How Do People Guilt Trip Others?

What is Guilt Trip?


Guilt-tripping is a type of behavior that involves making someone feel guilty for something rather than directly expressing your displeasure.

This kind of behavior can be seen across all kinds of relationships, from romantic to parent-child relationships to friendships, and even in the workplace between bosses or co-workers.




Common Signs To Look Out For Guilt Trip:


  • Behavior and comments meant to make you feel guilty or bad

  • Making you feel like you owe them something

  • Refusal to say what's wrong but acting upset

  • Expressing negative feelings about you in indirect ways

  • Comments like "I must not mean that much to you," "I'm glad you could finally squeeze me into your busy schedule," or, "I do so much for you," etc.

  • Talking about you as a bad person, partner, friend, etc.

  • Withholding affection and/or attention as punishment

  • Passive-aggressive behavior

Impacts Of Guilt Trip:


  • Strained, difficult, and undesirable relationships

  • Long-term feelings of guilt and shame that extend beyond the relationship

  • Avoidance of the source of the guilt trip due to resentment and anger

  • New or worsening mental health conditions like anxiety and depression fueled by the guilt.

  • Guilty feelings about specific roles and identities, like being a mom, parent, caregiver, or survivor.

How To Handle/Cope With Guilt Trip?


  • Acknowledge the request

  • Share your feelings

  • Set boundaries

  • Pay attention to thoughts, feelings, and needs

  • Respect yourself and them

  • Communicate clearly

  • Try “I” statements


Is Guilt-Tripping A Form Of Gaslighting?

Gaslighting and guilt tripping are not the same, though they have "large areas of overlap," according to Page. He notes that gaslighting is all about denying someone's reality to make them question themselves, which is a "deep form of manipulation."


Guilt tripping is more about making someone feel bad or guilty for their behavior. That said, dark personality types like narcissists and other toxic people will often use both of these manipulation tactics freely and without remorse.


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