Personal Development

How to Deal with People Who Guilt Trip You

Keenan Cullen
Written by Keenan Cullen

Do you have anyone in your life right now who tries to manipulate you into doing what they want by using guilt trips on you?

You know, in order to get you to bend to their whims and desires, they toy with your conscience and use it against you in a way that it makes you feel guilty for not doing what they want?

And then, doesn’t that guilty feeling often serve as motivation enough to make you actually do it?

Maybe you’re familiar with some of the common tactics used…

“If you loved me, you would [insert their desire].”

“After all I’ve done for you, you’re not going to [insert the action they want you to perform]?”

“How can you be so selfish?”

There may be no end to the ways manipulators try to guilt trip others, but these are some of the common ones.

Now, how do you currently handle yourself in this kind of situation?

Do you allow such manipulators to take advantage of your conscience, letting their tactics arouse feelings of unwarranted guilt and obligation in you, and then you carry out their wishes to relieve yourself of those negative feelings?

If so, how do you feel about it later?

Don’t you tend to feel somewhat used and controlled?

And furthermore, don’t you also feel resentment towards the manipulator for abusing your conscience, which is otherwise a valuable asset for happy conduct and living – and maybe you even feel anger towards yourself for knowingly letting someone manipulate you like this?

And do you perhaps even vow that that will be the last time, yet still you continue to fall victim to such bad behavior over and over again?

How would you like to learn a simple technique you can use the next time someone tries to guilt trip you that will stop them dead in their tracks?

Not only will it stop them and prevent them from trying to guilt trip and manipulate you in the future, it will fill you with a renewed sense of self-confidence for standing your ground.

I mean, when you let others guilt trip you into getting their way, doesn’t it sometimes make you feel a little weak and small inside … like you’re a bit of a push-over that lets others walk over them?

Well, those days are about to end for good!

If you have someone in your life who routinely tries to guilt trip you into following their wishes, and if you repeat this technique every single time you encounter their guilt trips, it will bring them to the realization that their tactics will no longer work on you.

With each repeated stand you make against their guilt trips, it will further reinforce the new reality that manipulation no longer works on you.

So just what is it?

And how does it work?

Before we get to that, let’s first discuss people who try to get their way with others by arousing feelings of unwarranted guilt in them.

Let me ask you this…

Do you think they’re consciously aware of what they’re doing when they slap a guilt trip on you?

Do you think they actually think to themselves, “Hmmm, I want this person to do what I want. I know what I’ll do … I’ll first make them feel guilty by using their conscience against them, then, when I’ve aroused this emotion in them, they’ll be compelled to do whatever I want. Brilliant!”

Or do you think they’ve just learned unconsciously that if they can arouse another person’s guilt, they can usually get their way, and that they’re not really aware of the thought process involved and what they’re actually doing?

In my experience using the technique I’ll share with you in a moment, it has been proved to me that people who use guilt trips aren’t usually consciously aware of what they’re doing.

They have no clue.

It’s like riding a bike; once you’ve learned how to do it, you do it without thinking about it, right?

It’s the same with people who use guilt trips, hoping to get their way with others. They, too, do it without realizing it.

Well, what would happen if you brought what they’re really trying to do to their conscience attention?

What if you forced them to see and confront their behavior?

How would they respond to it, and what kind of outcome would be produced?

Because that’s the essence of this technique; you call people out whenever they try to guilt trip you by bringing their behavior into the spotlight where they have to look at it.

But you don’t do it in an accusing, blaming sort of way.

After all, how do people usually respond to that?

Don’t they just tend to deny it, and sometimes even start refuting it by arguing?

But that doesn’t address the issue at hand and get a resolution, does it?

So what’s an alternative approach which does produce desirable results?

How do you get them to stop with their guilt trips?

Just this…

When someone tries to guilt trip you, what you do is you ask them a very simple question in a calm, level-headed manner; which is this:

“You’re not trying to make me feel guilty – are you?”

If you ask a person trying to use guilt trips on you that very question every time they attempt to use your conscience against you, it has a very peculiar affect.

What happens is it brings their secret unconscious motive to a conscious level. Then a light bulb goes off in their head. Like I mentioned earlier, people who use guilt trips usually aren’t conscious of when they do it and what they’re really doing. But when you bring it to their conscious attention by asking that question, it causes them to realize their true intention.

This can be a shocking experience for them, and they may even act a little confused. Not only can it hurt their pride to be forced to see and acknowledge that they’re behaving in an unacceptable manner, it can also make them feel ashamed of themselves for getting busted for doing something dishonest or deceitful.

So what often ends up happening when you ask someone if they’re trying to make you feel guilty is they will start to stammer and hum and haw. You’ll probably hear the wheels turning in their head, and you can sense that they’re thinking, “Uh oh, they’re onto me.”

Now, one of three things will happen…

Either they’ll get embarrassed by being called out on their manipulative behavior and drop the guilt trip immediately.

Congratulations. Mission accomplished.

Or else they’ll deny it by saying, “No, I wasn’t.”

In which case a simple statement like, “Oh, it sounded like were there for a moment” works well.

Again, mission accomplished. You’ve put an end to their guilt trip.

Or finally, they’ll persist by trying to continue with the guilt trip again.

If they do try again, simply ignore their words and repeat the question again:

“You’re not trying to make me feel guilty – are you?”

Continue to stand your ground and repeat it as often as you have to until they stop.

They will eventually get the message.

If you encounter guilt trips from any of the people in your life, I can guarantee that asking them this simple question will produce the desired result – to get them to stop guilt tripping you, and stop eventually stop for good!

Now, there can be the odd situation where the manipulator reacts by throwing a temper tantrum. When called out on their manipulative behavior, most people become ashamed of themselves. But there are the rare individuals who will respond to it by getting angry. Such people are short-sighted. They can’t see themselves as they are. They’re too blind to accept the truth.

In this situation, walking away or ending the call is probably the best and only way to deal with the scenario, and a person like that.

So if you find someone in your life commonly tries to get their way with you by using guilt trips, just remember this simple question:

“You’re not trying to make me feel guilty – are you?”

Every time you use it to make a stand for yourself, you’re training that person that guilt trips are unacceptable behavior and you won’t tolerate being treated that way, until eventually they will just give up on trying them for the simple reason that you’ve taught them they don’t work anymore, and who continues to do things that don’t work or get the result they want?

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About the author

Keenan Cullen

Keenan Cullen

Hi, my name’s Keenan Cullen, and I hope you profited from my article. I’m passionate about becoming the very best communicator I can possibly be. And if you want to learn more about what I’ve discovered about dealing and relating with people effectively, visit my blog or sign-up for my free weekly articles here