It’s a destination that has taken me 46 years to stop taking. Guilt is such a useless emotion and waste of time and travel. Guilt is when you feel responsible or regretful for a perceived offense, real or imaginary. So I asked myself, why was I making a regular trip to this undesirable place? Especially when I realized most of the things I felt guilty for had nothing to do with me, and to make matters worse, the persons I “offended” never even opened their mouth (to me) and said anything about their “offense.” They just started acting distant, with obvious strange attitudes and a lot of innuendo. Was it my responsibility to keep traveling the distance to find out what’s wrong with people who even after you take the guilt trip to see them, they still won’t speak up and be honest about what their issue is with you?
Why did it take me so long to realize I was not responsible for other people’s happiness? That how I lived my life and however they felt about it was not a package deal. That whatever they were thinking in their mind was really none of my business anyway. Honestly, I realized what an enormous burden it was going to take for me to continue to take this trip; I was getting too old to travel that far of a distance to such an awful place. Not even for family, friends, associates,… it was too much and not worth the trip! That’s when I got off. No more guilt tripping for me.
This got me to thinking how many of us are in relationships with people who work overtime to make us feel guilty for stuff we shouldn’t have to feel guilty for? How many of us were on this guilt trip? Like how in good conscience does another person make you responsible for their happiness and emotional well being? And since when did you become the superintendent of other people’s feelings? But, the expectation if you’re on this trip is for you to always be the one checking to see if they’re ok? Always the one to make sure you don’t do anything to make them mad at you today? Always the one that’s designated to see if they need you to do anything for them to stay in their good graces. And mind you no matter what you do, it’s never enough. Can we go ahead and just address the elephant in the room when it comes to anyone who’s taking this trip? The guilt trip is abuse!
There, I said it!
And this behavior is still abuse no matter who’s doing it to you!
I’m sure this is a lot to take in for many but I’m going to commit to sharing this message no matter how uncomfortable it may be. The people I coach can handle it!🤗
So I’m not suggesting that any of us live our lives like inconsiderate jerks who only care about themselves, but the amount of manipulation associated with this kind of trip is deep and has a lot of layers. The guilt trip will put you in a state of mind where your feelings are all over the place. But eventually you’re going to have to stop taking the guilt trip if you want to maintain your sanity and quality of life.
This trip is super expensive and there are no return flights available. Once you sign up for a guilt trip you are stuck on that flight until you wake up and aggressively take measures to stop being manipulated and controlled by anyone. Many people are stuck on the guilt trip compliments of their children, parents, grandparents, spouse, boss, friends,..and if you’re not mentally, emotionally and spiritually strong enough they will keep you there in the name of “loyalty.” If you’re on this trip, you will begin to notice that anything they do for you; they will bring back up and remind you of it often to make you feel bad for wanting to get off the flight. They’ll help you in some major way and when you do something they don’t approve of, they’ll rub what they did for you in your face and remind you that they gave you life or paid for your education, or helped you when no one else would. If that’s you, get off that flight today! If they support you, help you or are participating in your life and use their support or love in the past to make you a prisoner to making sure they’re happy; get off that flight now!
The amount of abuse and guilt tripping from “loved ones” who make you feel indebted to them for helping you grow up or get on your feet is toxic and completely unfair. If they say things like I gave up a lot for you, or who else would do all I do for you!? You are definitely stuck on the guilt trip. If they constantly use what they’ve done for you to make you stay loyal to them, you’re on a bad guilt trip.
As a mom, I maintain the belief that my children owe me nothing for their life. They didn’t even ask me to participate in the act that got them here. LOL. It was truly my decision to act like an adult. So why would I now want to act as if they need to grow up and take on the burden of paying me back? It’s not ok to do this to people! But yet many parents act as if there is some unspoken contract where their kids need to grow up and succeed only to buy them a house and make sure they’re happy. Many parents keep their adult children on the guilt trip. Some act like when their kid makes it, they are required to start their Grammy Award speech off by thanking them (and maybe God) for getting them there and if not, here comes the guilt trip.
I believe anyone who has blessed my life deserves honor and respect and I am always going to give that to them freely from my heart. But for anyone to demand anything from someone based on past help or support, (in my opinion) that suggest some off motives. My prayer for my children who are now adults is that they soar! Free from guilt. Free from pressure and worry about me. This flight called life is already filled with it’s own set of pressures and worries. The last thing I want to do is send anyone out weighed down with extra baggage from me.
As your real life coach, I hope you will help people without any hidden agendas. That you will make it your business to set people free to live and fly high! And just maybe, because you stopped expecting and demanding things from people,; those same people you’ve helped in the past will remember you one day. Maybe they’ll remember you and even stop by every now and again when they have some free time. And when they come, you’ll be happy and they will too and they surely won’t be coming to visit you this time on a guilt trip.
Copyright 2019 Sherry Grant
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