Do you have the guilt wound?

Are you a highly sensitive person who often experiences feelings of guilt over everyday interactions?

It could be something as small as refusing to share stationery with a work colleague, or choosing to set a major healthy boundary for yourself. In either situation, you may experience severe guilt paired with feelings of anxiety and borderline worthlessness.

If that sounds like you, you may be a victim of the guilt wound!

How does the guilt wound come about?

The guilt wound typically manifests in children raised by emotionally unstable or cold parents. The parent, or any primary socialiser, may have spent significant amounts of time inducing feelings of guilt within the child. For example, they may have constantly shamed the child for their choices, especially if those choices went against the parent’s wishes.

In some cases, guilt wounds stem from toxic parenting styles where the parent may have blamed their shortcomings on the child. They may have also failed to provide for their child, ultimately leaving the child feeling guilty for expecting parental support (both emotional and material).

Such children often grow up to be remarkably sensitive to others’ needs and emotions. They may evolve into empaths and go the extra length to help others even when unfeasible. Failure to please others typically leaves people with guilt wounds feeling drained, depressed, and guilty.

This is primarily because individuals with the guilt wound did not have their childhood needs met. So, they grow into adults who believe everyone else shares their feelings of deprivation and sensitivity – even when they don’t.

Common Fears Associated with the Guilt Wound

Some fears associated with this wound include;

  • Fear of being inadequate, or a need to compete against other people
  • Fear of getting into or being in trouble, almost like it’s a constant threat
  • Fear of abandonment or rejection

Other feelings that are commonly associated with this wound include;

  • negative feelings when you achieve your goals in a competitive environment, likely to include guilt
  • a need to ‘get someone back’ when they’ve been wronged or offended
  • a sense that you need to share your guilt with someone close to you, or the person that was wronged

Telltale signs you have this wound

Those struggling with the guilt wound may possess people-pleasing tendencies, as discussed above. This coincides with their inability to set healthy boundaries and put themselves first.

They may blame themselves as the root cause for any inconvenience. This phenomenon is most commonly observed in children who were constantly blamed by their parents for their own negative life experiences.

Adults with guilt wounds may attract toxic romantic partners or be frequently manipulated by people, including fake friends and colleagues. This is because they fear abandonment and are willing to go to any length to keep their loved ones satisfied – no matter how high the cost!

People with guilt wounds typically struggle with the following:

  • Trouble asking for things from others
  • Failure to set healthy boundaries
  • People-pleasing tendencies
  • Attracting people who feed the wound
  • Living in a constant state of fear, anxiety, and guilt
  • Excessive apologising, even when things aren’t your fault
  • Self-neglect and trouble relaxing
  • Overworking tendencies or feelings of guilt when taking a break
  • Holding self accountable for other people’s behaviours and emotions

If you resonate with most or all of these points, you’re likely a victim of the guilt wound!

Typical beliefs arising from this wound

Individuals with the guilt wound may believe they deserve to be punished. In extreme cases, they may seek people and situations that punish them because such people feel most comfortable when they are being abused or hurt. This is because they were raised to believe they don’t deserve happiness and are the sole cause of misery in other people’s lives.

If coupled with other mental health conditions, like OCD, guilt wound victims may have a severe sense of impending doom associated with their everyday actions.

Luckily, the guilt wound isn’t permanent and can be overcome with patience, professional guidance, and self love!

Healing from this wound

As with other wounds like this, it can be useful to consider the various aspects of this wound particularly the internal conflicts. These are the parts of ourself that compete with each other, and can make us feel like we’re flip-flopping, or pulled in different directions.

Most people are not really aware of their internal conflicts, so simply taking a closer look at this aspect can be insightful and help to bring about healing.

For the guilt wound the internal conflicts could be things like;

  • being blameless or innocent, and a feeling of deserving punishment
  • the pull in different directions from a need for approval and being liked or accepted, and a need to keep others happy
  • doing things for other people’s happiness versus doing things to make YOU happy

Recommended Head Trash Clearances

If you want to heal some of the typical conflicts that come up as a result of the abandonment wound, this is a great place to start with your Head Trash Clearance.

  • guilt
  • fear
  • anxiety
  • blame
  • being inadequate
  • being in trouble
  • saying no


Explore other universal wounds

The Guilt Wound is one of many universal wounds that we all suffer from. Find out more about these in these related blog posts

Healing audio tracks for all of these wounds can be found in The Clearance Club. The Clearance Club is a vault of head trash clearance resources to help you free your mind of stresses and anxieties, and let go of those things that getting in the way of your happiness.


Alexia Leachman
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