Guilt Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old guilt quotes, guilt sayings, and guilt proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one's own actions or lack of action.     

Audre Lorde

Guilt is also a way for us to express to others that we are a person of good conscience.     

Tom Hodgkinson

Guilt is a useless feeling. It's never enough to make you change direction--only enough to make you useless.     

Daniel Nayeri

Guilt is a destructive and ultimately pointless emotion.     

Lynn Crilly

No guilt is forgotten so long as the conscience still knows of it.     

Stefan Zweig

Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do.     


Guilt is the very nerve of sorrow.     

Horace Bushnell

Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.     

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Guilt is the price we pay willingly for doing what we are going to do anyway.     

Isabelle Holland

Guilt is a rope that wears thin.     

Ayn Rand

Successful guilt is the bane of society.     

Publilius Syrus

He declares himself guilty who justifies himself before accusation.     


Guilt: the gift that keeps on giving.     

Erma Bombeck

Guilt is to danger, what fire is to gunpowder; a man need not fear to walk among many barrels of powder, if he have no fire about him.     

John Flavel

He that is conscious of guilt cannot bear the innocence of others: So they will try to reduce all others to their own level.     

Charles James Fox

Guilt alone, like brain-sick frenzy in its feverish mood, fills the light air with visionary terrors, and shapeless forms of fear.     


Guilt upon the conscience, like rust upon iron, both defiles and consumes it, gnawing and creeping into it, as that does which at last eats out the very heart and substance of the metal.     

Bishop Robert South

Guilt is always hungry, don't let it consume you.     

Terri Guillemets

Guilt is oftentimes the strongest witness against itself.     

Edward Counsel

The guilt you feel finally comes to an end when you fully express how it came into your consciousness.     

Luke Garne

Guilt is the sum total of: All the negative feelings we have ever had about ourselves! Any form of self-hatred, self-rejection, feelings of worthlessness, sinfulness, inferiority, incompetence, failure, or emptiness. The feeling that there are things in us that are lacking or missing or incomplete.     

Ken Wapnick

What is guilt? It is moral self-reproach--I did wrong when it was possible to have done otherwise.     

Nathaniel Branden

Make friends with guilt. Guilt is a beautiful emotion that alerts us when something is wrong so that we may achieve peace with our conscience. Without conscience there would be no morality. So we can greet guilt cordially and with acceptance, just as we do all other emotions. After we respond to guilt, it has done its job and we can release it.     

Glenn R. Schiraldi

Guilt hath very quick ears to an accusation.     

Henry Fielding

Guilt is something small people feel when they run out of excuses for their behavior.     

Gaius Baltar

Repentant tears wash out the stain of guilt.     

Saint Augustine

Guilt: punishing yourself before God doesn't.     

Alan Cohen

Guilt is ever at a loss, and confusion waits upon it; when innocence and bold truth are always ready for expression.     

William Congreve

Where guilt is, rage and courage doth abound.     

Ben Jonson

Guilt is an indulgence, it entangles you in the past.     

Gregg Hurwitz

Guilt once harbored in the conscious breast, intimidates the brave, degrades the great.     

Samuel Johnson

Guilt has always its horrors and solicitudes; and, to make it yet more shameful and detestable, it is doomed often to stand in awe of those to whom nothing could give influence or weight but their power of betraying.     

Samuel Johnson

Guilt is a poor, helpless, dependent being. Without the alliance of able, diligent, and let me add, fortunate fraud, it is inevitably undone. If the guilty culprit be obstinately silent, it forms a deadly presumption against him; if he speaks, talking tends only to his discovery, and his very defence often furnishes the materials for his conviction.     


Guilt was never a rational thing; it distorts all the faculties of the human mind, it perverts them, it leaves a man no longer in the free use of his reason, it puts him into confusion.     

Edmund Burke

People incapable of guilt usually do have a good time.     

Rust Cohle

The guilty think all talk is of themselves.     


Guilt is abscent when the act is justified.     


Guilt is anything you did and fear others to know about.     


Guilt is the source of sorrows, the avenging fiend that follows us behind with whips and stings.     

Nicholas Rowe

There are two kinds of guilt: the kind that drowns you until you're useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose.     

Sabaa Tahir

You're making yourself too important. Guilt comes from feeling we're at the center of the universe. We're not.     

Gloria Whelan

Guilt's just your ego's way of tricking you into thinking that you're making moral progress. Don't fall for it, my dear.     

Elizabeth Gilbert

Like hatred, guilt can't be locked in the silence of forgetting, without taking part of your soul with it.     

Shannon L. Alder

You won't be free from guilt if you are constantly replaying the negative memories of your past. If you're going to replay anything, replay your victories!     

Joel Osteen

Releasing guilt is like removing a huge weight from your shoulders. Guilt is released through the empowering thought of love and respect for yourself. Let go of standards of perfection and refuse to use up the precious currency of your life, the now, with thoughts that continue to frustrate and weaken you. Instead, vow to be better than you used to be, which is the true test of nobility.     

Wayne Dyer

Guilt is a lazy feeling that takes no action; the wings of integrity are the only thing that sets it free.     

Shannon L. Alder

Guilt can interfere with our desires to move forward, to heal properly and to become a person who has the mental health and means of proper recompense.     

Bryant McGill

Guilt is a waste of time unless you learn how to be more loving the next time a similar situation presents itself.     

Annette Vaillancourt

Guilt is a manifestation of condemnation or aversion towards oneself, which does not understand the changing transformative quality of mind.     

Joseph Goldstein

Guilt is really self- condemnation and self-invalidation of our worth and value as a human being.     

David R. Hawkins