Guilt Trips Don’t Work


We have all been there, girls and guys alike: you have a friend/acquaintance that makes a move on you, and you want NONE OF IT, so you do the responsible thing and let them down easy. However, rather than taking your feelings into consideration and moving on, they get tragically butt-hurt and begin giving you a long, drawn out Oscar-award-winning guilt trip about how you should want to go out with them. They’ll go to great lengths to make your heart heavy for rejecting them, including verbally abusing themselves and claiming they’ll be alone forever, or even turning against you by telling you that you owe them a chance – since, after all, they have been a good PLATONIC friend to you. Naturally, these guilt trips rarely work, and when they do, the outcome isn’t good. Why? Because the whole effort is based on a single fundamental: pity. Now I don’t know about the girl next to me, but the last date I ever want to go on is one that is only occurring because the person I went with feels bad for me, and nothing else. That doesn’t really seem like a healthy relationship dynamic, now does it?

Guilt Trips Don’t Work

Having said that however, it still happens; as a matter of fact, it happens to me quite regularly. Mind you, many of these people are just dudes skulking over the internet, but on multiple occasions (and I mean multiple) I’ve had these issues with cold-approachers and guys I actually knew personally. After so many of these occurrences, I began noticing that there always seemed to be an extremely common trait in every single one of them: they were extremely self-entitled. Now I know what you’re thinking: RJ, can your really nice guy/girl friend really be self-entitled? I mean, they were always there for you before, wouldn’t that mean that they’re better than that? Well, to answer your question honestly: no. You can be a good person and even a selfless person and still have a self-entitled air about your personality. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a completely self-entitled person in general, but you at the very least have your moments. I came to this conclusion when I really began breaking the situation down piece by piece.

People who assume that someone owes them intimate affectionate based solely on what they deem an equal exchange (rather than taking the other person’s preferences into consideration) is undoubtedly someone, who at least in that moment, is acting pretty fucking self entitled. What’s worse is when they use petty tactics, such as the focus for this take: guilt tripping. Guilt tripping someone into giving you what you want is nothing short of a form of manipulation, which isn’t exactly a desired trait when searching for a partner. Suddenly, these hard-done-by souls don’t seem so pity-worthy, now do they?

Relax. I know I am coming across harsh, so I am going to lighten things up a bit here: most of these people don’t realize what they’re doing. I know this because I was one of those people in my youth – though I never guilt tripped anybody I saw as a potential partner, it was a common tactic I used when my friends would criticize me. It was a form of defense, to quickly and easily defuse an upsetting situation and make me the victim, earning me sympathy and comfort – and sometimes, even what I wanted out of the situation in the first place. It wasn’t until I got older that I was called out on it, and was told straight up that the behaviour I was showing was self-centered and blatantly selfish. At first, it was hard to fathom, because I always thought that being self-centered or selfish required you to be an aggressive dickhead, not a pitiful sap who couldn’t take no for an answer. When I really took the time to think about it, I realized there was only one difference between the two: one was aggressive, and one was passive aggressive. Both had the same affect, both had the same attempted resolve. From that point on, I began learning how to really consider the actions I took and the things people had to say about them, because ultimately, it benefited me to be able to understand multiple perspectives by giving me the chance to be more personable. Chronic guilt-trippers haven’t made this discovery yet.

To wrap this up, I’m going to address the chronic guilt-tripper directly, to help shed some light on a clearly very dark situation. These guilt tactics of yours, dear guilt-tripper, are not only flawed, but are extremely unlikely to work. Let’s take the theory apart: you theorize that by guilting somebody enough, they will essentially feel obligated to go out with you, and from there, you can “prove” to them that you’re actually exactly what they want/need, and they just haven’t realized it yet! But, is it really going to work out that way? Let’s make up a hypothetical to test the theory:

Guilt Trips Don’t Work

You ask out a friend of yours who you’ve like for a long time, but to your dismay, they softly reject you. Feeling betrayed and hurt, you begin a kamikaze of guilt tripping them for not realizing how perfect you are to them, reminding them that for the kindness you gave them willingly, they owe you their upmost intimate affection, even though they don’t feel intimately attracted to you. You ignore their own personal preferences, because – hell, they couldn’t possibly know what THEY want for THEMSELVES, they want all of the wrong guys/girls, who they NEED is YOU. So, by the grace of some really sick God, you manage to guilt trip them into dating you. Now, you’re with a person who is only there because they pity the shit out of you, they resent you because you don’t care for their personal preferences and they’re completely not attracted to you in any way (they likely weren’t before, but your personality has gone to shit now too, removing all hope you ever had) and they’re completely miserable, because while they are sitting there with a person they never had any sort of romantic feelings for, they could be off trying to find somebody who they are genuinely compatible with. As a result, they’re distant, you fight, they won’t put out (because they aren’t attracted to you in any way, physically or emotionally) and most importantly, they’re unhappy. Suddenly, this person you wanted to do no more than care for is completely miserable, and that beautiful relationship you had figured out in your head hasn’t flowered the way you were expecting it to. Eventually, that relationship falls apart, and you’re left asking yourself: where did it all go so wrong?

Guilt Trips Don’t Work

It went wrong when you decided that you didn’t truly care about this person enough to take their feelings into consideration. It went wrong when you decided you didn’t respect and love yourself enough to find somebody who TRULY loved you for exactly who you were, rather than trying to force someone else to do it instead. Is this a really ridiculously exaggerated example? Of course, but let’s face it: if guilting somebody into dating you actually worked, the outcome likely wouldn’t be too far off. Plain and simple, if somebody doesn’t love you back, it isn’t a crime, and it doesn’t even necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with you: you two aren’t compatible, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s good information to have. Because there’s nothing worse than putting 100% of yourself into a relationship when the other person really doesn’t want to be there.

So, to conclude: respect others, respect yourself, find love by giving it, never by forcing it. Always strive to be a better person.

Guilt Trips Don’t Work
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  • Anonymous
    I agree with this myTake so much! I have a co-worker trying to guilt me into dating/ sleeping with him right now, this has been going on for 2yrs now.

    He's one of those guys who likes to label himself a "good/nice guy". This guy has already been intimate with 2 other co-workers, that led to months of drama.
    He's a frat guy, so I already know his type, plus there are other females outside of work he's also involved with, but I'm suppose to swoon, because he's such a nice guy, yeah right.

    I'm not physically attracted to him at all. Sorry, but I only date guys, I'm interested in sleeping with. I never flat out told him that, I just told him we're better off as friends.

    Another co-worker who also was trying to get with me for 2yrs was the worst. He too likes to label himself a good/nice guy, which I believed at first. I did mess around with him & ended up contracting mono from him & he lied to me about having a girlfriend (who also works with us). Now that they're broken up, he is trying to guilt me into forgiving him. Wow for what, to catch more germs from you? What would I gain from this Mr. So Called Nice Guy? I told this guy to lose my number & I immediately initiated the No Contact rule.

    The audacity of some people is just unreal.
    Disagree 3 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • Anonymous

      Girl, I feel you. Keep strong and give him what for if it comes down to it. I'm glad you liked the take I wrote; I did it totally on a whim.

Most Helpful Guy

  • Octavius
    Agreed. Whenever someone tries to do this crap to me my immediate first thought is "Why is this person even in my life again?"
    Like 1 Person
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What Girls & Guys Said

  • jjmarvin
    If we're talking about asking people out then yes i agree. I don't think these rules translate to every aspect or every stage of a relationship tho.

    Sometimes people use these ideas as excuses to treat you like a kleenex and throw you away if you're not perfect
  • KDA20
    I must admit I have been lucky - I was around in age before the internet so any awkward romantic feelings that happened was always between acquaintances - I have been on both sides of this situation of unrequited feelings but fortunately I or any of the ladies who heard the term "It is better to remain friends" have accepted it and moved on. I have a slightly caveat if someone comes in with romantic feelings straight away, I don't believe friendzoning works.
    Now the internet came around in my 30s and 40s, maybe it is just me or my age group but the cold calling approach doesn't seem as prevalent for me. I have dabbled in dating sites but very early in interaction I think I am confident enough to pick whether I want this to go the romantic or friends route and if I think someone has feelings for me and I don't, I will try and close it off. In my expierence when the situation is reversed most women my age feel the same.
  • Jager66
    I have never done this nor had this happen to me so it's a little hard to relate to but I hear people talking about it all the time.

    I have had a lot of women ask me out many of them were female friends at the time. I said no and that was the end of it (to the friends asking me), most of them didn't want to be friends anymore but so what... I have lots of good friends and those girls can go find someone who wants to be with them.

    So perhaps the best option is to simply put an end to it without trying to sugar coat things, don;t be an asshole but don't be a wuss either.
  • SIGguy
    Done this, has been done to me, and I see it done to others.
  • Anonymous
    It's so true, I noticed in primary school through to about year nine it was all a who's worst off competition rather than empathy. Ihave had a few guys stop talking to me andthen get a girlfriend. I used to paint myself as a victim and the girl as a villain but then I realised I had to acknowledge the guy's free will and that attraction can change how we'd usually act. I realised I had let some guys lead me on but people don't always realise what they're doing. One of the guys was reluctant to come to an event I'm doing until I asked if he'd like to invite the girl too. Then his view changed and both of them are coming now, so by not victimising myself I might gain two friends instead of one.
  • Anonymous
    Very good take. I especially agreed with the last part about the inevitable failure of relationships based on pity. I wonder if people who do this see these people as goals rather than individuals with their own motivations and think that once they're 'won over', they'll be fine.

    I also think a lot of people believe that a relationship that didn't begin with some sort of manipulation is like some sort of flying unicorn and won't happen.

    I'm probably the type to do that sort of thing (I'm shy, socially awkward, inexperienced) but I'd be too cautious to get dragged (or drag someone else) into a flawed relationship. Plus resigning myself to singledom helps. :P
    • Anonymous

      I'm glad to see you liked it, a lot of people thought I was bagging on dudes specifically. Super refreshing to see you actually read it and understood it.

    • Anonymous

      I don't know how they thought that. I mean, you identified yourself as an example and I'm pretty sure you're a girl. :P

    • Anonymous

      I know, right? I think they just saw the first picture and ran with it, didn't actually read it.

    • Show All
  • Anonymous
    What if I told you?

    I am nice to women because I love and respect them. And the reason so many women end up with jerks is people like you put it into their heads that nice guys are really assholes.
    Disagree 2 People
    • Anonymous

      You tell yourself that friend. Never did I say "nice" people were bad people. I say people who use kindness as currency are bad people.

    • Anonymous

      So that didn't appear in your mytake? You keep telling yourself that.

    • Anonymous

      To say that just because you're nice to somebody doesn't mean they are obligated to date you? Yes, I did put that. That doesn't say: "All men who are nice are assholes." You're taking it in a different direction than what was intended. Perhaps try reading the take instead of focusing on a picture that was put in for a few laughs.

  • Anonymous
    This myTake is just another example of how RIDICULOUSLY harder it is for men to date, compared to women.
    LikeDisagree 4 People
    • Anonymous

      You do realize this take isn't entirely about men, right?

    • Dipsy

      But it is true. It is rediculously harder lol. And women want to have easier lives?

      Look at this. The sad truth:

    • Anonymous


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