Back when I was a kid playing street hockey in my hometown, a couple of Dutch immigrant kids came out hoping to join us. They were carrying hockey sticks their father had made by nailing a piece of wood to long broom handles. These makeshift sticks were far from the sleek, black taped, store bought babies the rest of us were sporting, and my friends were lavish in the derision they heaped on the poor guys who retreated, humiliated, back to their rented house.
It was the shattered look on their faces that I remember even to this day. I felt so guilty, I stopped playing and walked down to their house to apologize.
It’s a powerful feeling, guilt. It can keep us up at nights. It can make us sick. A police detective here in Brazil told me he thinks guilt may be the reason criminals leave clues so they get caught.
Today, though, we’re counselled to mitigate our guilt. Not being able to manage our guilt feelings is actually considered detrimental to our mental health.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Even Psychopaths Feel Guilty, today on Thinking with Somebody Else's Head.