. Unhealthy guilt, on the other hand, is a feeling of guilt that is not based on any real wrongdoing.

5. Taking on other people's blame can be harmful to ourselves. It can lead to us being seen as a victim or a martyr, and it can prevent us from taking responsibility for our own actions. When we express regret for our own bad behavior, we can take steps to correct the situation and learn from our mistakes.


6. Expressing guilt and shame can lead to relief and remorse. When we confess our wrongdoing, we can start to let go of the guilt and shame that we have been carrying around. If we do not confess, these feelings will continue to eat away at us.


7. A person who expresses remorse for justified guilt and shame can feel relief and not give up on the people they have hurt. They can also start to rebuild their relationships with others.


8. When a person takes steps to repair the damage they have caused, they can start to feel better about themselves and their actions. They can also start to move on with their lives.


But on the other hand, it's also feelings that come after usually serious crimes.


Such as robbery and threats. R***. Murder. Something about that criminal can cause him severe anxieties and remorse. That he would never want to do it again and admit what he did. It can be learned that these feelings are usually very destructive to a person.


But in certain cases, a sense of morality and remorse, along with shame and guilt, can cause those criminals to apologize and confess. I would love to hear what you think about the article I wrote about guilt and shame as a leading emotion for moral and ethical decision-making.


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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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