Why do women feel guilty?
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14th Mar 2012, 11:57 PM #1
Why do women feel guilty?
Why do women feel guilty?
Do you find yourself burying your head in shame each time you fail to be a perfect hostess, or when you say no? Here's how to stop whipping yourself
Are you sick of reading about how an amazing lettuce-only diet will make you happier, or how decluttering your home could transform your sex life? You're not the only one. After all, you have enough to feel guilty about without worrying about your love handles or your kids' confidence. According to a recent study, 96 per cent of women feel guilty at least once a day. This can have a destructive effect on our health, even factoring in the onset of depression. Here's how to cancel guilt trips.
No time for kids
Since most mothers now go out to work, women are expected to balance a happy home life with the demands of a job. But a startling majority feels like they haven't got the balance right. If you're at work worrying about the children, work isn't getting the best out of you and the kids aren't getting anything. Anxiety is rehearsing for tomorrow and reliving the past - stay in the here and now. When you're at work, be 100 per cent at work and when you're with your children, be 100 per cent with them. That way everyone benefits. 2
Not losing extra kilos
Women are so demoralised from being bombarded with images of "perfect" models that their default mode for shape and size tends to be set at "dissatisfaction". More than 70 per cent report being on a diet at any one time, regardless of whether they are actually overweight or not. Choose to change your situation and make time to go to the gym. If you choose not to do that, then view the situation differently - recognise it is your choice and no one else is to blame. But don't stay in the same situation and view it with horror. That wastes energy.
Spulrging on yourself
Going on a shopping spree may be fun at the time, but the after effects can send some into a spiral of self-loathing and guilt. A survey found that 80 per cent of women felt bad about splashing their cash on themselves just hours after they had finished shopping; 10 per cent felt so crippled by remorse that they refused to disclose their purchases to their partner. But as long as it's not eating into important payments, then spending money on yourself is fair enough.
Women don't see making themselves feel better as a gain for everyone. But if you rationalise your reasons for spending money on a spa break because you need the downtime, then you have no reason to feel guilty.
Not making him happy
Like the balance needed to maintain a happy home and work life, there is often effort needed to keep a relationship on track. But if you're feeling stretched, your partner is likely to be the first to suffer from your lack of attention and this causes stress and guilt. If you feel guilty that you're not doing enough to make your loved one happy, sit down and look at your timetables and agree on how you to make more time for each other. Discuss it and come up with a change in your behaviours that will make you both happier.
Sometimes situations arise which make us late, no matter how prepared we are. Seeing time as a gift will enable you to make the best out of the situation and prevent panic. You can either be late and flustered or late and collected. Sitting on a train and getting aggravated is a waste of energy. It's not the end of the world; it's a problem to be solved. Stay in the here and now, and ask yourself how you can use the moment? Jot a list, or call your mother.
Many women would like to host the perfect dinner party, but they often set high standards. The desire for social excellence derives from the need to be perfect all the time. Host your party and be a bad hostess. The moment you accept you can do it, but do it badly, it takes the pressure off. Women give themselves a lot of 'should, oughts and musts', but these don't exist - everyone has a different perception, so host a dinner, but do it your way.
Though men might forget a birthday and shrug it off, women are more likely to beat themselves up for days for such minor oversights. Go easy on yourself, but also, go easy on others who forget.
It's not deliberate. When people aren't putting you first, you must see it from their point of view and if we could be more generous then we wouldn't feel so guilty. If you feel guilty, tell yourself you know you're doing your best, apologise and make clear it wasn't deliberate. 8
Taking some 'me' time
Living up to the 'superwoman' image can lead to terrible feelings of guilt over getting your hair done. But doing nothing is very important in allowing women to physically and mentally recharge. But it is very difficult to allow yourself to do it. Tell people the truth. That you need a break because you are at your limit - then accept that the world will not fall apart without you. 9
Letting your folks down
Women can inherit guilt through generations - of not doing enough for their elders, not doing it right or 'failing' their parents. Learn to accept that your parents will love and judge you no matter what. Do try and be sensitive but if you go your own way and you are successful and happy, then if they are decent human beings, they'll be happy for you. 10
Saying 'no' is hard because women don't want to be seen as the baddie and because they are taught to put others first. Give yourself time to think about each request, so have ready a stalling tactic. If you really don't want to do what they ask, give options to help solve their problem - brainstorm alternatives.
However, if you've explained why you can't do something and they can't see it from your point of view, then accept that they're being unreasonably selfish and taking advantage of your goodwill.