Monday, July 7, 2008

Stop Letting Others Control You Through Guilt

Allowing others to use guilt can result in your losing the ability to get what you want in relationships - it gives others power to define the relationship the way they want. Guilt can be expressed through:

1. "The Freeze" or "Silent Treatment"

Creating emotional tension to have one’s way in a relationship.

2. "Good Guy vs. Bad Guy"

The controller interprets his or her motives positively and suggests that you will go along or be labeled negatively.

3. “If You Love Me”

Some guilt inducers try to get their way by suggesting any denial of their desires indicates that you do not love or care about them.

4. “Everyone Is Doing It”

This effort suggests that popular opinion or expert’s advice sides with the individual’s desires. You are foolish if you do not agree with the majority opinion.

You must change your beliefs:
  • Stop telling yourself that giving in is no big thing.
  • Stop believing that what you want is bad or wrong.
  • Stop believing that you don’t have a right to an opinion, or that your point of view is less legitimate than someone else’s.
  • Stop trying to please the guilt manipulator.
  • Stop giving away your power.
  • Stop letting the guilt inducer dictate who you are and how you should feel.

Also change your response:
Let the person know that you understand their feelings and desires (Use listening skills.), but maintain your right to your desires.

Decide whether your desires are desirable and therefore open to compromise or whether they are something you do not want to do without, hence nonnegotiable. Stick to your guns - let your no mean no!

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