When Others Lay a Guilt Trip


“He who does not have the courage to speak up for his rights cannot earn the respect of others.” ~ Rene G. Torres

Do people in your life make you feel guilty when you don’t do what they want you to do? Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells because you do not know how they will respond?

I am not talking about times when you forgot to do what you said you would do, or otherwise dropped the ball. Rather, I am thinking of times when others are trying to manipulate you into doing what they want.

This seems to happen a lot when someone is trying to set clear boundaries, or is trying to learn to say “no.” When one who has been a people-pleaser tries to bring some balance into their dealings with others, they often run into resistance. Sadly, this is often enough to get them scurrying back to their pleasing way.

If you are going to be your own person, and truly take care of yourself, you must learn to be comfortable with the unhappiness or disappointment of others. You have to accept that some will not like you. But think about it: if someone only likes us when we take care of them, and dislikes us if we take care of ourselves, what kind of relationship is that?

Part of growing up and becoming an independent adult is having the ability to know what works for or is comfortable for us, and to be able to express that. It is being able to do so without second guessing ourselves because of the reaction of others. And finally, it is recognizing that we are not responsible for the way others choose to respond to our speaking our truth, nor do we have to fix it.

Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.

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