I have a huge elephant standing right in front of me but I can’t quite bring myself to open up about it in this forum. This elephant has traits however, that I cannot stand. Guilt is quite possibly one of the worst things I’ve experienced and it’s about as easy to deal with as an elephant stuck in a doorway.
Back when I was twenty one I had an amazing person in my life. Sans the fact that she cheated on me more times than I’ve changed my socks, she was a huge part of who I am today. Good and bad. We got in a fight as usual, and she brought something up that I haven’t wanted to forget. She mentioned how much I rely on guilt and how much she saw it in my interactions with others. I took a step back and almost immediately realized what was happening. Guilt is extraordinarily powerful when it is used to the fullest extent. Subtle hints mixed with strong emotional bonds to something or someone are a recipe for control over another person. That is, someone that isn’t paying attention to the clues.
– If you don’t change I’m leaving you – If you love me, you’ll do this for me – I can’t go on without you (sniff sniff) – You might as well go, I’m no good anyways – (precluding a gift) I spent all my money on this – So and So will be devastated if this doesn’t happen… The list could go on and on…
I used to get my way by trying to make people feel sorry for me or feel guilty for not giving me a chance. We learn it as babies when we cry. If we cry, mom or dad or someone might feel sorry for us and give us the love and attention we are seeking… It’s like a drug. Proper parenting I believe is paramount in curbing this kind of behavior. And we all know what track parenting is going down lately right? If we grow up with it and guide our own children with the same ideals it can get dangerous. It is what happened to me.
I really try to be aware of when I may be throwing out a guilt trip. I have a hunch I still do it from time to time but I would hope someone has the balls to call me out on it when it happens. I really don’t mind. On that note, calling someone out on their ridiculous behavior is not a guilt trip. Some people just act like tools. One thing I strive for in my life right now is to be considerate to others. I don’t need a lot and I don’t expect anyone to give anything up for me. I don’t even expect anyone to hold up their end of the bargain anymore because I don’t want to waste any more of my life filling it with disappointment. Did that sound like a guilt trip? Well it was. Pompous behavior and self-proclaimed righteousness in my opinion is a guilt trip.
I’ve thought of ways to wipe the slate clean for myself and rethink how I interact with every other human being out there. Maybe it’ll take a trip to become a monk… Maybe I need to do some time in the big house… Maybe I simply need to find a way to appreciate the people I have in my life and learn to rid myself of people with toxic behavior. Insane asylum?
Guilt can be a funny joke at times. Sometimes it can be cute and playful if used responsibly. Other times it can destroy our souls in ways I could only really explain while in a drunken stupor.