7 Signs You Have Been Guilt-Tripped

Hey Optimist Minds!

Has anyone ever made you feel guilty for something you didn’t do?

A guilt trip is a feeling of guilt or responsibility, especially an unjustified one induced by someone else. Most people who attempt to inflict guilt upon others know exactly what they’re doing. They are used to wielding guilt as a weapon to get what they want from others.

Guilt-tripping is a common manipulation tactic used by people who are abusive, narcissistic, and toxic. However, it is possible to induce a guilt trip on yourself. Either way, guilt trips are unhealthy and unreasonable.

People have various reasons and motives behind such actions. Besides personal gain and manipulation of others, guilt trips could also be rooted in insecurity. By manipulating and mistreating others, the guilt tripper may get a rush or a sense of power.

Fortunately, there are ways of finding out if you are being guilt-tripped. This video will discuss seven such signs. We’d like to warn our viewers to not take guilt-tripping lightly and to consult a mental health professional if need be.

Now, here are seven signs you have been guilt-tripped.


You feel responsible for things that are blameless.

Have you ever felt guilty for things you had no control over? Sometimes, disappointing things happen that had nothing to do with your choices or actions. 

For example, a loss, random changes in plans, an accident, or other people’s behaviour. None of these should elicit guilt. Despite that, if you’re feeling guilty about it, it’s likely that your or someone else has guilt-tripped you.


You’re being nagged about it.

Is anyone constantly harassing you or pressurising you to feel guilty about something? This is a big warning sign that you may be experiencing guilt-tripping.

Sometimes this particular form of psychological manipulation can take place in passive, passive-aggressive, or aggressive conduct towards the target. The person guilt-tripping you might refuse to let up on you.


You notice the simplest of things being made dramatic.

Is this person blowing things out of proportion? Are they exaggerating details to make things seem more complicated than they really are?

Another noticeable red flag for guilt-tripping is if you can see someone deliberately antagonising you for seemingly minor errors. Instead of looking for constructive solutions to the problem, the person is focused on making you feel bad.


You’re being reminded of the past.

It’s classic guilt-tripping behaviour to dig out incidents from the past to add to someone’s remorse. The person might list a bunch of favours they did for you earlier and emotionally blackmail you to feel obligated.

Or they might remind you of similar errors you may have made before this. The agenda there is to attack your credibility and lower your sense of self-worth.


You’re on the receiving end of the silent treatment.

Is the person making you feel guilty now ignoring you and pretending that you don’t exist? Do they keep the act up till you give in to their demands?

Withholding affection, attention, and respect is a passive-aggressive way to induce guilt in others. It’s an incredibly heart-wrenching experience, especially if you are close to the individual ignoring you. 

If this silent treatment is primarily continuing because you’re supposed to feel bad about what you did, it’s typical guilt-tripping behaviour.


Your guilt is a tool for manipulation.

Probably the biggest sign of guilt-tripping is if you’re made to do things you normally wouldn’t do just so you can feel less awful. The purpose is to upset the target and consequently manipulate them into feeling contrite and ashamed of themselves, even when they should not be.

Respite from these intense feelings of shame is then used as an incentive to act in a certain way.


Your vulnerabilities are being used against you.

Most of the time, the people who will guilt-trip you are the ones closest to you. Because of this closeness, they probably know many personal secrets about you. This can include your insecurities, past mistakes, or sensitive topics that create negative feelings for you.

Someone who is guilt-tripping you might use this information against you to increase the magnitude of your guilt.

Did any of these scenarios seem familiar to you? Do you think someone has been guilt-tripping you? Let us know in the comments if you found this video helpful.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.


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