Thou Shall Not Guilt Trip

Updated: Oct 8


You will never be able to “guilt trip” anyone into treating you well. Self-absorbed individual’s only hear and rehearse their narrative of pain and suffering. It is their excuse for their behavior and actions... and guess what? In the mind of a person who is either immature or undisciplined, self-absorption will always supersede your feelings.


I know what they said and did were wrong. I know you desire an apology, but I would also like to propose to you that not only do you want an apology, you want to “control the narrative”


In the words of Harriet Lerner, “ [an] apology is the chance you get to establish the ground for future communication”. Apologies will not make any issue supernaturally disappear, it’s the subsequent actions after the apology is made that may offer restitution (followed by forgiveness).


The art of “guilt tripping” an individual will only give you temporary satisfaction because the apology is manufactured. Of course, you desire for your feelings to be heard. However, the articulation of your feelings does not come with the right to control what they do with your heart...you can only control your response.


I’m an advocate for setting boundaries. However, setting boundaries should not be used to “guilt trip” an individual, it is the verbal establishment of respect. A “boundary” is when you state how you expect to be treated and clarify what you will do if you’re treated in a way you don’t like. Even though you can’t control the actions of another person, you can clearly articulate that their actions will result in a consequence.


Moreover, setting boundaries won’t always “completely” solve the problem, but it does give you control over how much the other person’s behaviour impacts you....without “guilt tripping” them.


Let’s wrap this up, you happiness can not be contingent upon the interaction with others. You can not control how someone treats you, you can only control how you will respond. The Lord is indeed a vindicator. He will cause enemies to be at peace with you and cause your spouse, your friends and your family members to be intentional about loving you.


Keep in mind, even the person closest to you is freely given the choice to be led by their pain and not the Holy Spirit. Again, that is not your responsibility.


So, what is your responsibility? To make sure you are honoring God first, not your insecurities. Your joy and happiness must come from the Lord....not how someone treats you.


Lastly, your role is to extend grace and compassion, you’ll need it one day. If you find yourself in an abusive situation or a relationship that is unhealthy and toxic, love from a distance. But do not allow the enemy to harden your heart. Love doesn’t hurt, the impact of the choices that your loved one makes “hurts”.


Take care of yourself. It’s been a long year.


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