I thought long and hard before making the topic of guilt tripping as this week’s Forgiveness Sundays post. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it’s a good fit as most people who guilt trip don’t stop and think about the cost to both parties when doing guilt tripping. Also, people being guilt tripped may take a while to realize the coercion and manipulation behind the guilt tripping.
Don’t allow friends or family to guilt trip you. I have a friend who loves to guilt trip their spouse, children, sibling, parents, in-laws, and friends. This friend doesn’t understand why they can’t guilt trip me. It’s simple – guilt tripping only works if you allow the person the power to guilt trip you. If you willingly give the individual the power to guilt trip you, you have given them a lot more control of your emotions than you realize. I don’t recommend giving any normal human being such power.
It took me a while to realize I had the power to ignore when people tried to guilt trip me. As someone who worked in the mental health field, I saw some therapists and other medical professionals use the guilt trip route to coerce or manipulate clients into doing what they wanted the client to do. That rarely worked out well for the client in the long run. If anything, the client would at some point realize they had been guilt tripped and hold it against the medical professional. Here’s a good article on the cost to both parties – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201305/7-ways-get-out-guilt-trips.
In my opinion, guilt tripping is something to be avoided. It tends to backfire in the long-term more than it helps in the short-term. My friend doesn’t realize the long-term effects guilt tripping has on their relationship with their spouse, children, family members, and friends. The more one guilt trips someone, the harder it is to continue forgiving them. At some point, it’s best to cut the relationship out of your life. It’s not easy if it’s a spouse or parent, but sometimes that’s the best solution if you can’t get the person to recognize why it’s bad to guilt trip others.
Other Forgiveness Sundays posts: https://upsdownsfamilyhistory.wordpress.com/tag/Forgiveness-Sundays/