You’re Not A Bad Person: We’ve All Done Stupid, Hurtful Things 

Think back to something you did that you feel guilty about. Close your eyes and picture yourself in the situation. Look at your face, your heart… Were you acting out of pain, confusion, or fear? Were you looking for love in all the wrong places? Were you broken, sad, or at a rough point in your life? I bet you were.

You weren’t rubbing your hands together and cackling an evil laugh. Muahahaha You aren’t a monster who wanted to hurt yourself or someone else because that’s your fun hobby. You are a human and humans mess up. Humans make big mistakes. Humans do stupid, hurtful things. Humans are human.

It’s time to stop playing that movie in your mind of the crappy thing you did to “show yourself how bad you are and how much you need to be punished.” It’s time to forgive that broken person who did something they regret. If you haven’t apologized, apologizing is a good idea. If you have apologized, good, now move forward.

Why don’t I want you to keep beating yourself up? Because guilt zaps all this great energy you could use to focus on doing better in the future. It zaps energy you could be using to do nice, helpful things. Making yourself feel guilty just makes you want to do more destructive stuff. It’s counterproductive.

Guilt is toxic to the spirit. It chokes life and life needs to breathe. Yes, learn from your mistakes. No, don’t carry guilt anymore. It’s heavier than an elephant doing weight training. (How cute would an elephant look with a sweatband, though?)

You’re not a bad person and you’re not alone in this feeling. No one talks about the crappy things they’ve done because it’s not good dinner conversation! Lol

“Hey, want to hear the weird, hurtful thing I said when I was 14…”

“Um… No. Let’s just eat ice cream and talk about Orange Is The New Black.”

Even the sweetest people make hurtful mistakes. Look back on what you did and look at your intention. Maybe it was an honest mistake.. Maybe you were uneducated and didn’t know any better.. Maybe you were afraid.. Maybe you were so broke you couldn’t afford the dollar menu at McDonald’s.. (been there!) Maybe someone hurt you so you hurt someone else.. Maybe you didn’t feel loved so you did something negative for attention.. Maybe you didn’t feel accepted so you did something mean to fit in.. Maybe you were doing your best for where you were in life.

Whatever happened it’s time to stop showing it to yourself because beating yourself up is an act of inner violence. It’s time to hug that person who royally messed up and tell them, “It’s OK and let’s work to do better in the future.”

Treat yourself as you would a dear friend. Would you remind them every day of their biggest mistake in life? No! That’s cruel. So why are you doing it to yourself? Being compassionate to yourself is an act of service to God and to the world because inner kindness, becomes outer kindness which becomes world kindness. If you can’t be nice to yourself for yourself, do it for God and for your fellow humans.

You are not a bad person… Unless you did do that evil laugh thing and rubbed your hands together… Muahahahaha

Love you! Rachie

82 thoughts on “You’re Not A Bad Person: We’ve All Done Stupid, Hurtful Things 

  1. Great post! Guilt is a bad thing, No one is perfect. I beat myself up a lot but I usually realize mistakes are apart of life. It’s hard when you have a mental illness when you make mistakes when unwell because though the people were hurt you weren’t in control of your behavior. I do my best to just apologize and forgive myself. People with mental illness have enough to contend with the last thing we need to do is be swallowed whole by guilt. everyone in the world needs to be kinder to themselves.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thank you so much. I needed this so incredibly much. I almost cried reading it. Haha, I wven bookmarked the page so I can come back and read it whenever I need it! But really, what you’re done here is a great act of kindness. I’m sure that like it’s helped me, you’ve helped many people with this. So again, thank you 🙂


  2. Rachel,
    This is a really good post. I know there have been times when my relatives have made me feel guilty about getting anxious and I know I’ve made myself feel guilty because I’ve felt bad making others help me when I struggle. However, no one’s perfect and as long as we didn’t have ill intentions and as long as we work hard to improve ourselves, we shouldn’t feel guilty. Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post! Sounds like you were writing just to me. I am working on forgiving myself something that wasn’t just me involved. 2 people, I can’t only forgive myself and I can’t apologize to the unknown person we have hurt, unless he is lying to me and I am kind of headed towards he lied to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this post because I just had people visit who made me feel guilty and uncomfortable and I found myself doing what I used to as a child – eating to cover the anxiety their visit was causing me. I also felt guilty for wishing they were going home sooner! But half way through the week I acknowledged to myself that THEY were causing the anxiety and stress I was feeling, and somehow that helped and I was able to get through the rest of the week without getting too off track in my life. I wonder what the people in our lives who belittle us, make us feel bad about ourselves etc, get out of that? I realized these people like putting people down, making them feel small, making themselves feel like they are superior – instead of allowing them to squash me, I started feeling sorry for them for being those kind of people and yeah, I did feel a little bit superior too, couldn’t help it, because I know I will never enjoy making others feel bad so I will never do it. Sorry for the long reply, but your blog released a flood of relief that I really don’t need to be dragging the guilt around that these people constantly try to incite in me!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m so glad you were able to stand up to the put downs inside yourself and realize it had nothing to do w you. I am going through something similar w someone. I think the people who shame and put people down feel really bad about themselves and the hurt they cause is “their OWN pain spilling over” – that’s from a quote I like. If they were confident and happy they wouldn’t want to put down others. They could also be jealous. I like the Eleanor Roosevelt quote as well “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” we can feel good even if they are choosing to put us down- they don’t control us and that’s their own problem. Don’t apologize! I like your reaction and it made me reflect, too, about what I’m going through! Love!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! Keep writing the blog too, you have no idea how many people you are helping with this, but I guarantee it’s a lot more than you get comments from because it takes acceptance to be able to comment at all, and some of us just aren’t ready yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” – Charles Dickens. I always thought of this in terms of other people, often forgetting that I should extend the same compassion to myself, After all our lives become a mirror for how we feel about ourselves and damaged people, tend to hurt other people. People who are healed, tend to extend that same healing to other people. Growing up, I spent 8 years, writing hurtful things to myself in all of my notebooks. No body loves Me. God Doesn’t love me, my life doesn’t matter ect. I did it for so long, I actually believed that it was true. When I finally got old enough to understand where these feelings were coming from and that by saying these negative things, I was actually doing more damage to myself. the biggest challenge was to switch my thinking. Learning to love myself, learning to accept myself and learning to forgive myself, this has the the greatest trial of my life but it’s all a process right? 🙂 For sure I have those days, where that voice is so loud but i’m learning to drown it out. Hugs! 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  6. What a wonderful post 🙂
    Yes, guilt is that mean monster which crawls into your mind after you’ve hurt someone or after you’ve done something bad (or, even worse, after you thought you had hurt someone) and it has given me many a sleepless night. It’s good that you fight it, I’ll jump right in and join the fight 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So true, Julia! I try to take deep breaths at night and be proud that I am doing my best now! Letting the past go is so liberating! 🙂 I often worry I hurt someones feelings but I know it’s just my anxiety, usually. Also, sometimes we get more upset over hurting someone’s feelings than the other person! They can get over it just like we do when our feeling are hurt. Getting hurt stinks but it’s part of life and makes us stronger! Thanks so much for the reflection! Xo

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Another great piece that shows tremendous wisdom and reveals a great attitude.Damn, have I made my share of mistakes!!! Sometimes they dominate my inner thoughts as I dwell on them and get stuck in the muck. But I can consciously choose not to be kind to myself. We need to forgive and accept ourselves, just as much as others. As you mention, compassion fur ourselves becomes compassion for others which leads to compassion for the world. Thanks again!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow- it’s like this post is written specially for me! So many good points and I struggle heaps with guilt over last mistakes- especially the outbursts I have when suffering low moods. I thought of a cute book I read to my son- I think in one of them the elephant Gerald had a sweatband round his head.:)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Rachel,

    Here’s my issue…I have an anxiety disorder and diagnosed OCD so I of course stress and obsess about my flaws and my mistakes. I’m currently in the midst of a huge anxiety situation but I feel like it is way too much to leave here in the comments section. Is there a way to correspond with you to talk to you about it? I don’t think I am a horrible person at heart but I have made recurring mistakes and I have trouble convincing myself that I’m not a genuinely bad person. I’ve never rubbed my hands together like an evil mastermind, but I still beat myself up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there! So sorry to hear you are going through this! I would make a list of 10 things that make you a great person and 10 nice things you have done. Try to do one small act of kindness per day. Read the reasons you are not a bad person when you feel that. You could also say to yourself, “I’m not a bad person, it’s just my anxiety and OCD try to make me feel this way/ it’s not true” I would talk to a therapist about it or psychologist and psychiatrist- I am just not qualified to help because I don’t have any training- I’m just a voice of someone who knows what it’s like to have anxiety and OCD.
      Also bad people usually don’t worry they are bad people ! They just don’t care. It sounds like you are doing your best and that makes you a great person. Try looking up “Byron katie – the work” her stuff is really helpful – also ask “how does the thought that I am a bad person serve me?” It doesn’t! Maybe stop worrying about being a bad person and use that energy you save from not believing that to do good in the world:-)


  10. I really needed to read this! I was a horrible person and done some terrible things and hurt some people I truly love. I don’t quite know how to fix how broken I am right now but this definitely made me feel just a little better. Thank you!


  11. Thanks Rachel, this is sweet. I was just sitting here rehashing silly things from when I was a child, thirty-plus years ago! Ridiculous! Much appreciate your perspective on how harmful that is. 🙂


  12. I feel really guilty! Yesterday I was bored, so my friends and I prank called some buisnesses. I feel really bad now because we probably ruined a lot of people’s days :(. I don’t know if I can forgive myself? It was a stupid thing to do and it was selfish of me.


  13. Thank you. I am just about to write 3 apology letters to people i offended very badly. I too suffer with anxiety and after a particular really stressful event, i lashed out. I now feel thoroughly ashamed of myself. Your words have inspired me to take ownership of my actions and move on. Best wishes to you.


  14. Thank you for this. Lately I feel like I just keep making stupid mistakes that hurt other people. I struggle with this as I am a perfectionist and empathetic so I don’t understand why I keep doing it. I feel like such an idiot. I’d really like to just crawl in bed and never get out.


  15. I love it. This is the most inspiring thing that I have ever heard anyone say it has actually helped me with my issues. Thanks to your post I have been treating myself better and am more upbeat than I have been in a long time. Thank you for posting this I really appreciate it. Your words really spoke to me.🙂😀😃🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great post! It’s really nice to read things like this when it’s 2am and you’re overthinking things like how you’ve become a bad person because of you’re past mistakes. Thank you for reminding me that I’m still a human that commits mistakes at least a dozen times or more a day and I don’t really have to carry the burden & guilt forever. Thank you for inspiring me to forgive myself and move on for me to finally move forward and create a better future for myself. Thank you so much! ❤


  17. this

    I also have a problem with projecting my past mistakes onto other people like it’s all they think about/they did it too, as well as things I enjoy. Like characters in franchises I enjoy. It’s weird
    any advice?


  18. Thanks for this post I just stumbled upon it now and I really needed something like this because just recently I said horrible stuff about friends online and feel really bad about it and I’ve been beating myself up about it so it’s nice to know I’m not a bad person deep down. Thanks again😊


  19. I really needed this today. I’m lucky I have such a caring, patient and forgiving husband. I just need to forgive myself now.


  20. Thanks so much Rachel for the best article , My most fev’ lines in this article is “Being compassionate to yourself is an act of service to God and to the world because inner kindness, becomes outer kindness which becomes world kindness. If you can’t be nice to yourself for yourself, do it for God and for your fellow humans” I feel like god speaking with me.


  21. I just want to say thank you so much because this post put in perspective something I’ve had on my mind for 4 years daily, and I’ve never related to something so much. My mistake was that I acted selfishly because I wanted sympathy- I was going through a very bad time mentally- but I realise now that I wasn’t rubbing my hands together acting out of malice, I was disconnected from the event and feel remorseful now that my head is clearer. So thank you for making me see I might not be a really bad person. X


  22. Thank you so much for this. I didn’t realise how much i needed this until my eyes watered up and i felt myself breathing deeply after a small anxiety attack about a stupid hurtful mistake I did after having been hurt and holding old grudges. I still do not forgive myself for what I did, but I swear that I will use that mistake to make myself better, kinder, stronger and more open. I was stupid and tired and hurt and self destructive and I can never take my actions back so all that I can do is allow myself to grow from this and accept i’m neither perfect or a monster.

    Thank you very much for this article, hope this finds you well.


  23. Rachel, reading through your entry has given me solace. I don’t know if I could ever mend what I have broken because forgiveness is not up to me. That has been tearing me apart and the guilt has just been so much.

    I’m trying to take a different approach because self-flagellation won’t help anyone nor change me. I’m trying to make positive contributions to society to try to indirectly make up for the hurt that I’ve caused to those who used to care for me.

    Thank you for writing this piece.


  24. Thank you so much for this Rachel. It was really nice to read something like this because i have been feeling like this lately and sometimes wonder if am i bad person because i was aware of doing it but just couldn’t stop it. And then i really felt guilt. I mean, i didn’t kill a person hhahaahaha. Either way, thank you so much, it really helped me.
    Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days, everybody knows what i’m talking about, everybody gets that way
    P.S. yeah, i really quoted hannah montana


  25. Also, i wanted to ask you if you could give me an advice on something.
    Most of the time, i feel lonely, i mean i have friends and one true friend who is like a sister to me, but inside i still feel empty. I just feel like, i’m annoying everybody and that they only hang out with me because of pity or something, i don’t know. I just don’t know how to fill that emptiness inside of me. Any advice?
    P.S. sorry if there are mispelled words, i’m from another country, Serbia(Srbija) if you heard of it which you probably haven’t hahaahahah
    Thanks anyways

    Liked by 1 person

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