False guilt is that guilt which is laid upon you by others in their efforts to control you and make you responsible for their lives. A simple example of this kind of guilt is the mother who says to her son: "Go out and have a good time. Don't worry about me being here all alone. I'm used to it." Naturally, the child feels guilty and says to himself: "I really shouldn't go out and have a good time while she's all alone." The guilt the child feels is false guilt. It's false in the sense that the child isn't doing anything he should feel guilty about. Doing what he wants in no way takes away from another or denies the mother the opportunity to have what she wants.
Webster defines this side of guilt as "A feeling of self-reproach from believing
that one has done a wrong."
Real guilt occurs when you suppress another person mentally, physically, spiritually; when you deny another person his liveliness, his natural ability, his happiness and self-expression, when you deny other persons the support they need to believe in themselves.
Webster defines this side of guilt as: "The fact of having done a wrong or committed an offense." In the simple example of the parent and child, the parent was acting out of real guilt while the child was acting out of false guilt
and fear. Each, of course, suffered.
I think it is clear that each of us suffers from a combination of real and false guilt. We suffer real guilt when we are the suppressors and false guilt when we are suppressed.