The Most Common Reasons We Feel Guilty, Revealed

Photographed by Rochelle Brock.

Guilt is nobody's favourite emotion, but we all know it's sometimes justified. And if you've done something wrong, reflecting on your behaviour can help you process it and make sure you don't fall into harmful patterns.

But many of us could be experiencing more guilt that we realise. According to a new survey, people in the UK spend an average of six hours and 32 minutes every week feeling guilty. The survey of 2,000 adults by Intrepid Travel found that the average person is hit three times a week by guilt pangs lasting a little over two hours, The Independent reports.

The survey also found that the most common reason for feeling guilty is succumbing to a craving, followed by not calling family enough, and then by breaking a diet. Not calling friends enough and accidentally being rude to someone are also regular guilt triggers for people in the UK.

But encouragingly, the survey found too that nearly half of people manage to ease their guilt by doing a good deed. The most common "guilt-neutralising" acts were found to be recycling, giving money to charity, and donating unwanted items to charity shops.

Tom Smith of Intrepid Travel, who conducted the survey, said that guilt is also motivating people in the UK to pick different kinds of holidays.

"Over the last five years consumer habits have changed and when it comes to picking a holiday, people are choosing an experience that will allow them to travel responsibly," he told The Independent. "Whether that’s ensuring that holidays help the local people and community, staying at hotels with green initiatives, or choosing a company that operates carbon-neutral trips, we are becoming more self-aware and are changing our perspectives."

Check out the top 25 reasons that people in the UK feel guilty:

1. Giving into a craving

2. Not calling family enough

3. Breaking a diet

4. Not calling friends enough

5. Accidently being rude to someone

6. Not tidying up

7. Cancelling on a friend

8. Getting a takeaway

9. Gossiping

10. Being rude to someone

11. Not going to the gym

12. Leaving a pet at home

13. Lied to a partner

14. Spending a day in pyjamas

15. Lied to family

16. Not recycling

17. Lied to a friend

18. Asking someone to do you a favour

19. Not showering/washing

20. Leaving a small shop/market without buying anything

21. Not taking your advice

22. Forgetting manners

23. Pretending you're working

24. Accidental queue jumping

25. Hitting the snooze button

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