Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 1 decade ago

I Think I feel Too Guilty About Hurting People?

I think i have a problem of worrying too much about how other people feel and how they are affected by my decisions. I know it is good to try and not hurt people but i often find myself feeling guilty that i have really hurt someone when i make a decision, in certain cases.

For example, i am going away to college soon and i feel bad that my family is going to have to deal with me moving out. I have no other choice but to move away(or not go to school at all) and yet i feel bad. Another example is with my job. I took a job a few weeks ago at a large retail store and i told my boss that i was going to be around in the fall, however, i am really going to quit in a few weeks. For some reason i feel really bad about it. It won't really affect him in any way and yet i feel bad.

Is this normal or is there something that i should do?

13 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Don't worry so much about other people's feelings. If you have to make a change in your life that affects others, then by all means give them fair warning and try to help them prepare for the change. But they are adults too, their feelings are *theirs* (not yours), and it's up to them to deal with their feelings. If an upcoming change is reasonable in terms of timing and context, then you don't owe anyone anything more than fair warning. It's your life, and you have to have a free hand in choosing how to live it.

    Your parents have had plenty of warning that you would be going away to college. It's natural for them to feel a little abandoned when you take off, but that's their affair, not yours. Promise them you'll phone home on Sunday nights, and depart with a light heart.

    Lying to the boss about how long you'll be in your job is generally considered fair game if you have good reason to believe that you wouldn't get the job otherwise. I don't like to tell that kind of lie myself, but most people tend to think it's an acceptable white lie under the circumstances. In any case, that's old history. What you owe the boss now is fair warning so that he has time to find a replacement for you. So tell him that your plans have unavoidably changed and you need to leave earlier than expected. Try to give him two weeks warning before you have to leave. Tell him that you'll ease the transition as much as possible for him, and that you'll be happy to train your replacement if one can be found in time. And then when it's time to depart, leave with a light heart. At that point, you've been fairer to him than most departing employees. He'll survive, he's used to employee turnover, it's just business as usual for him.

    You didn't mention dating, but that may be an area where you might have trouble as well. (Or maybe you just have difficulty with disappointing authority figures, and you're fine with disappointing peers.) In any case, it's a good area for exploring the dynamics of how much one adult owes another in terms of emotional commitment.

    Dating is *not* about making a big commitment up front and then being obligated to stay with the other person to avoid hurting them. That sort of big commitment would be *marriage*. Dating is what happens before marriage. Dating is about casting a wide net, and testing your compatibility with a number of different partners *before* you make a big commitment.

    In dating, you keep the commitment low and only increase it slowly as the relationship seems to be working well. If the relationship starts running into problems, you cool the commitment down. If the relationship fails, you depart with a light heart. You're not bound by the expectations and emotions of others. Presumably they are adults like you and are at least vaguely aware of how dating works. Your only obligation is to be honest and fair with the other person (or as fair and honest as one can be--there are inevitably a few little white lies involved in dating, especially in a break-up). But don't be afraid to move on, even if it means the other person is hurt. The whole idea of dating is to have the right to jump in, test the waters, and jump back out if the temperature is wrong for you. Save the giant, life-long emotional commitment for after the wedding vows.

    And turnabout is fair play. If you're in love with a woman and she decides the relationship isn't for her, don't expect to be able to bind her or obligate her with your emotions or your pain. If she has been basically honest and fair with you, then she's a free agent. She owes you nothing more than that. That's how dating works, and it you want to play that game then you have to be willing to be adult about it.

    But in any case, don't worry about all the guilt that you're currently feeling. You're expecting some emotional displays by your parents and boss when you leave, and it's making you anxious. But you'll get over it. (Your parents and boss may not be as broken up as you anticipate, anyway.) You're an adult now, and if you want to progress in the world, you'll have to expect to make some waves along the way. Go ahead and hide behind the rules a little bit: If you've been basically fair and honest, then you're free and clear. But in any case, don't feel bound by the emotional upsets of other people. There are a lot of emotionally needy people out there, and if you get tangled up in their dramas you'll just end up living their lives instead of your own. And that's neither fair nor honest to you.

    Good luck!

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I believe you are having natural feelings of leaving the nest so to speak and going away to begin your new life. If you've thought through your decisions before stating them, if people do get their feelings hurt, it could be because they are guilty. It sounds like you have healthy boundaries and know you must say no on a daily basis, which is a healthy thing to do. It's good not to hurt people but some people wear their feelings on their shoulder and are very spoiled. You may be maturing and outgrowing some of your friends and maybe feeling guilty because of that. Only you know if you're making good decisions. Growing up and becoming an adult requires you to often leave your childhood friends behind and develop new relationships with people who are going in your same path. If after you get to college and are still feeling guilty, you may need to seek therapy to see why you are codependent. Sounds like you lied to your boss and he's one that would be thrilled you are going to college. You should feel bad about lying to him, but you've already done it, and lying and codependency indicate you need therapy.

    Source(s): Living experience!
    • Login to reply the answers
  • Justme
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    it depends on whether you are just feeling bad or obsessing all the time. What you describe sounds normal to me but if you find yourself obsessing on it all the time it migh be a problem. Hoever, you are entering a big new phase of your life so you are bound to worry about the changes that you will be making. Perhaps the obsessing is your way of dealing with it.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    Hey jackdaniels16555,

    Move on and deal with the guilt friend. You're normal to be considerate. RU sure you're not covering up your concerns about leaving and using this consideration as an excuse?

    Just a thought.

    Source(s): Still guessing.
    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago

    You need to pick your battles. Someday you will really hurt someone, and you won't feel any worse than when you aren't (like now). You will become desensitized to it. Learn to find the right levels for your feelings.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    when you feel that you have hurt someone go to them and appologize, if the hurt was unintentional. Try not to intentionally hurt people. You are human, Do not be consumed by condemnation. Learn haow to forgive yourself so that others can also forgive you.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • G-Bear
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Your normal to care..just dont obsess about things that dont really affect anyone but yourself. After all..when its your time to go..no ones going to be stepping up to THAT plate for you.

    Care..but be realistic.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    These things are nothing. People get hurt the most by other people when they are betrayed by cheating/abandonment by the one they love.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 1 decade ago

    oh the hell with people! you need to look out for your own best interest. as for your family, they will just have to deal. with work, those people can go to hell---they won't do anything for you when you really need something, so screw 'em.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I think you have a sensitive conscience. I also think it shows you're thinking of possible consequences.

    I'm about the same way!

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.