About the Guilty Child Personality Subself

        Guilt is the normal mental-emotional reaction to believing that we have done something wrong or bad - i.e. that we have violated someone's rules: shoulds, musts, have to's, and ought to's. Premise - excessive guilty thoughts and feelings often come from a Guilty Child personality subself activating because the stern Inner Critic (and other people) proclaim "You did something wrong!" This usually also activates the fragile Shamed Child, who is convinced "I am a bad, worthless, un-lovable person." Normal guilt helps to regulate our behavior and fill our needs. We learn guilts and shame from the way early caregivers treat us, starting before we have any language.

        When the Inner Critic and Guilty Child activate, one or more tire-less Guardian subselves spring into action to reduce inner pain. These can include the People-pleaser, Catastrophizer, Perfectionist, Addict, Magician, (rationalizer), Joker, Martyr, Liar, Avoider, Moralizer, Worrier, and others. If these subselves disable the true Self, they form a false self.

        Lesson 1 here aims to (a) connect Inner Children with the Nurturer sub-self, (b) retrain and moderate the Inner Critic and Perfectionist sub-selves, (c) patiently grow all subselves' trust in the ability of the Self and a benign Higher Power to keep them safe and satisfied, and (d) reduce psychological wounds, including excessive shame and guilts.