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Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

Often enough, young teens such as ourselves are plagued with the mindset of self doubt and insecurity. Personally, these thoughts often come from those who I consider close friends and family. Although I’m treated well and I enjoy my time with them, there are certain moments in which I feel guilty for something I shouldn’t even feel any remorse for. 

I often think about how my choices may influence my peers, but what I forget to worry about the most is myself. Should I be apologising for something I didn’t do? Is it my fault? Did I cause this to happen? Am I the problem?

The technical term for this is called guilt tripping and can be defined as a feeling of unjustified guilt and responsibility. Even within my own close group of friends I find myself afflicted with these emotions and the thing I find most difficult to overcome in these situations is how I should react. 

I’m recalled back to the moment where I decided to meet up with a few friends. We were enjoying the day together when we saw that we had upsetted another friend by not including them. This is where my dilemma begins. I tried not to let it ruin my day because I understand that I shouldn’t feel any remorse for having fun and meeting up but that small voice in the back of my head kept repeating those words. “You should’ve included them.”, “You’re a bad friend.”. Now, I can understand why they felt this way because I’ve been in the same shoes before but I never purposely intended to ruin anyone’s fun because of my own feelings. It still troubles me to this day on how I should’ve reacted. I could emphasise with them and how they felt left out but was it right for them to place a sense of responsibility and guilt on us?

I believe these feelings on both parties often come from the roots of self doubt, insecurity and abandonment. It’s important to look at things from a broader perspective. Will I let this small incident ruin my perception of them? Is this worth the precious time I have with my friends? And although it still troubles me, I’ve tried to improve myself and include them in more of my life. I hope that eventually, our road to a more secure friendship will be more than just guilt trips and unjustified feelings. There is no such thing as a perfect friendship or relationship. What matters most is how you feel and how you can improve. 


JoYii Wong

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