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Email of the Day: Feeling Bad vs. Feeling Guilty

By Dr. Laura on November, 9 2020
Email of the Day: Feeling Bad vs. Feeling Guilty

My 29-year-old daughter who lives two hours away was struggling with whether to come home for a party we were having. She texted me and said she really didn’t want to make the drive and was feeling guilty. I channeled my inner Dr. Laura and texted her back, saying,

You shouldn’t be feeling guilty. You’ve done nothing immoral or illegal. You are choosing not to come and you have the right to do that. We are all big people, and it’s okay. I understand your feelings though, because I have felt ‘guilty’ which I now know is not the right term. Feeling bad that you’re not coming is a by-product of doing something you know will disappoint others, but that’s okay.”


My daughter understood and said “you’re right.” In the end, she decided not to come and while we were disappointed, I’m proud of her for making a decision and not coming just to please us. We ARE big people, and we all got over it. Thanks for your words of wisdom.



Feeling Bad vs. Feeling Guilty


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