Guilt trip in relationships: How it works and how to respond

Published on Nov 20, 2022 11:30 AM IST

From validating to communicating and addressing emotions in healthy ways, here are a few ways of dealing with guilt trips in relationships.

Guilt trip in relationships: How it works and how to respond(Unsplash)
Guilt trip in relationships: How it works and how to respond(Unsplash)
ByTapatrisha Das, Delhi

Relationships are based on two people’s emotions, understanding and the will to stick around each other through good and bad times. However, not all relationships are healthy for us. We often come across relationships that look toxic, are unhealthy for the people involved in it and for people around them as well. One of the most important tools used in unhealthy relationships is the way of guilt tripping. Used in multiple ways of words and actions, guilt trip involves a person using power of manipulation on the other person, to make them stay back in an abusive environment. There are a few ways of spotting guilt trips, and how it can cause harm for the relationship and the people involved:

ALSO READ: 5 key ingredients for intimacy in a relationship

Convincing: In toxic relationships, people use guilt trips to convince their partners somehow that they are the victim. They also spin the reality in a way to make them feel bad for their actions or words – no matter however that is intended to be.

Separation: Guilt trip also involves separating a person from their roots and their support system – uprooting them from their families, friends and the ones they can go to in need.

Emotional bind: It also involves sorts of emotional blackmailing, where they bind the other person to stay back in the relationship with an emotional threat.

False accusations: Often they put false accusations on the other person and hold their love back, causing panic and anxiety.

Marriage and Family Therapist Emily H Sanders suggested a few ways of dealing with guilt trips:

Acknowledge: The first step of addressing guilt trips is acknowledging that we are exposed to it, and knowing the ways that are used on us.

Validate: We should give the partner the validation about the things that they are not getting, and cannot be provided to them from our end.

Manage: We must keep respect and dignity in highest standards in any relationship, ask them to manage the emotions that they are going through, without complying with it every time.

Communicate: We should ask the person to communicate with us about their emotions and feelings, and address it in a healthy way.

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