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Why Guilt Tripping Is a Form of Bullying

Rana Kordahi has been writing fiction, short stories, and articles for the past 15 years. When writing, her imagination never lets her down.

Explore the dangers of guilt tripping.

Explore the dangers of guilt tripping.

What Is a Guilt Trip?

A guilt trip is a form of psychological abuse. Some psychologists may call it emotional manipulation. I call it bullying.

Some people are first-rate experts at laying guilt trips and know exactly what technique to use to get their own way. Others do it on an unconscious level due to feelings of hurt or anger. If you realize that you've been guilt tripping in any form, stop! Take a look in the mirror, and ask yourself this question: "Am I not worthy enough to receive the love and attention I deserve without emotionally bullying others?"

Do You Need to Make People Feel Guilty?

If you need to lay guilt on your spouse, child, friend or sibling for any reason, think again. Do you really need to abuse and manipulate to get your way? Do you need to make your spouse feel guilty in order for them to love you more? Do you need to force your son/daughter to feel extremely stressed about succeeding in their school exams? Or do you egotistically want them to follow in your career footsteps, because God forbid you wasted your life on the creation of this child so they can be different to you? And should your best friend feel like a traitor for spending more time with their new love interest than you?

I myself have never been a fan of guilt trippers and will run a mile when I smell one. They usually come across as needy, especially in relationships. Some of these people have been playing the guilt card all their lives . But beware, the person on the receiving end could eventually turn their guilt into resentment.

Who Are Guilt Trippers, and What Are Some of Their Traits?

  1. They make you feel responsible for their pain. Guilt trippers will make you feel responsible for what they do, feel and have suffered. They dramatize situations and at time have a nagging nature.
  2. They give you the silent treatment. The silent treatment or cold shoulder are another form of a silent guilt trip. Often the offending party expecting you to become paranoid to what you’ve done or manipulate you into feelings of shame and guilt.
  3. They have parents who are guilt trippers. Some have had parents who have played the guilt game on them their whole lives. For not having been a good son/daughter, or good enough at school and comparing them to their friend’s children. And when they reach adulthood, their parents may say things like ‘Why don’t you ever help me? Or ‘You’ll be sorry when I’m gone,’ ‘Why don’t you visit,’ and the most famous of all lines, ‘After all my sacrifices.’
  4. They are insecure. Some guilt trippers may be insecure and needy. They need to feel wanted, loved and appreciated, hence use this form of abuse to gain a sense of worth.
  5. They act like martyrs. Some play martyr, always reminding you about everything they have done for you. They definitely know how to make you feel bad to get what they want.
Guilt tripping your child creates a cycle of guilt.

Guilt tripping your child creates a cycle of guilt.

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Guilt Tripping Your Child

Now the worst thing one can do is lay a guilt trip on a child. Yelling and screaming about how disappointed you feel is darn right selfish and egotistical. What kind of nut are you? A tiger mum? Do you want your child to obey you because of fear? Do you want to be another statistic who has lost their child to suicide, because you had such high expectations? Or maybe you want to sit alone in a nursing home, wondering why your children don’t care.

Guilt Tripping Your Spouse

Constant guilt trips on a spouse are a sure way for a doomed relationship. Have you heard these familiar lines? ‘I don’t feel that you’re making time for me.’ ‘You need to make a commitment and put a ring on it.’ or ‘You never show me affection.’ Statements such as these are darn right naïve, if not completely pointless, as they will only push your partner further away and close off emotionally.

If your spouse isn’t making time for you, then make the time for yourself. If they’re not taking you out, go out with your friends. Take up a new hobby and keep busy. And Before you know it, they will be laying the guilt trip on you for not being available enough. If after five years of dating, they haven’t made a commitment to marry you, they probably never will, maybe your constant nagging for marriage turned them off. Perhaps they don’t believe in a that piece of commitment A4 paper or simply because they’re not that in love with you.

Do you make your friends feel guilty for living their own lives?

Do you make your friends feel guilty for living their own lives?

Guilt Tripping Your Friends

What about your friends? Are you making them feel guilty because they have other friends? Spend too much time with their boyfriend/girlfriend or simply don’t have the same social appetite as you do? If so then stop. You’re only making this person resent you, spend time with you out of guilt and this friend will eventually pull away. And if you don’t feel like they have been a good friend, then maybe you should find some others who will be at your beck and social calls.

Is Someone Constantly Laying a Guilt Trip on You?

If you’re on the receiving end of a guilt trip and truly believe you have done no wrong, stand up to this bully. Their behavior may not seem that aggressive and could be deemed as harmless, but believe me IT’S NOT. The emotional blackmail and manipulation of this person is a way of dominating you on either a conscience or unconscious level.

Finally we all have been victims or aggressors of guilt trips. You must remember that you alone are responsible for your own feelings, no one else. To depend on others to measure your level of happiness could only lead to disappointment. It’s also important to realize that using 'Guilt Trips' is an unhealthy form of psychological abuse, may be self destructive and could eventually lead to a negative results.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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