Show Me A Woman Who Doesn’t Feel Guilty And I’ll Show You A Man
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(Listen to it here.)
Erica Jong hit the truth button with her guilt quote above. Of course, it’s probably not 100% true. There must be some men who feel as much guilt as women feel every day. But then, maybe not. That’s a research topic our government should look into.
For the guys who may be reading this, and may be asking, “What kind of things do women find to feel guilty about?” here are a few of the frequent culprits:
- I shouldn’t have eaten that cookie.
- I feel bad leaving Bobby with a babysitter.
- I didn’t make the bed.
- I didn’t have time to put in a load of laundry before work.
- My sales report was only 42 pages this month.
- And there was a typo.
- My in-laws are coming to dinner and I have no idea what I’m going to fix and I’m stuck in a boring management meeting and I’m wishing I would have asked my husband to pick up steaks on his way home and one of those gooey chocolate cakes (now I feel extra guilt for that thought)…
Guys, what do you think? Except for #2 above, I bet you’d say, “It doesn’t matter.” Thank you guys. You’re right. Most of the guilt we subject ourselves to can be reduced. We’d be better off. We’d probably even reduce our stress at the same time. And if we reduced stress . . .voila! …we’d lose weight!
So let’s see, just because I love science, and I’m a guilt-ridden woman, I hypothesize that if every time we feel guilty, we consciously reduce the amount of guilt, we will consequently lose an equal amount of weight! Well, I guess we can believe that if we believe some foods are fat-burners, and that the best fat-burner is chocolate.
I think the main reason women feel more guilt than men is because we’ve been taught that women should not be selfish. We should nurture and see to the needs of others. And, if there’s any time left, we can think about doing something selfish. But that’s not exactly true, because if you’re a good girl you should be able to think of something else that needs to be done for others—even if they’re not asking you. Why didn’t we ever question the word “should” as it was fed to us at every turn?
Well, you have your chance now. I’m not suggesting you reply with what the boys would have said, “Why me? Why now? Says who? Make me!” Here’s my tip for the grown up girl.
Tip: The next time you feel guilty, take a quick measure of it and decide to noticeably reduce the amount of guilt you feel. Look around you. Find someone you admire who doesn’t suffer as you do. See, it’s OK. Don’t you feel better? And how about the reduction of stress? That’s good too!
Tip #2: This one is for the working mothers who feel guilty when the nonworking mothers expect them to bake cookies for the children’s classroom. Convince their dad that it’s his turn to bring in the cookies and help in the classroom. I know from experience that it takes a little shoving, but the dads actually enjoy it when they get there and you know the kids get excited about it too. And go ahead and let Dad pickup cookies at the store or bakery. I bet none of the other moms will give him a bad time.
See a related post on WomensMedia, by Colette Carlson, A Four-Step Formula for Saying “No!”
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