The use of guilt is a common thread among people who drink. The alcoholic that I dealt with was constantly creating problems and trying to take me on a guilt trip. If you can learn to recognize when they begin to blame you for everything, then you can choose not to ride on the road of the blame game.
When we begin to recognize that not everything that they say is our fault, then we can stop defending ourselves and there will be less arguing with the problem drinker.
I say often in articles that I write that using the expression “I’m sorry you feel that way” is very freeing. It gives us the power to not get caught up in the moment and buys us time to think about what the alcoholic is throwing our way. At a later time, if what they are saying about us is true and we need to make an amend to someone, then we should keep our side of the street clean and make the amend.
My point is that regardless of the comments that get hurled our way, “We Don’t Do Guilt.” It’s just that simple! When we take everything to heart that gets pushed our way it’s like we are taking the world on our shoulders. The guilt can cause us to feel as though we have little value. Don’t allow anyone to degrade or belittle you. You are a beautiful person, perfectly designed to be exactly who you are.
You must learn how to love yourself in spite of how others treat you. This will make you strong in the face of misguided truths and more.
When insults were hurled at me, I was told to just let them drip off like water dripping from a duck’s back. That expression seems to help for some, but I would rather raise my imaginary shield and let the guilt be deflected away.
The alcoholic who was constantly throwing guilt in my face was a very abusive person. Using an imaginary shield to deflect the abusive comments helped me win the battle. Daily I constantly had to lift up my deflector so the guilt trip would not hit me.
Once I recognized the power that I had allowed the alcoholic to have over my feelings, I refused to ride the roller coaster anymore.
Statements like: “I’m sorry you feel that way” and “that’s not true” or even, “you may be right,” can protect you tremendously from getting into an argument.
You see, the more an alcoholic can keep us anxious, angry and reacting in negative ways, the greater the focus is on our bad behavior and not theirs.
An alcoholic uses guilt in order to get the focus off of them and on us. This is a common thread among addicts. If they can blame everyone else for their problems, then somehow it makes them feel better in a very dysfunctional kind of way.
This is “typical” alcoholic behavior.
When I made up my mind that I was going to love the alcoholic in my life no matter what kind of guilt trip they were trying to give me, patience and love for them increased. This isn’t to say I became a doormat. No! I learned how to set healthy boundaries as well.