Does Feeling Guilt Make Us a Better Person?

I feel guilt — most of us do.

Some of us likely cope with it better than others. I’m not too sure where I fit on the coping scale — Do I worry more than others? Does it interfere with my ability to move forward? Does it limit my ability to grow and become better?

Guilt permeates both my personal and professional worlds. I think I feel the most guilt when I’ve been neglectful about something. Here’s an example of what I mean …

I feel guilt when I do not send an acknowledgement to others for good work that they’ve done on an issue — a teacher for their efforts on a special event in their building — an administrator for their leadership on an important instructional topic — an office colleague for the extra work I see them do to make the system better.

2 thoughts on “Does Feeling Guilt Make Us a Better Person?

  1. Dave, thanks very much for this. As a student of leadership, your post got me thinking, and so I had a very quick look at recent academic publications dealing with expressing thanks or gratitude in the workplace and genuineness, given your leadership role there.

    As you might imagine, I found many different pieces. This recent master’s thesis is one that I intend to read later today, so I thought I’d share it with you…it compares popular non-academic ideas out there to what the research says. Here’s the link: &isAllowed=y

    Have a great day!

    Thanks again,



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