A Trip I've Stopped Taking - The Guilt Trip
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A Trip I've Stopped Taking - The Guilt Trip

Let us remember that other people's expectations for us are not our problems - amen.

A Trip I've Stopped Taking - The Guilt Trip

Helloooooo my sensitive and thoughtful people out there!! I have been wanting to write something like this for a while, but have been trying not to write it in an aggressive/angry way, but more in a reflective tone. So if you are picking up the angry tone, that's because it is probably there, but try to ignore it to the best of your ability (thanks y'all).

Let's talk about the good ole guilt trip. I have found that there are two broad kinds. The first kind is a common one for me - the one I give myself for both interactions with others and the ones between me, myself, and I. I have always been one to think about everything I said and did before I go to sleep, repeating anything that could have been perceived as hurtful in any way for hours on end. I have learned that mulling over conversations with other people is silly 90% of the time (not to mention a touch egotistical to think that my actions have that significant of an impact on other people). That 10% is reserved for when I really did shove my foot in my mouth, and that's followed by a very intentional apology. God decided to go heavy on the sass and light on the filter when cooking me up, so meeting that 10% is more common than I would like (listen I'm working on it). I also feel guilty about my self talk sometimes, reminding myself that I shouldn't say things to myself that I wouldn't say to my best friend. These two subtypes of guilt are usually more productive than anything, making me a better, more intentional, person.

Then there's the guilt trip that is not self inflicted. The kind where someone is making you feel bad for how you made them or someone else feel. Whether this is done in a subtle passive way or a blunt more aggressive approach, it usually is a waste of your time. I have been on the receiving end of this often, and boy am I done with it. You should be too dude. When a person tells me I am not texting them back fast enough, I'm not trying to spend time with them enough, or that they didn't appreciate me not including their second-cousin-twice-removed on an invite list, I shall no longer feel guilty. When someone tells me I probably hurt someone else's feelings, that I should stop acting a certain way, or that my tone was too harsh, I shall no longer feel guilty. Because...wait for it...the feeling they are trying to push on me? That guilty knot in my stomach? That has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with them.

Now please don't get me wrong here - if a friend or family member voices hurt feelings directly to me, I am all about talking it out until the feelings/actions are resolved. My lack of filter does flare up in an ugly way sometimes, and I am down to own that when necessary. Healthy communication is key in every situation. But someone making you feel bad about taking time for yourself, finding the courage to kindly be honest, or only spending time with people that are healthy for you - those aren't guilt worthy things, those are beautiful.

It helps me to discern oh-you-need-to-resolve-that-or-change-that-behavior from that's-a-you-need-that-is-not-mine-to-give-to-you by asking myself just how many people I know that would be hurt by my behavior and why they are voicing it to me. It's hard for someone to be sensitive and thoughtful without being manipulated from time to time, but it is easy to remember that selfish people are usually the ones who think others are being selfish (funny how that works isn't it?).

I constantly want to grow and show others the love that they need and be a good human. I want to be intentional in my relationships and remember that other people operate differently than I do and that being sensitive to that is ideal. But I can't do any of that if I am not in a good place myself, and neither can you. If your bucket is empty, you can't give to others. ALSO, you do not owe anyone ANYTHING. I don't have to hang out with people that don't bring out the best in me or that make me feel bad consistently. I don't have to answer texts or calls when I am taking much needed "me time." When people are upset with me for not meeting an expectation of theirs that they have made up for me, that is simply not my problem.

I am not hopping on the guilt train when I haven't earned that ticket, and neither should you. :D

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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