From Wikipedia:
Some thinkers have theorized that guilt is used as a tool of social control. Since guilty people feel they are undeserving, they are less likely to assert their rights and prerogatives. Thus, those in power seek to cultivate a sense of guilt among the populace, in order to make them more tractable. This was a theme in Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer.

I hate that people use guilt as a way to get you to do things. I think it is really crappy and I am really working on not allowing that to happen in my life. I feel as though I have been controlled into thinking I need certain approval, and therefore performed out of guilt. No more! I am no longer performong out of guilt!

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8 Responses to Guilt

  1. Kristi says:

    I know exactly what you mean! I wonder “do people see me as someone they THINK they can control by guilting me into doing something???” It’s a thitty thing to do. I often have the feeling that when people try to make you feel guilty of something, it’s often them just trying to take advantage of your niceness or can-do attitude. I’m with you Martha. No more!

  2. Kristi says:

    Hey! I was actually able to post now! Yay!

  3. JaredB says:

    I agree that one should never act out of response to guilt. Some people do try to leverage this, but I think in some cases (if I’m thinking of the correct situation that prompted this) person A isn’t necessarily trying to “force” person B to do something, and the guilt may just be a response that person B feels but person A did not intend to cause.

    One thing I do know is that no one can ever make you do something via guilt, since whether you feel guilty about something is your own personal response. If someone tries to make me feel guilty about something that I shouldn’t, I just blow them off (politely), but not allow it to control how I behave or feel about myself.

    I think that is the way to handle it. On the other hand, there are also some times where you should justifiably feel “guilty” (or maybe “responsible”, since “guilty” is kind of negative). Not that it should be used to force you to do something in particular, just that I think it’s important to discern between conviction and condemnation.

  4. ma ma j says:

    Yeah. It’s hard to discern whether a person is actually “trying” to make you feel guilty or not. Then you have to discern whether or not you are feeling guilty or appropriately responsible.

    But then, I’m having trouble thinking of a situation where I witnessed someone trying to make another feel guilty. Can you give an example? Generic, of course.

  5. martha says:

    forget it. i decided to quit focusing on other faults, or trying to get others to change…novel idea. Think i’ll focus on my own change.

  6. martha says:

    great. now you’re just trying to make me feel guilty. i was enjoying thinking about what’s wrong with other people.

  7. Nate says:

    multiple personalities?

  8. ma ma j says:

    that’s funny. i didn’t realize that martha had signed on from my computer. then when i posted my comment, her name was still there. I could have had some fun with that. oh, well.

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