Anyone with Asian parents can probably tell you two things:
- Their parents knew how to negotiate anything.
- Their parents knew how to guilt trip them to do anything.
However, you certainly don’t have to grow up with Asian parents to experience it.
After all, we all know what it feels like. Guilt trips are those nebulous feelings of things we “should” be doing, exacerbated by people like our parents, friends, and coworkers.
- Maybe your parents are always telling you, “Don’t put me in an old folks’ home!”
- Maybe your uncle always brags about how your cousin is at the top of her class — while you’re struggling to get Cs.
- Maybe you want to quit your job but your boss makes you feel guilty about leaving while there’s a big project to finish.
Whatever it is, we’ve all been there — which got me thinking: What guilt trip stories do my readers have?
So a while back, I asked — and the answers I got back were hilarious and oftentimes haunting. That’s why today I want to share the 5 best reader answers to that question.
Here they are in no particular order.
Guilt trip #1: “Go home before 7pm or else I will die from heart attack.”
Hell hath no fury like a mom waiting for her kid to get home. Also props to this mom for pushing her guilt trip game to the next level. This is a super high stakes guilt trip.
Even if you know she’s just joking, you’re going to make sure you’re at home before 7 if your mom lays this line on you.
Guilt trip #2: “I understand. It’s not like I ever drove you to baseball practice, cooked you hot meals every night, helped pay for your private school tuition.”
Son-of-the-Year Award goes to you, Ryan. My god. Though if my mom laid on the guilt that thick (and she has before) I know I’d practically be running to go pick her up — though I’m not foolish enough to ever think I can rock cowboy boots.
Guilt trip #3: “If you love me, you’ll skip school.”
I can imagine parents guilt tripping you to get better grades and go to school, but this is ridiculous! Though, if you’re like most kids, there are worst things for your parents to be guilt tripping you to do.
Guilt trip #4: “You owe me, I bought you an engagement ring.”
What’s your favorite part about that? Mine is the “EX.” Good riddance. Nobody should ever feel pressured to lose weight PERIOD. Let alone for a dumb reason like some idiot bought you an engagement ring.
Guilt trip #5: “Are you sure you want to leave us like this?”
Ugh. This type of guilt tripping is absolutely infuriating. You should never feel like you have to stay in a job you hate just because your boss wasn’t smart enough to properly staff his company. That’s like staying in a crappy relationship because you’re afraid that breaking up will make the other person feel bad.
No matter what this boss says, it’s better for both the company, and more importantly your mental health, to leave the job.
Why guilt trips SUCK
No matter what shape or form the guilt trip comes in, you can rest assured one thing: They SUCK. They’re manipulative, gross, and only serve to leverage your emotions against your own self-interests.
BUT there is hope. If you ever find yourself caught in a guilt trip — whether it’s self-induced or brought on by a worried mother — you can get rid of all of your guilt by simply placing them in a worry vault.
The Worry Vault technique to ending a guilt trip
Before you take your guilt-tripping parents and lock them away in a vault somewhere like an Edgar Allan Poe villain, you should know that the Worry Vault is more of a mindset.
Here’s how it essentially works: Focus on what you CAN control, and ignore what you can’t.
A large majority of us spend time focusing on things completely outside of our control. That’s why we love to complain about:
- The economy
- Guilt-trip inducing relatives
- Negative people
A great example of this happened a while back when I was about to appear on TV and had my very own makeup lady do my makeup for me (only the manliest guys wear makeup after all).
She said, “So you’re this finance guy, huh? You know they started taking $200 a week out of my paycheck!”
So I asked, “Who’s they?”
She replied, “The government, of course! What do you think I should do about it?”
And I just smiled and said, “You know, you could look into that…but let me ask you something: Do you have a 401k?”
She said, “Yeah.”
“Have you maxed it out?”
“I don’t know.”
“What about a Roth IRA? How much do you put in there per year?”
And she said, “I didn’t put in anything this year. Last year, I contributed a little.”
It was then she got the point: It’s easy to complain about what “they” are doing but it’s much harder to actually do something about the things you can control.
For example, Aimee from guilt trip #1 can tell her mom when she’ll be home safe, but she can’t make her mom do cardio to keep her heart in shape.
Use the Worry Vault
When it comes to actually implementing the Worry Vault technique, you might feel a little silly at first. I know because when I first implemented the technique, I couldn’t believe it myself.
I had been tossing and turning in my bed feeling guilty and worrying about silly things like, “Why did I say that embarrassing thing to that cute girl?” or “Why did I get a C on that last test?” Just kidding I never got Cs.
And then, I started to imagine a big, black area of space in my mind. Slowly, I let each of my worries drift into that corner. Soon, I decided to put everything in that corner into a little imaginary vault and closed the door.
I thought to myself, “I’m just going to deal with these issues tomorrow.”
And it worked. I fell right back asleep and the next morning, I felt energized and motivated to address the issues I had been worrying about.
I want you to do this the next time you start worrying or feeling guilty. And it doesn’t have to be a vault. It can be a box or a safe or your kitchen pantry. I don’t care! As long as it creates a strong image in your mind of you locking away your worries.
I know. This sounds weird and gimmicky and silly BUT IT ACTUALLY WORKS. Give it a shot yourself. Do this three nights in a row and I promise you’ll gain interesting results with this technique.
In my course Success Triggers, I talk about how to overcome the debilitating feeling of guilt through powerful habits. Below is the video from that course where I talk about just that. Check it out.
Stop feeling guilty with effective habits
To be a top performer, you need to be able to recognize when you’re feeling guilty and respond to it in a proactive way.
After all, successful people don’t just stew in their guilt. They systematically attack it and identify winning habits to avoid it in the future.
That’s why my team and I created the Ultimate Guide to Habits. In it you’ll learn:
- How to set goals — the RIGHT way. Most people don’t know how to set good goals. They just think of something they want and then start “trying” to make it happen. When they don’t get what they want, they’re left wondering what went wrong. I’ll teach you the best way to set and reach your goals.
- Creating a functional habit loop. Have you ever wondered why it’s so tough to make little changes in your life? And why some people seem to be able to do it with ease? I’ll teach you a simple system that makes forming and keeping new habits effortless.
- How to make any habit last forever. Most are often left wondering, “Why did I lose my motivation?” I’ll teach you why relying on motivation is a loser’s game — and what to do if you ever get off track.
Imagine 30 days from today, jumping out of bed early with tons of energy. You actually LOOK FORWARD to the day — no more feeling frazzled or guilty for not doing enough the previous day — because of the new “peak performance” tools you’re using now.
Maybe you want to start eating healthier, or cook a meal once a week. Maybe you want to start a business, or even just read one book a month.
No problem. Start small. Pick one or two things to use these powerful techniques on, and watch what happens.
Just sign up below and I’ll send you a free copy of the Ultimate Guide to Habits right away.