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What Causes Guilt in Relationships And How To Deal With It

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What Causes Guilt in Relationships And How To Deal With It

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The feeling of guilt has been said to be one of the worst feelings in the world. Sometimes, we feel guilty for no reason at all. Other times, we sense the natural, stomach-twisting feeling of knowing we’ve done something to cause hurt to someone we love.

While guilt can sometimes result from an overactive conscience, oftentimes, that sinking feeling is a subtle cue from your body telling you to pay attention.

In this article, I will share the four main reasons people experience guilt in relationships, along with some helpful ways to deal with this natural feeling.

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4 Main Causes of Guilt in Relationships

Here are the four common causes of guilt in relationships and how you can deal with them.

1. Feeling as If You’re Not Good Enough

One main reason for experiencing guilt is a sense of unworthiness. Feeling as if you’re not good enough for someone can be disheartening. These thoughts stem from low self-esteem and can eventually sabotage relationships if not dealt with properly.

In addition to feelings of unworthiness, some of us can be more susceptible to feelings of guilt due to anxiety. According to Psychology Today, the fight or flight response of guilt-proneness is “like having an overactive smoke detector in your head.”

While wanting to be the best version of yourself for your partner is natural, second-guessing yourself and your relationship can lead to feelings of guilt and unhelpful thoughts like, “I’m just holding them back,” or, “They’re better off finding someone more like them.”

Instead, experiment with more helpful thoughts to prevent yourself from comparing yourself to your significant other. More likely than not, your partner’s personality is a lot different than yours, and that’s okay!

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Many couples find that opposites attract, which can contribute to a rich dynamic when each person brings their unique strengths to the relationship.

Remember, your significant other chose you, not any other person you may be comparing yourself to. They chose you for you, so feel encouraged to be yourself!

How to Deal With It

If you find yourself dealing with low self-esteem regularly in your relationships, consider speaking to a licensed therapist. A professional can help you understand how to reframe your thoughts to think more positively and in a more helpful tone so you can focus on your love for your partner instead of any potential negative, anxiety-inducing thoughts.

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Being able to shift your mindset is a wonderful skill that can benefit all areas of your life.

2. Knowing You’re Not Forthcoming With Your Significant Other

On the other hand, guilt can arise when you know you’ve done something wrong. Whatever your morals may be, the feeling in the pit of your stomach that you can’t seem to shake will continue to persist until you decide to have a conversation with your partner.

Guilt can stem from any circumstance where trust has been breached in a relationship, big or small.

Perhaps you live with your significant other and overspent your agreed-upon budget for the month by making an unnecessary purchase. Instead of allowing the guilt to grow, have a candid conversation with your partner about your spending habits.

They will appreciate you being honest instead of hiding the purchase among credit card bills and other discretionary spending. The conversation could even be an opportunity to ask for help in managing your money if you’ve been challenged by sticking to a budget.

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On a more serious level, perhaps you divulged intimate details about challenges you’re experiencing with your partner to a coworker and felt bad about your decision later. Or, maybe you took your actions a step further and betrayed a secret your partner asked you to hold in confidence.

How to Deal With It

Since trust is the foundation of every successful relationship, it’s understandable that mismanagement of emotional intimacy can cause trust issues with your partner and can oftentimes lead to a breakup. If you find yourself in a position where you’ve broken the trust of your partner in any context, the only way to move forward is to tell your partner the truth.

While being honest can hurt sometimes, your partner deserves to know and will likely have more respect for your position in your honesty with them than if they were to find out through other means.

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3. Staying in the Relationship When Your Heart Isn’t In It

While a sense of guilt can develop from doing something morally wrong, these feelings can also arise when you don’t act upon a situation at all, allowing thoughts to ruminate in your brain. This preoccupied feeling is synonymous with the guilt associated with remaining stagnant when deep down, you know your head and heart aren’t aligned.

As with all situations, honesty is the best policy. Don’t wait to see if things get better. Open and honest communication with your partner is important.

Even simply admitting you’re not feeling as committed anymore can feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders, and it may even take the pressure off of the relationship a bit, depending on how your partner accepts the news. Either way, being forthcoming about your true feelings will allow you to feel more like yourself.

However, the guilt that comes from knowing your partner envisions the rest of their life with you and the realization that you don’t feel the same way can understandably feel painful. Sometimes, people choose not to continue a relationship to marriage, and that’s a normal part of life.

Staying in a relationship that’s not feeling right is not the best decision for either one of you.

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How to Deal With It

Sharing your feelings is the first step to coming to an agreement about which way your relationship will go.

No matter how long the two of you have been together, don’t allow those factors to override your decision if you’ve already made up your mind. No one wants to have their time wasted with someone who is not honest. You should respect your partner who you still care for and not waste their time.

While breaking up is never easy, both you and your significant other will appreciate partners who feel the same depth of love towards them as they feel towards you.

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4. When You Are Both Too Busy for Each Other

Relationships ebb and flow. Being on the same page as your partner isn’t always automatic. Life happens, work gets busy, and other obligations can prevent the two of you from regularly connecting, which can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt.

Remember that the guilt that arises from not being on the same wavelength as your partner is normal and understandable. If you’re the busier partner, you may feel more intense feelings of guilt with thoughts like, “My partner deserves someone who can make time for them,” or “We’re not connecting like we used to.”

When you truly love your significant other and see a future with them, you can communicate your needs and ask for patience. When work picks up, or you find yourself busier than usual, reassure your partner that while your relationship is incredibly important to you, this particular season of life is busier than usual.

How to Deal With It

Consider setting a getaway date with your partner when you know your busy schedule will be slowing down where the two of you can come back together and reconnect.

When both of you have something exciting to look forward to beyond the shorter dates you share in the meantime, you can put any feelings of guilt on the sideline because you know an opportunity to reconnect is coming up soon. Then, when that date comes around, you can celebrate each other and toast to patience and your love!

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Final Thoughts

Any feeling of guilt is not fun. Those of you with “overactive smoke detectors” are more susceptible to feelings of guilt that are not necessarily correlated with any wrongdoing, such as feeling not good enough for your partner or being too busy during a particular season of life.

On the other hand, guilt can be a helpful emotion to help your moral compass guide you and differentiate between right and wrong. Listen to your inner voice when you find yourself in a position to do something wrong and determine which path you should take.

Overall, guilt can be both helpful and hurtful and can be felt for many different reasons. The solution to both kinds of guilt is communication.

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Communicate with your partner by explaining how you’re feeling, asking for help, and being honest. Communicate with yourself, too. Don’t ignore those thoughts and feelings. Listen to your body, and don’t allow any negative thoughts to ruminate in your brain.

Once you act upon the feeling of guilt and express what’s on your mind, you’ll be relieved, your partner will appreciate knowing what is going on, and you’ll be able to feel closer as a result.

Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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Global Warming Causes Fewer Tropical Cyclones

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Global Warming Causes Fewer Tropical Cyclones

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But having fewer hurricanes and typhoons does not make them less of a threat. Those that do manage to form are more likely to reach higher intensities as the world continues to heat up with the burning of fossil fuels.


Scientists have been trying for decades to answer the question of how climate change will affect tropical cyclones, given the large-scale death and destruction these storms can cause. Climate models have suggested the number of storms should decline as global temperatures rise, but that had not been confirmed in the historical record. Detailed tropical cyclone data from satellites only go back until about the 1970s, which is not long enough to pick out trends driven by global warming.


The new study worked around those limitations by using what is called a reanalysis: the highest-quality available observations are fed into a weather computer model. “That’s something which gets us close to what the observation would have looked like,” essentially “filling in the gaps,” says study co-author Savin Chand, an atmospheric scientist at Federation University Australia. This gives researchers a reasonably realistic picture of the atmosphere over time, in this case going back to 1850. Chand and his team developed an algorithm that could pick out tropical cyclones in that reanalysis data set, enabling them to look for trends over a 162-year period.

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They found the 13 percent global decrease in tropical cyclones over the period of 1900 to 2012, compared with 1850 to 1900 (the latter is widely considered a pre-global-warming reference period). There was an even larger decline of about 23 percent since around 1950, around the time global temperatures started to noticeably rise. The declines vary in different parts of the ocean. For example, the western North Pacific saw 9 percent fewer storms, and the eastern North Pacific saw 18 percent fewer over the 20th and early 21st centuries. And the North Atlantic results indicated a peculiar trend, showing an overall decrease over the past century—but with an uptick in recent decades. That shorter-term increase could be linked to natural climate variations, better detection of storms or a decrease in aerosol pollution (because aerosols have a cooling effect, and tropical cyclones thrive on warm waters).


The study provides crucial ground-truth information for evaluating climate model projections of further future changes in cyclone frequency, says Kimberly Wood, a tropical meteorologist at Mississippi State University, who was not involved with the paper.


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Chand and his colleagues link the decrease in tropical storm frequency to changes in atmospheric conditions that constrict convection—the process where warm, moist air surges upward in the atmosphere, which allows tropical cyclones to develop from small weather disturbances that act as the “seeds.” The researchers think those changes are caused by warming-driven shifts in global atmospheric circulation patterns. “It’s a pretty holistic view,” Wood says of the analysis.


But even if there are fewer tropical cyclones overall, a larger proportion of those that do form are expected to reach higher intensities because global warming is also raising sea-surface temperatures and making the atmosphere warmer and moister—the conditions these storms thrive on. “Once a tropical cyclone forms,” Chand says, “there is a lot of fuel in the atmosphere.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

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    Andrea Thompson, an associate editor at Scientific American, covers sustainability. Follow her on Twitter @AndreaTWeather Credit: Nick Higgins

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    The effect of breast cancer screening is declining

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    The effect of breast cancer screening is declining

    Screening for breast cancer has a cost. This is shown by a Danish/Norwegian study that analysed 10,580 breast cancer deaths among Norwegian women aged 50 to 75 years.

    “The beneficial effect of screening is currently declining because the treatment of cancer is improving. Over the last 25 years, the mortality rate for breast cancer has been virtually halved,” says Henrik Støvring, who is behind the study.

    According to the researcher, the problem is that screenings lead to both overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which has a cost both on a human level and in terms of the economy.

    Overdiagnosis and overtreatment

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    When the screening was introduced, the assessment was that around twenty per cent of the deaths from breast cancer among those screened could be averted. While this corresponded to approximately 220 deaths a year in Denmark 25 years ago, today the number has been halved.

    The study shows that in 1996 it was necessary to invite 731 women to avoid a single breast cancer death in Norway, you would have to invite at least 1364 and probably closer to 3500 to achieve the same result in 2016.

    On the other hand, the adverse effects of screening are unchanged.

    “One in five women aged 50-70, who is told they have breast cancer, has received a ‘superfluous’ diagnosis because of screening — without screening, they would never have noticed or felt that they had breast cancer during their lifetime,” says the researcher.

    One in five corresponds to 900 women annually in Denmark. In addition, every year more than 5000 women are told that the screening has given rise to suspicion of breast cancer — a suspicion that later turns out to be incorrect.

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    Peaceful, small nodes — but in who?

    Henrik Støvring notes that the result is not beneficial for the screening programmes. According to him, the Norwegian results can also be transferred to Denmark. Here, women between 50 and 69 are offered a mammogram screening every second year. This is an X-ray examination of the breast, which can show whether the woman has cellular changes that could be breast cancer.

    The Danish screening programme became a national programme offered to all woman in the age group in 2007 — three years after the Norwegians. Approx. 300,000 Danish women are invited to screening for breast cancer every year.

    According to the researcher, the challenge is that we are not currently able to tell the difference between the small cancer tumours that will kill you and those that will not. Some of these small nodes are so peaceful or slow-growing that the woman would die a natural death with undetected breast cancer, if she had not been screened. But once a cancer node has been discovered, it must of course be treated, even though this was not necessary for some of the women — we just do not know who.

    “The women who are invited to screening live longer because all breast cancer patients live longer, and because we have got better drugs, more effective chemotherapy, and because we now have cancer care pathways, which mean the healthcare system reacts faster than it did a decade ago,” says Henrik Støvring.

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    Materials provided by Aarhus University. Original written by Helle Horskjær Hansen. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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    Thin-film photovoltaic technology combines efficiency and versatility

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    Thin-film photovoltaic technology combines efficiency and versatility

    Stacking solar cells increases their efficiency. Working with partners in the EU-funded PERCISTAND project, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with an efficiency of nearly 25percent- the highest value achieved thus far with this technology. Moreover, this combination of materials is light and versatile, making it possible to envision the use of these tandem solar cells in vehicles, portable equipment, and devices that can be folded or rolled up. The researchers present their results in the journal ACS Energy Letters.

    Perovskite solar cells have made astounding progress over the past decade. Their efficiency is now comparable to that of the long-established silicon solar cells. Perovskites are innovative materials with a special crystal structure. Researchers worldwide are working to get perovskite photovoltaic technology ready for practical applications. The more electricity they generate per unit of surface area, the more attractive solar cells are for consumers

    The efficiency of solar cells can be increased by stacking two or more cells. If each of the stacked solar cells is especially efficient at absorbing light from a different part of the solar spectrum, inherent losses can be reduced and efficiency boosted. The efficiency is a measure of how much of the incident light is converted into electricity. Thanks to their versatility, perovskite solar cells make outstanding components for such tandems. Tandem solar cells using perovskites and silicon have reached a record efficiency level of over 29percent, considerably higher than that of individual cells made of perovskite (25.7percent) or silicon (26.7percent).

    Combining Perovskites with CIS for Mobility and Flexibility

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    Combining perovskites with other materials such as copper-indium-diselenide (CIS) or copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) promises further benefits. Such combinations will make it possible to produce light and flexible tandem solar cells that can be installed not only on buildings but also on vehicles and portable equipment. Such solar cells could even be folded or rolled up for storage and extended when needed, for example on blinds or awnings to provide shade and generate electricity at the same time.

    An international team of researchers headed by Dr. Marco A. Ruiz-Preciado and tenure-track professor Ulrich W. Paetzold from the Light Technology Institute (LTI) and the Institute of Microstructure Technology (IMT) at KIT has succeeded in producing perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells with a maximum efficiency of 24.9percent (23.5percent certified). “This is the highest reported efficiency for this technology and the first high efficiency level reached at all with a nearly gallium-free copper-indium diselenide solar cell in a tandem,” says Ruiz-Preciado. Reducing the amount of gallium results in a narrow band gap of approximately one electron volt (eV), which is very close to the ideal value of 0.96eV for the lower solar cell in a tandem.

    CIS Solar Cells with Narrow Band Gap- Perovskite Solar Cells with Low Bromine Content

    The band gap is a material characteristic that determines the part of the solar spectrum that a solar cell can absorb to generate electricity. In a monolithic tandem solar cell, the band gaps must be such that the two cells can produce similar currents to achieve maximum efficiency. If the lower cell’s band gap changes, the upper cell’s band gap has to be adjusted to the change, and vice versa.

    To adjust the band gap for efficient tandem integration, perovskites with high bromine content are usually used. However, this often leads to voltage drops and phase instability. Since the KIT researchers and their partners use CIS solar cells with a narrow band gap at the base of their tandems, they can produce their upper cells using perovskites with low bromine content, which results in cells that are more stable and efficient.

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    “Our study demonstrates the potential of perovskite/CIS tandem solar cells and establishes the foundation for future development to make further improvements in their efficiency,” says Paetzold. “We’ve reached this milestone thanks to the outstanding cooperation in the EU’s PERCISTAND project and, in particular, thanks to our close cooperation with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research.” Important groundwork was done in the CAPITANO project funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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