Guilt Tripping In Relationships (9 Signs Of Guilt Tripping)

Guilt tripping is more common than most people like to admit, and most of us use it to get our way in our relationships, with or without knowing.

However, there are people who have learned to intentionally use guilt trips as a weapon, and this usually affects their romantic relationships. Most times, it's a bit hard to recognize a guilt tripper and their tactics, especially the ones who are well-practiced. Yet their actions continue to cause hurt and resentment. 

Guilt trippers are those people who have mastered the art of causing people to feel guilty about using their own free will. They can make themselves seem superior and make their victim feel like they have to meet up to their expectations. 

If you suspect that you're a victim of this kind of treatment in your relationship, here are a few signs of guilt trips in relationships. If your experience is similar to this, you may need to start addressing things.

9 Signs of Guilt Tripping In A Relationship

1. They constantly remind you of past mistakes

If your partner keeps reminding you of all your past mistakes or some things you did to upset them, then you just got guilt-tripped! Most people who like to use guilt trips, use it as a means of defense. For example, suppose you go through their phone and find out that they've been texting their ex, you're definitely going to be upset and confront them about it. 

If they respond by scolding you for looking into their phone, then start to bring up some things you did in the past, they're definitely trying to guilt-trip you. At that point, they care less about your hurt feelings and more about getting away with what they did. They'll validate their actions and use manipulation to convince you that the bad thing you’ve done is worse than whatever they did. 

2. Everything seems to be your fault

A person who likes to shift blame never believes they're at fault. Even if they do, their aim is to convince you that everything is your responsibility. One way you can spot this sign is if you realize that you're always the one saying sorry. Everything that goes wrong is your fault. 

If you end up in an argument and he says something hurtful or abusive to you, he will blame you for pushing him too far. 

If he cheats on you and gets caught, he will either say you've let yourself go so you automatically drove him into the hands of another woman, or you made him feel insecure in the relationship by being ‘too friendly‘ with other guys. No matter how serious his offense is, he will find a way to make you feel responsible for his own actions. You will always find yourself saying sorry. 

3. They always make you feel like you disappoint them

You will always feel like you fall short of their expectations, you are never enough. They will constantly complain about everything you do. If you buy them a gift, they may feign appreciation but will point out all the things you forgot to take into consideration. If you're in a mood, they will be upset with you for dulling their vibe. 

If you say something that upsets them, then they will shut down or become passive-aggressive. 

Everything you do seems to fall short of his ‘high' standards. If you notice he displays this behavior, that’s a guilt trip and you may need to have a conversation with him. 

4. They think way too highly of themselves 

they think way too highly of themselves

The thing about guilt trippers is that they don't only try to convince others that they're never wrong, they also try to convince themselves. 

If your partner is in this category, you'd notice that they put themselves on a pedestal. They make you feel like they're the better partner and they'll also attempt to point out to you that they’re superior. They'll try to make it seem like they're more committed in the relationship than you are and they always deal with everything better than you do. 

If they ask you to do them a favor and for a certain reason you can't do it, they will make you feel bad for being unable to do it. They remind you of all the times they did an important thing for you so you can do what they want. This guilt trip will definitely lead you into feeling resentment towards them if it's not handled immediately.

5. Their love is conditional

They will always have conditions for showing you love. Everything they do for you is tied to a condition yet they expect you to do things for them without expecting anything in return. 

If you both live together, they will do housework or run errands for you just so he can use it as leverage to emotionally blackmail you. They will intentionally keep track of everything they're doing and if you ask them for a favor they'll bring up all the times they helped you and make it look like they're always the one doing things. 

If you're really honest with yourself, you'd discover that they have never done anything for you without expecting something in return. For them, the most important thing is gaining leverage, they don’t do things for you because they really love you. 

6. You notice that you struggle to say no to them

If you're with a person you truly love, you should never be afraid to say no to them. You should never feel guilty if there's something you can't do for them. However, if your partner is fond of their guilt-tripping behavior, you'd notice that you have a fear of saying no to them. 

For example, If they ask you to accompany them for an office event and you're just too tired to go anywhere, they may give you the silent treatment or start to act up. They will guilt you into attending the event with them whether you like it or not. 

You need to keep reminding yourself that it's not a crime to put yourself first from time to time, and upsetting your partner at least once or twice in your relationship is not a criminal offense. You won't always be able to please them so give yourself a break. 

If they’re upset with you because you said no to them, decide not to pay attention to these guilt trips, ignore them, and they'll get over it. 

7. They love to compare you to others

Whenever you do something they don't agree with, they compare you to other people so you'd start feeling guilty and bend to their will. No matter how strong you think you are, your partner’s criticism will always make you feel bad. 

For example, If you'd rather stay in for the evening instead of going out with them, they could say something like, “My ex never had problems going out with me, in fact, she'd be the one to plan all our outings and she did it perfectly“. 

They could also make a few sarcastic comments to cause a serious impact. This is all meant to make you feel guilty about not bending over backward for them, don't fall for it

8. They use emotional blackmail a lot

they think way too highly of themselves

People who guilt-trip others are often overly emotional. They use their emotions as a weapon to get what they want from you. You'd notice that they overreact whenever they don't get their way and everything is a big deal to them. 

It may not be an act, they may actually be that way in reality. However, those over-the-top emotional expressions (whether negative or positive), will always affect the people around them. 

If they feel sad, it's so pronounced that everyone else feels it, and if he's happy, he's almost ecstatic to the point of being contagious. This means if you do something that makes them upset, their resulting mood will make you feel significantly worse. 

If you happen to do something that they don’t agree with, they'll either start to sulk. They may surprisingly cry or stomp out of the room like a child. The truth is that it's never that serious, they won't die just because they don't get their way, and don't let their childish tantrums make you feel guilty. 

9. He's manipulative

There's no doubt at all that your guilt-tripping boyfriend is manipulative. There's a chance that he isn't fully aware of it, nonetheless, guilt-tripping is manipulative behavior. 

If your boyfriend wants you to stay home with him instead of going out for your long-awaited girl's night, he'll pretend that he had a whole special night planned out for you and you're ruining it by going out. If you want to take out some time to do something for yourself, he may suddenly start to act needy so you'll focus your attention on him. 

FAQs

What does guilt-tripping mean in a relationship?

Guilt-tripping in a relationship involves the use of guilt to make your partner feel guilty about an issue. Most times it involves taking advantage of your partner's soft spot just to make it harder for them to defend themselves. Sometimes, the culprit does it unknowingly but most times, it's intentional. 

What is emotional guilt-tripping?

Emotional guilt-tripping is very similar to emotional blackmail. It involves taking advantage of a person's emotional state to manipulate them into doing your bid. Sometimes, people use this emotional manipulation on their spouse to gain power in their relationship. It's a very bad way to gain power.

What to do when someone makes you feel guilty?

The first thing to note when dealing with this manipulation is to never let it slide. Set limits and address that behavior immediately even though it seems minor. Also, try to trace the reason for your guilt; guilt-tripping is most times built on existing guilt. 

Once you’ve handled this, you can defend yourself through healthy communication. If they refuse to change, you may need to break up with them.

What emotions are associated with guilt?

Other emotions like shame, hurt, and regret often come hand in hand with guilty feelings. Sometimes it comes with embarrassment too. Guilt trips make people introspect and this is why it has been mistaken for a Pius feeling. However, wallowing in guilt does not help you truly change from a certain behavior, rather it is counterproductive.

How does someone act when they are guilty?

A guilty person may begin to act unusually nice to you or may do something they ordinarily would not do if they didn't feel remorseful. They may also feel the need to explain themselves extensively, often looking ashamed while doing so. In addition to this, they may try to justify their actions. 

To Conclude

I hope you enjoyed this article. Remember, guilt-tripping in a relationship should never be overlooked, try your best to address it as soon as you see the signs. You don’t need to wait too long to find out how guilt affects you personally. Please drop your comments in the section below and be sure to share the article. 

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