Guilty...about feeling happy?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2012 6:29 AM GMT
    So...I've noticed that sometimes, when things are going good or I feel happy...I start to have feelings of guilt. Almost as though I am doing something "wrong" by being happy.

    I don't really understand why that would be...I know plenty of people that always seem to be happy and live very care-free lives...but any time I feel like things are going really well, I start to feel like I'm constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Does anyone else ever feel like this?
    Does anyone know what would cause someone to feel like this?
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    Apr 08, 2012 10:21 AM GMT

    I can relate to that to some extent....when I can enjoy things/advantages which others cannot, I can start to feel guilty.

    But if I take this to its limit, I will become extremely guilty and unhappy, which seems unnatural. I try to adopt the attitude that I have no control over the "good" things that happen to me or the "bad" that happens to someone else. Things just happen to us rather than we make things happen.
  • Hulse15

    Posts: 121

    Apr 08, 2012 3:35 PM GMT
    You just have to remember that you are important and deserve happiness. Pay your happiness forward by making someone else smile. Use that happy energy to improve the live's of those around you!

    I would also try to understand your feelings of guilt.
    What exactly are you feeling guilty about?
    Is it the truth or a story you're making up in your head?
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    Apr 08, 2012 3:42 PM GMT
    I know what you mean. My mother always told me to control my laughter or expressions of happiness as they tempt fate and would incur bad omens. That always stuck with me. I subconsciously never allow myself to get too excited or happy over anything; doesn't matter how big it may be. I know it's utter superstitious nonsense, but somehow I also think that I don't deserve to be truly happy. It's something that I need to get over and so must you. Happiness is just too precious to waste.
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    Apr 08, 2012 3:54 PM GMT
    This guilt trip brought to you by: your preacher, the IRS, your Mom, credit cards, greenpeace, that starving kid in Ethiopia, global warming, entropy, that coffee maker that you may or may not have turned off, your lousy retirement account, cholesterol...
  • muscletruk

    Posts: 109

    Apr 08, 2012 3:59 PM GMT
    my view is this say thank you and enjoy!!! you've been through the crap and deserve the happy time. more crap to come it's the natural up and down of life
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    Apr 08, 2012 4:00 PM GMT
    7FamarkSo...I've noticed that sometimes, when things are going good or I feel happy...I start to have feelings of guilt. Almost as though I am doing something "wrong" by being happy.

    I don't really understand why that would be...I know plenty of people that always seem to be happy and live very care-free lives...but any time I feel like things are going really well, I start to feel like I'm constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Does anyone else ever feel like this?
    Does anyone know what would cause someone to feel like this


    I have been in the same position before. I think the reason you feel guilty or uneasy about being happy, is because you relate more to pain or unhappiness, calmness or whatever your usual state is. So yes happiness is a great feeling and it feels counter intuitive to reject it, but the truth is that humans go back to the feeling they remember and know and can predict, because it makes you feel like you are home. So next time you feel uneasy about being happy just remember to embrace it, and disallow your habits to make you believe you`re not worth feeling it. The uneasiness is fear, and your body`s chemistry and you, are both probably scared because you don`t know what it is like to be happy all of the time.

    Also staying neutral because you don`t want the hammer to drop is another common thing that happens. But from my experience when I am super happy I say, I am so glad to be happy right now and appreciate life, and I expect the hammer to drop but I am waiting for it and I embrace. because going through any pain or sadness is worth it if you are able to feel the same extent and intensity of joy. You wouldn`t want a flat line on a heart monitor, so don`t look for one in your life icon_smile.gif
  • okcomputer201...

    Posts: 132

    Apr 08, 2012 4:05 PM GMT
    I feel the same way often. I attribute this feeling to having to accept things that I considered 'not that bad' rather than things that were healthy and good. It is important to note that these things were not material things, but rather relationships and situations that I learned to tolerate even though they were making me miserable. Somehow this behavior trickled into other parts of my life and I developed a sick devotion (feeling of obligation) to things that were bad for me.

    I'm trying to condition myself away from this by setting goals and rewarding myself for my accomplishments (since no one else is going to do it). Hopefully this will help to rewire the screwed up reward circuits of my brain and steer me away from my tendency of self-sabotage. I often develop a heavy, sluggish, doomed sort of feeling out of the blue (when nothing is wrong and things are going right). It's a depression that feels like I'm trying to swim in honey. My motivation has always been to fight to maintain my most basic needs. When I'm done fighting, I never know what to do with myself.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2012 4:18 PM GMT
    usually when I compare what I got to what 99% of the world has got, I find myself too lucky
  • Hulse15

    Posts: 121

    Apr 08, 2012 4:57 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidusually when I compare what I got to what 99% of the world has got, I find myself too lucky


    Totally agree!

    If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world. If you have money in your bank, your wallet, and some spare change, you are among 8% of world's wealthy. If you woke up with more health than illness, you are more blessed than 1 million people who will not survive the week. If you have never experienced starvation you are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering. If you can read this message, you are more fortunate than 3 billion people that cannot read. STAY GRATEFUL...

    We are so fortunate! Use your happiness to spread happiness!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2012 5:00 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidusually when I compare what I got to what 99% of the world has got, I find myself too lucky


    Bingo! Sometimes we get so caught up in our own shit we forget how truly lucky we are. Its always good to step outside of yourself every now again for a reality check.

    You are very wise master Greenhopper lol.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2012 5:05 PM GMT
    With so much bad shit going on in the world, why wouldn't you feel guilty about being happy? If you think you've got it bad, imagine how Bill Gates feels.

    Provided you are doing no real harm to your fellow man (and perhaps doing some good), you are entitled to some guilt-free happiness.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 08, 2012 5:29 PM GMT
    It's usually cause I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. Don't let the feelings of guilt sabotage your happiness. Trust me.
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    Apr 12, 2012 6:53 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidusually when I compare what I got to what 99% of the world has got, I find myself too lucky


    It's good to think of it that way; it's sad that many people in stable, relatively healthy places don't realize this.
    I have this discussion with my boyfriend from time to time. People (especially in North America) have this priviliged mindset that allow them to think its ok to expect so much and not be truly thankful. But I am getting off-topic here.

    Anyway, I don't find anything wrong to feel/think happy, but I have been struggling with depression for most of my life. So, when I get happy (which happens more often nowadays) I make sure it LASTS. With so many problems in the world, it's refreshing to see others having a optimistic outlook on life.

    It's weird though, when someone is being overly nice to me, I feel sad or think that I don't deserve it. Even though I have done nothing wrong to the immediate person.

    Maybe I have a selective memory of people being negative to me when I was younger and expect people to be rude to me.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 15, 2012 7:33 PM GMT
    7Famark saidDoes anyone know what would cause someone to feel like this?
    Yep...

    When things are going good to one person, other people always complain and try to bring you down. It's just a fact of life. The frequent occurrence of that phenomenon can and does cause people to feel guilty about being happy.
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    Apr 15, 2012 7:38 PM GMT
    Man, I thought I was the only one. I have been extremely fortunate my whole life to have the friends, family, career and general happiness I have. For me, the guilt is part healthy in that I appreciate my blessings and part unfulfilled committment to helping others. The latter is why I'm going to start volunteering this year. It's time.
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    Apr 15, 2012 8:13 PM GMT

    This reminds me of an office scene years ago.
    We were all at lunch and one gal was upset about feeling guilty and blamed her Catholic background.
    She looked at the gal next to me and said,
    "You're always happy. Do you ever feel guilty about it?"
    The gal next to me was Jewish.

    She popped a grape into her mouth, smiled and replied,
    "No dear. Jews enjoy feeling guilty."

    A moment of dead silence then everyone bust out laughing.

    -Doug
  • Tritimium

    Posts: 261

    Apr 15, 2012 8:44 PM GMT
    It could be an issue with self-esteem. If you have healthy self-esteem (and thus good self-respect), you would see that you deserve happiness; if your self-esteem is low (and thus low self-respect), you would feel that you did not deserve happiness....and consequently self-destruct to a greater or lesser extent.

    It's all to do with your beliefs about yourself, usually unconscious, and it requires a lot of digging. But it's definitely worth it. No-one should feel undeserving of happiness.

    If I may go all spiritual for a moment - if you believe in (or at least, suspend judgement on) a Higher Being and that you are His 'agent', then everyone is equal and we all deserve happiness.

    Try looking into a 12-steps program, and CBT for self-esteem.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 15, 2012 8:48 PM GMT
    Tritimium saidIt could be an issue with self-esteem. If you have healthy self-esteem (and thus good self-respect), you would see that you deserve happiness; if your self-esteem is low (and thus low self-respect), you would feel that you did not deserve happiness....and consequently self-destruct to a greater or lesser extent.

    It's all to do with your beliefs about yourself, usually unconscious, and it requires a lot of digging. But it's definitely worth it. No-one should feel undeserving of happiness.

    If I may go all spiritual for a moment - if you believe in (or at least, suspend judgement on) a Higher Being and that you are His 'agent', then everyone is equal and we all deserve happiness.

    Try looking into a 12-steps program, and CBT for self-esteem.


    I don't think I have an addiction
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 15, 2012 9:06 PM GMT
    Trollileo said
    7Famark said
    Tritimium saidIt could be an issue with self-esteem. If you have healthy self-esteem (and thus good self-respect), you would see that you deserve happiness; if your self-esteem is low (and thus low self-respect), you would feel that you did not deserve happiness....and consequently self-destruct to a greater or lesser extent.

    It's all to do with your beliefs about yourself, usually unconscious, and it requires a lot of digging. But it's definitely worth it. No-one should feel undeserving of happiness.

    If I may go all spiritual for a moment - if you believe in (or at least, suspend judgement on) a Higher Being and that you are His 'agent', then everyone is equal and we all deserve happiness.

    Try looking into a 12-steps program, and CBT for self-esteem.


    I don't think I have an addiction
    You're addicted to sorrow. It's time for an intervention.


    Can it be an inter-friend-tion?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 15, 2012 9:35 PM GMT
    7Famark saidSo...I've noticed that sometimes, when things are going good or I feel happy...I start to have feelings of guilt. Almost as though I am doing something "wrong" by being happy.

    I don't really understand why that would be...I know plenty of people that always seem to be happy and live very care-free lives...but any time I feel like things are going really well, I start to feel like I'm constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    Does anyone else ever feel like this?
    Does anyone know what would cause someone to feel like this?
    You're a work in progress! Alright. =)
    IMHO: Now you're developing empathy for others who don't have what you do. Now comes the part where you start to find satisfaction in other's happiness! Pat yourself on the back, cause to me, accounted for to others or not; your good deeds will ease this guilt. If you're like me, you won't find too much funny about other's misfortune. Learn to laugh at yourself. It's also a little empowering when douchebags start to insult your character. Dust it right off... think I lost my point, lol. But anywho, GOOD FOR YOU, Handsome!! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 15, 2012 9:39 PM GMT
    You might want to consult a therapist, there has to be a reason why you feel this way and if you can't figure it out yourself, then its best to get some help.
  • Tritimium

    Posts: 261

    Apr 15, 2012 11:17 PM GMT
    7Famark said
    Tritimium saidIt could be an issue with self-esteem. If you have healthy self-esteem (and thus good self-respect), you would see that you deserve happiness; if your self-esteem is low (and thus low self-respect), you would feel that you did not deserve happiness....and consequently self-destruct to a greater or lesser extent.

    It's all to do with your beliefs about yourself, usually unconscious, and it requires a lot of digging. But it's definitely worth it. No-one should feel undeserving of happiness.

    If I may go all spiritual for a moment - if you believe in (or at least, suspend judgement on) a Higher Being and that you are His 'agent', then everyone is equal and we all deserve happiness.

    Try looking into a 12-steps program, and CBT for self-esteem.


    I don't think I have an addiction


    Point taken in this context....but, there are 12-step programs available that have been adapted for general emotional recovery of various types (I've seen programs for self esteem, depression, procrastination among others) - not just addictions. It's worth at least a quick Google, IMHO.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Apr 15, 2012 11:42 PM GMT
    My life has been a disaster since day one. When I start to feel like I'm happy and things are going well, I know there's a shit storm coming soon. So far, I've never been wrong.
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    Apr 16, 2012 4:27 AM GMT
    Yeah. I do feel like that. I feel like I have to keep my "on top of the world" feelings in check, or else something horrible will happen. I don't like celebrating myself like some people do when they throw extravagant birthday parties, or graduation parties, or things like that. Not sure why I'm like that, but I don't like puffing myself up too much, nor do I like feeling really, really joyful. It doesn't seem stable.

    Not sure what to tell ya! I didn't read all the responses to your post yet, I may do that now.