How to stop letting others make you feel guilty about their mistakes
Your partner has hurt you, but they make it seem as if it was your fault.
What do you do?
Some people are masters at twisting any situation in their own favor, especially in times when they are in the wrong. When it comes to avoiding responsibility, there are experienced manipulators who can convince everyone else of their bogus innocence. They can make you feel as if your actions led to the mistake they have made.
This way, they are making you feel guilty about the unpleasant consequences they have created.
If you are a genuine, kindhearted, thoughtful being, then at least one person in your circle has tried and even succeeded in making you blame yourself for a mistake they have made. This nasty technique is called guilt-tripping and is one of the most diabolical emotional manipulation tools.
What happens when someone tries to guilt-trip you?
Indeed, guilt can be a powerful weapon in terms of emotional manipulation. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong, a controlling person can turn the situation upside down and make it seem as if it was all your fault. Of course, guilt-tripping is not always intentionally used. However, it usually has one goal – to make you feel responsible for someone else’s unhappiness.
Oftentimes, this behavior comes from people who are afraid of directly expressing their needs.
For instance, someone who intends to guilt-trip you might:
- give you the silent treatment;
- call attention to their own efforts to make you feel as if you did nothing to help;
- make mean and/or sarcastic remarks about the situation;
These are only a few of the things they might do to play with your kindness and make you feel guilty for their own attitude. Hopefully, knowing what to expect, you will eventually realize that it is not your fault that someone has difficulties expressing their thoughts in a healthy way.
How can you handle the situation?
When you sense you’re becoming a target of guilt-tripping, you first need to remind yourself you did nothing to deserve being manipulated that way. You can do that by acknowledging your own emotions and your personal observations regarding the situation. In the end, if you come to the realization that you did nothing wrong, and it was not your actions that triggered the bitter consequences, you should stand up for yourself.
Some people will always find a way to bend the facts to their advantage. They will blame-shift, guilt-trip, and gaslight the hell out of you, as long as you let them. But if you learn how to fight for what you believe in and always stay true to yourself, no one would try to manipulate you.
And for the ones who try to control your emotions unintentionally, open communication is always the key. If you genuinely believe they did not want to play with your feelings, make an effort to find the reason behind their guilt-tripping behavior. However, never forget to assert that it was not your fault.