Guilt is one nasty son of a bitch.
After that scathing appraisal, here are two questions to ask yourself.
Do I use guilt as a weapon?
Do I use guilt to get what I want?
Just to clarify – the sort of guilt I’m referring to in this post is the ‘guilt trip’ variety. If you stole from someone or cheated on your spouse you should feel guilty but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
The tricky part about using guilt as a weapon is that it often works. We may find it reasonably easy to guilt trip people into doing what we want.
Great, you might be thinking, if it works, surely it can’t be that bad?
That’s where you would be wrong. The problem is it comes at a huge price.
If you want to have a healthy relationship with someone, using guilt to get what you want isn’t the way to go. Sure you might achieve your desired result (at least in the beginning) but you risk damaging the relationship.
Over time you may even destroy the relationship.
If you are on the receiving end of a guilt trip, the post 20 Ways to Stop Feeling Guilty All of the Time can help.
Here’s the kicker. Guilt breeds resentment. Resentment can lead to anger and even hatred. Both kill joy and love in their tracks.
You may think you are using guilt as a way of helping someone. In your mind, you are doing it for them.
Time to get real on this one folks, if you are using guilt as a weapon to get what you want – you are doing it for yourself.
Guilt is selfish, controlling and manipulative.
While you might think you are coming from a place of caring, the person on the receiving end will most likely feel you don’t care at all.
If you want to show people you genuinely care, read the post 20 Ways to Show Genuine Interest in People’s Lives.
Instead of playing games and making someone feel guilty, how about asking them outright for what you want?
If the answer is yes – excellent. If the answer is no. Suck it up and move on.
Stop using guilt to get what you want. Guilt breeds resentment and contempt. Don’t let resentment be part of your life. Choose joy and love instead.
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