Guilt trips are trips that no one wants to go on. The whole point of using guilt trips in relationships is to make the other person feel bad so you come out on top. Guilt trips are a way of manipulating people we are in relationships with to get our way. Guilt trips may get you what you want at first, but it is only a matter of time before they backfire. Why? Once a person realizes the guilt trip game you are playing, they feel defensive rather than guilty. Instead of feeling bad about themselves, they feel resentment towards you. Because you felt the need to make them feel bad, they now have bad feelings towards you.
Have you been taken on one too many guilt trips? How can you tell if you are being guilt tripped? A good example would be this: Let’s say you went on vacation but your significant other had to work. They told you they didn’t mind, it wasn’t your fault, you should go, and that they were fine with it. So you went. You agreed that when they had their vacation, you would take a vacation with them at that time. While on vacation you get a message from them saying they haven’t heard from you and that you must be having so much fun that you have been too busy to contact them. They tell you how happy they are that you are having a good time and wish they were there too. That right there is a guilt trip. They couldn’t just be happy you are having fun or hope that you are enjoying your vacation. Nope. They had to try to make you feel guilty for the fact that they aren’t there. (Not your fault). They also tried to make you feel guilty for the fact that you are having fun and they aren’t. (Again, not your fault). They also wanted you to feel guilty for not contacting them a lot. (You’re on vacation, get real. Why should you feel guilty unless you never contacted them at all?)
The real mistake would be to apologize for having a good time and not contacting them constantly while away. They should actually be the one to feel guilty for such childish acting out while you are on vacation. They should feel guilty for being so selfish and playing games like this instead of just letting you have a good time. But they won’t. They want you to be the bad guy, even though you have nothing to feel guilty for.
Why should you feel guilty for wanting to spend time alone with your friends or family, unless you never have time for them. Why should they give you a guilt trip for every little thing you do or say? Sometimes we do or say things without knowing how the one we love will feel. There is nothing wrong with them telling you that certain words you used or behaviors made them feel bad, to a certain extent of course. They cannot use the excuse that they are an overly sensitive person all the time. They need to grow a thicker skin rather than you constantly walking on eggshells. Sure, you can be more sensitive to them, but they need to deal with their own insecurities and emotions as well. It cannot and should not be all your responsibility.
Have you ever been involved with someone who keeps borrowing money from you and never pays you back? You feel guilty not giving it to them, because they took you on a guilt trip to make that happen. They wanted you to feel guilty so you would be sure to loan them money. Now they don’t feel one bit guilty that they have done that, nor do they feel guilty for having no intention of paying you back. Should you decide to cut them off, they will try to take you on a guilt trip because if you really loved them, you would loan them they money. It never occurred to them that if they really loved you, they wouldn’t keep lying to you. They lie when they say they will pay you back. They use you for your money. They take advantage of you. They manipulate you. But you are the one that should feel guilty? No way.
The next time someone tries to take you on a guilt trip, tell them you are aware of what they are doing. Let them know that their game isn’t going to work anymore. They won’t like it, but it can be the first step towards removing guilt trips from your relationship.