Disclaimer: /S = sarcastic
Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about manipulation again - this time about guilt tripping or about how you have the right to say no - and just no.
Welcome once again to the world of manipulation - this time they don’t just put all the blame on you, but now want you do something too.
Once again I encourage to ask if anything I say is unclear to you or I skip over something - I do that sometimes. So please if anything like that happens - don’t hesitate.
After we established in the last manipulation episode, that everything is your fault by default, as otherwise the other person would be responsible - which is of course impossible. /s
Now we will get into why you have to do what you are told - and why your reasons why not aren't even worth getting into. If you don't do as told, you are being dramatic and causing issues.
It is of course not, because otherwise their argument would fall apart or they don’t care about your feeling about it. Totally not. So why are you not just saying yes? /s
I want to quote a very wise person at this point: No is a full sentence. You don’t have to give a reason why. You don’t have to give a reason why you won’t do something. They have to provide one for you to do it.
If you want to be sure: Test the waters with a small side argument, if they dismiss it or try to rug sweep it, you know where you are at. It is basically a bait… the response will tell you what you need to know.
So in this episode we talk about manipulation in the form of guilt tripping, first we do the overview, then a classic example and then to a more extreme example.
Manipulation - Guilt tripping - Overview
One thing right ahead, we all do slight forms of guild tripping in our everyday life. Can’t you really bring me the yogurt on your way back? I have to get up otherwise… - to give an example.
As much that is still not the right thing to do, we are focusing on the fact when someone does it regularly and/or to a larger degree. Where to draw the line? Well that is blurry and everyone has to do themselves.
But even with the harmless example: You have every right to just say no and you don’t have to justify or argue about it. You are not the accused in front of a jury. Not that I don’t still do that very often myself.
But the more often you are correcting yourself and stopping yourself form acting this way, the less likely you are going to act this way next time. But it is to unlearn a habit. An unhealthy habit.
It is important to establish boundaries, draw lines in the sand - to protect ourselves and our wellbeing. Yes it might not be a big hit, but if you are constantly under fire it will harm you and have harmful effects on you.
And if you are even PTSD recovering, you have only very weak defenses. That means even small things like this affect you greatly and it is not like you have a lot of spare energy just to be the scapegoat.
Knowing what is happening is half the trick to counter it - that is why we are talking about it now. Your wellbeing is important - as is your opinion. If someone truly loves you, they think so too.
Manipulation - Guilt tripping - Classic example
Let us start with one of the classics - "Why can’t you come to thanksgiving? Your uncle hasn’t seen you in ages and misses you. It is only a short trip. When will you have the ability to meet everyone again?"
We start with the wonderful bait to defend yourself: Why can’t you? Implying there is something inherently wrong with NOT coming. Like not showing up for work. You are demanded to explain yourself.
And make no mistake. You needing to work early next day or you just came back from a trip that took weeks? Nothing is valid. You are wanted there and you better show up. In this context of course.
The next part of the phrase is emotional blackmail. You don’t want to make your uncle sad or? The time is of course dramatized, ages might be even two weeks ago. Time IS relative. Not that the uncle was asked.
It is implied of course that the uncle will be incredible hurt if you are not coming and it will be ALL YOUR FAULT. You are not responsible for other peoples feelings - everyone is responsible for that themselves.
Third part is minimizing. Short is once again relative. Considering the world 12 hours is only a short trip. Once again implying you are being in need to explain yourself for not EVEN doing that little thing.
This way of course trying to preemptively counter any argument of yours by making it appear ridiculous. Even if it is accurate, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. Even a short trip.
And the last one is the Fear of missing out. Also used by greedy companies. Get it now, as long supplies last. Sound familiar? If you want to see everyone, that is fine. If you don’t, that is fine too.
But this way there is a pressuring to give you the feeling, you are at fault, if you didn’t use this chance to meet them. Everything is a 2 way street. If you really want to meet them, you find a way. Or face time?
Manipulation - Guilt tripping - more extreme example
Now we get into the bit darker side “I am just doing this because I love you!”. Yeah. Or in other words ‘look what you made me do’. Now this can only someone pull off you truly care about. Sort of a last attempt.
This is the one of the few times we hear the reason they are giving themselves. They say: I do it, because of my selfless love. That means what I do can’t be wrong, right?
We have a saying in my family “The opposite of well, is meant well”. If things done with good intentions would lead to good results, we would live in a better world. Though it is doubtful it is actually the motivation.
It is just the official reason, like ‘think of the children’, which are of course forgotten 5 min later. This sentence is shouted while beating their children or kicking them out for their homosexuality or the like.
Up to the lethal end of the spectrum… starting with not allowing the child to eat something. I think the key importance is the word ‘just’. Because it changes the sentence. This word twists the responsibility.
That 'just' implies it would never do it for any other reason. It is the only one, so you can’t be mad at them. I mean you are responsible for causing it. It is out of character for me, just for you. /s
I think the proper answer to that is basically ‘No, thank you’. Feel free to use less polite and/or longer version. This is another unwanted gift. It is meant to put the most pressure possible.
They take the ‘I love you’ declaration and use it as a weapon. Trying to blend the love and their behavior into one. And threaten with its removal indirectly. I recommend using distance. To be able to think and act.
You might have suspected it, but I do have some experiences of this kind of behavior myself. I had 2 VERY different grandparents when I grew up. One was upfront and right in your face.
She said “I want you all together and it means really a lot to me. You come.” She wasn’t someone to shy from an argument or had hesitation to voice her opinion. I liked her honesty and she wasn’t without reason.
We, the farthest away, were accommodated the most. Then there was the others side, everything was always 'fine' and 'I mean you don’t have to come, if you don’t really want to… would be a shame though…'
A decipher, 2 linguists and 3 Sherlock Holmes were needed after each visit to decipher what was said. I am just happy that as I was a kid with autism all those jabs and insults flew right above my head. Ignorance IS bliss.
To their detriment, I came in contact with a genius master manipulator, which messed with my life badly and taught me manipulation. Add that with a photographic memory and suddenly a lot made sense.
My parents were rather shocked what was sometimes said to me and I blissfully ignored. Now they are no longer an active part of my life and my quality of life has improved significantly since then.
I can only recommend taking such statement, like ‘we really would like to come but it won’t be possible in January’ and the like - as literal and say something like ’well, too bad’ and hang up. Nothing beats that.
That was it for todays episode - I hope you liked it. With the thanksgiving weekend around the corner I hope you have a wonderful time - in whatever way, shape or form you want to.
Whatever you do, I hope you have great food. And - as usual - if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.