Guilty no more! How to deal with partners who send you on a guilt trip

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Jun 17, 2017 02:40 PM IST

Experts tell you how guilt trips induced by your partner can be relationship killers and what steps you can take to get out of it.

The awful guilt trip; as juvenile and exasperating they are; they are all too common in relationships today. Guilt trips can be defined as a situation where one of the partners tries to induce the feeling of guilt in the other partner for the purpose of manipulation. Most romantic relationships are susceptible to guilt trips. This is because partners feel a sense of commitment to each other and naturally crave acceptance from one another. As a result of this, if there is an argument, then usually one of the partners is quick to give in to the feeling of guilt to please the other and to avoid upsetting the balance of the relationship.

Is your partner manipulating you by making you feel guilty? Here’s how you can avoid it.(Istock)
Is your partner manipulating you by making you feel guilty? Here’s how you can avoid it.(Istock)

So, if you find yourself feeling guilty in your relationship for no reason whatsoever, then here’s what Dr Manish Jain, psychiatrist and Shivani Misri Sadhoo, relationship expert, suggest you to do to get out of a guilt trip.

Recognising guilt trip

Partners who guilt trip tend to exaggerate a particular situation and only present their point of view to make you feel as if you are the one to be blamed for the problem. They cleverly make ‘always’ or ‘never’ statements and accuse you of intentionally not being caring. At times they can be sarcastic also. Examples of guilt trip statements are “you never think about other people’s opinion” or “it’s always about you and not me”.

Calling out the guilt trippers

The first step is to politely tell your partner that you are aware of the importance of task that they are trying to guilt you into doing. Then frankly tell them that there is no need to make you feel guilty as it can lead to resentment in the relationship, even though you end complying with their wishes.

The ultimatum

You need to have an honest conversation with your partner and give them an ultimatum. If they value the relationship then they cannot continue with this kind of manipulative behaviour. Doing so will only lead to resentment between the partners and can lead to a break-up.

The way forward

Once your partner understands the severity of the situation, then you can explain them that they don’t require to guilt trip you into doing things. In fact, they can directly ask you- regardless if you do them or not. In this case, if you decide to respond to their wishes then you would do it wholeheartedly without the feeling of resentment. Be kind towards your partner while having this conversation. Motivate them to get out of this pattern of behaviour and be patient.

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