Social Question

Neizvestnaya's avatar

No harm done if you don't get caught what does it really cost?

Asked by Neizvestnaya (22577 points ) October 18th, 2010

If there’s repressed guilt or regret does it really get swept under the carpet or does it manifest in lowered immune systems, eating disorders, depressions, substance abuse, etc?

Examples (hypothetical):
_A few times I’ve paid less than amount due on a bill in order to eat out. I didn’t tell the rest of the household what I’d done- I had a migraine later.

I still text an old bf/gf behind my SO’s back, it’s not really serious but I keep doing it. I drink/smoke more during these times.

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25 Answers

Winters's avatar

Depends on the person and the severity of the action they took, some people can sweep it under the carpet with little or no difficulty, others have it eat away at themselves until they come to some sort of closure.

partyparty's avatar

I suppose it all depends on whether you have a conscience, and if you can live with the guilt.
Personally it would eat away at me, so couldn’t do it.

tranquilsea's avatar

The people I’ve known who espouse such things are amoral. The people around them eventually learn this and they lose the respect and trust of those people.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

It’s your conscience

sleepdoc's avatar

I think more and more our cultural is moving towards, if I can justify it, it is ok. I am not sure I belive this as well. As far as it manifesting somewhere eles, maybe it shows up somewhere. But if you repress that as well I don’t know that it will forever.

Loried2008's avatar

I think it definitely could! If your conscience is eating away at you, it causes you to stress out and often times stress is a big factor in overeating, smoking, drinking, depression, and yes even headaches (I have one right now cause I’m stressed)

wundayatta's avatar

Confession can be good for the soul, but it can also be pretty selfish. If you let your significant other know you’ve been doing something they don’t approve of, but you know it has stopped or it would never hurt them, then what happens when you confess?

You feel better, but your S/O feels worse. It could well cause them to trust you less and lead to a more serious situation—maybe even break up the relationship. That’s the can of worms you open up when you confess. Is the pain you cause your S/O worth the release you feel from confession?

sleepdoc's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I just watched a “Mentalist” episode wherein a religon had a weekly confession before the camera. They people said it left them feeling free.

Loried2008's avatar

@wundayatta You should never hide the truth from the ones you love. It hurts much worse to find out another way besides through them.

CMaz's avatar

The key words are “repressed guilt”.

No harm done if you don’t get caught. If you don’t get caught. Can be a job well done.

No guilt needed.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

The post about the Tide detergent commercial got me thinking, by degrees are we all rationalizing shite to the point we are destroying ourselves?

Obesity is dangerous and life shortening / Many obese people try to change society’s view they are okay the way they are and should be acceptable to all. Gawd damn, it’s not about whether the core person is acceptable or not, it’s about their health.

Sexting/Webcamming/Excessive secret porn viewing gets destructive in relationships / partners decide to promote open communication policies in order to not exercise any choice or self control and still get jealous and hurt each other’s feeling because someone’s tolerating or compromising instead of choosing. Now a lot of people say a modern monogamous relationship isn’t very possible.

marinelife's avatar

Obviously, since you know what you are doing that is against your personal code of conduct, someone is suffering: you.

nebule's avatar

When we act against our higher knowledge of morality we suffer negative emotions such as guilt and sadness. There are other emotions and unfulfilled desires involved in these two examples you raise as well though I think. Any emotion that is swallowed and hidden has the propensity to manifest itself in physical ways. I think it’s the nature of energy in motion, whether negative or positive.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I guess my point is why do so many people write off the little things they do instead of considering they will add up and come back to knock them in the ass?

CMaz's avatar

“instead of considering they will add up and come back to knock them in the ass?”

That being paranoia, and no place for it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@ChazMaz: I don’t thinks it’s karma or paranoia but I do see a lot of weirdness roll around.

lloydbird's avatar

@Neizvestnaya This relates. I don’t have time to elaborate just now. But :-

This book. , and more specifically, this chapter.

eden2eve's avatar

@Neizvestnaya This is a very good question. I wish there was a way to ask it of any person I might be considering as an important person in my life. It is very interesting how it has been answered, and what the answers tell about the integrity of the posters.

Perhaps it’s true that not all persons would have physical or other affects from not having integrity in their lives, but I prefer people who would want to be honest in their dealings and would feel badly if they were not. Hopefully, expecting such consequences might prevent many such actions. I like knowing that I can trust those whom I choose as my intimates. And I want to be just such a person to others who trust me. This, in my opinion, is what relationships should be based upon, trust and integrity. Besides, even if nobody else finds out the little secret, I would know. I don’t want to be disappointed in myself. That is harm in and of itself.

Coloma's avatar

Yes, great question!

I would answer a resounding ‘YES!’

Our subconscious mind, deeper self will manifest repressed and negative emotions in many physical expressions.

It is true, in more ways than one when we violate our moral or ethical selves that we ’ only hurt ourselves.’

flutherother's avatar

I think it is healthier for everyone if you do the right thing, especially yourself.

MissA's avatar

You might think in terms of not burdening your SO…yet releasing this in your mind. You’d need to stop the behavior on your own and commit to your future behavior.

Even if you don’t get caught…the ripple of intent gets tossed into the universe and who knows how it will be revealed.

My very personal two-cents worth.

From what I know of you here on fluther…such behavior does not seem like you. You seem honest and forthright…strong and beautiful.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@MissA: I didn’t do so well putting my examples in italics, they’re both stuff I pulled out of my hat from things I’ve heard people say. There’s no way I’d do something snakey behind my SO’s back, I really have come to believe this kind of stuff adds up. I try to live in a no-shenanigans zone :)

MissA's avatar

I’m with you, my dear.

Thanks for clarifying.

shoebox's avatar

You might wanna keep things quiet, do something behind some ones back, or not come clean or be honest about something

oh well, karma will bite you hard on the ass one day… so be careful how you treat some one who’s put their trust into you.

captainsmooth's avatar

It depends on the person. A person that reflects on their actions and the consequences is probably less likely to do things that are “wrong.” When they do they are more likely to be guilt riden. People that are less reflective and more implusive have a way of not considering the effect of their actions on others, and have an easier time putting whatever they did behind them.

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