Manipulation and Guilt

I’ve talked about both manipulation and guilt before, but I’d like to talk about the subject again.

Struggling with anxiety, there are a lot of things that I feel guilty about. I feel guilty that I don’t do things with family like I would like, that I need help when I go out and in other situations, and that I sometimes drive people crazy with my anxiety. While some people find it hard to believe, I don’t enjoy struggling with anxiety or putting people through this.

I think a lot of people can relate with the fact that some people tend to try their hardest (or so it seems) to make us feel guilty about struggling. Maybe these people don’t always intend on placing guilt on us, but many times it appears otherwise.

For example, last night I was asked if I’d go somewhere with someone. I told this person that I would consider it. They called me again today and I said that I still needed more time, they said they would call me before they picked me up to see if I wanted to go.

Upon calling, this individual said that they were “on their way”. I immediately got upset and mentioned how they said they would call and ask first if I was up to going. They said that they were so excited for me to go so that they were just coming. Honestly, my feelings were hurt. I felt like this person was putting me into an unfair situation. I said that I would go but I was clearly not happy.

When I got off the phone, I realized that I had made a mistake. I didn’t feel up to going and I shouldn’t have said I would. I feel that I was manipulated – this person said they would ask if I was up to going, but instead said that they were on their way and continued to go on about how excited they were for me to go. How was that supposed to make me feel if I said that no, I wouldn’t go?

I tried to reach the individual on the way and tell them that I didn’t want to go, but they didn’t call back until they were in my driveway. Once I told them that I wasn’t up to going (I didn’t feel physically well in addition to my anxiety), they got upset and left.

I feel guilty. While I’m upset that the person manipulated me and tried to make me feel guilty for not going, I shouldn’t have ever said that I would go. I should have said that I wasn’t up to going and just not gone. However, due to the person sounding so excited over going and practically begging me to go, I felt guilty saying no.

The point of this post is to share with you that if you’ve ever felt guilty because of your anxiety or if you’ve ever felt manipulated, you’re not alone. You need to remember that YOU need to be the one who makes the decisions as to when to go somewhere and when you’re feeling up to it. It’s a good idea to take small steps and face your fears, but you need to feel comfortable doing so and choose yourself when to take those steps. Don’t let others manipulate or guilt you into facing your fears. Choose steps that you feel safe taking. If someone asks you to go somewhere and you’re up to going, then go. If not, thank them and tell them that you’ll have to pass.


8 Replies to “Manipulation and Guilt”

  1. I absolutely abhor the guilt trip. It seems like you made it pretty clear to this person that you were not entirely sure you were going to go, and they assumed and jumped the gun then made you feel guilty for them not listening to you. I find it very hard not to feel guilty even when I know that I’ve been guilt tripped/manipulated, and I hate that, too. That doubt of my own feelings. It’s like a sword that cuts twice.

  2. Argh. I’m sorry you went through this. It’s happened to me before! I hate manipulation and guilt. I have experienced both feelings countless times, and I’m FINALLY starting to recognize when someone else is attempting to manipulate me or make me feel guilty. I hate it! One of my so-called “friends” was a master manipulator and did everything in his power to make me feel guilty – even if I was speaking my mind and was trying to be firm with whatever position I was taking. It makes my blood boil. I don’t want to be friends with him ever again.

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