The Guilt Trip

A mother faces her children who are sitting listening to her lecture

One of the perks of being an adult is that you can do what you want when you want as long as you keep it legal. Sometimes, though, the invisible deterring power of guilt will render that free will useless.

Latinos know the guilt trip all too well. It’s basically extreme reverse psychology where the guilt tripper makes you feel bad about your decision, whether they know it or not.

The Weaponry

Guilt trips come in all shapes and sizes. From a simple sigh to gently asking “aren’t you going to help me?” these small examples are considered guilt trips. Sadly, women seem to be the ones who pick up on this incredible talent, using it to their advantage in any relationship necessary. Sometimes, it’s so ingrained that people don’t even realize that they’re doing it. Nonetheless, you know when it’s happening to you.

A mother asks her son to clean his room. He releases a small sigh and she brakes down slowly, or so it seemed. She begins with a pity plea, growing into angry commands to not question her all under three minutes. It’s baffling.

It can be considered a long-range weapon and a zombie bite; it can be done through a phone call or even text message. Like a zombie bite, the infection might have you doing it one day. Though guilt trips are common and never too far away, no matter what race or creed, it’s in the wonderful world of Latinos where something as simple as a guilt trip can become an act of everyday life.

So do you stop it or use it?

Guiltily getting someone to do something for you is never a great idea. The willingness for something bigger than finishing chores for a child is a must to do anything well and to a certain standard. Although guilt trips don’t come for something that necessarily has a standard, allowing for individuals to make up their own decisions is important and necessary.

Telling someone what you want without beating around the guilt-trip bush is more effective and straight-forward, leaving no space for confusion. However, to the guilt-tripper’s dismay, this allows for the option of hearing “no” which is what most people fear. Having someone feel that they give in is a safe way of hearing “ok,” “yes” or hesitatingly, “all right, I’ll do it.”

Whatever the request, wouldn’t it feel better if the person wanted to achieve it willingly?

Editor’s Note: ”Entre Nos” has been created to start conversations about issues that Latinos endure at home or in personal relationships. Many of these ideas will stem into more cultural issues that will be discussed further on LatinoDr.org.