What Does a Guilt Trip Do to a Relationship?

Guilt is an incredibly effective motivator. Making someone feel bad often results in them not only apologizing but reassuring you. However, the cost of guilt trips can be very high as far as the strength of your relationship is concerned. If you use guilt trip to get what you want, you are sacrificing respect, closeness and possibly the long-term prospects of your relationship.

What Does a Guilt Trip Do to a Relationship?

If you have children, you are also giving them a toxic relationship pattern to copy. Here is a look at the damage that the manipulative weapon of guilt can do to a relationship, and how you can prevent it if you are the target:

What is Guilt? What is Shame?
Guilt and shame are two very uncomfortable feelings that are often confused with one another. Guilt is a bad feeling because you have done something wrong. Shame feels similar, but you do not need to have done anything wrong to be shameful, and it focuses more on feeling like a bad person than it does feeling like you’ve hurt someone else. These feelings are often paired together.

Either one of these is very effectively stirred up by the manipulative tactic of a guilt trip. Guilt trips are designed to make someone feel both guilt and shame, as they typically try and make someone feel worse for what they have done than they necessarily deserve.

Why are Guilt Trips so Effective?
Guilt trips are effective on two kinds of people. Those with low self-esteem, who already see themselves as bad people, and those who are incredibly empathetic to others feelings. The first tends to feel shame while the second feels guilt. In both cases, guilt trips manipulate a situation. They magnify a situation and its implications and make the other person at fault.

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