How to respond when someone tries to make you feel guilty

People who engage in emotional blackmail know exactly which buttons to press to make you feel guilty. Basically, they are trying to control you so you will confirm, and do exactly as they please.

You normally think of a guilt trip as something that your mom does, trying to trick you into eating your vegetables or cleaning your room. My friend’s mom always says to him, “I incubated you in my womb for 9 months, doing X is the least you could do for me.”

Really, guilt trips are a form of psychological manipulation because the person knows your weaknesses and will do or say whatever it takes to get to you do what they want.


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You could be direct and let the person know that you feel resentful of the way they are trying to control you, and their actions are just pushing you further away.

Next time someone tries to give you a guilt trip, use one of our clever comebacks and let them know that you’re onto them.

11 Best comebacks when someone gives you a guilt trip

1. Yes, made a mistake. No you don’t have to bring it up all the time.

2. Guilt trips don’t work on me don’t expect me to pack a suitcase cause I’m not going.

3. Thanks for the offer but I’m not buying a ticket on your guilt trip.

4. Yeah I made a mistake, life doesn’t come with instructions.

5. Nice try, but I’m immune to guilt trips.

6. You have mistaken me for someone who cares.

7. I get that it you are not happy with my choice, but I have to take responsibility for my life and my choices.

8. It is important to make decisions that align with my personal values. I hope that you can see my point of view.

9. I have to prioritize my own well being and I am sorry if that upsets you.

10. Honestly, I am doing my best to navigate this situation in the best way for everyone.

11. I get that this is really important to you, and I will take your feelings into consideration.

Why do people try to make you feel guilty?

People may try to make others feel guilty for many different self serving reasons. Sometimes it is because they want to control a person’s actions or manipulate them to do what they want. Other times, it may be because they themselves feel guilty about something they have personally done, and instead of taking responsibility they project their guilt onto other people.

Guilt can also be used as a way of punishing someone for perceived wrongdoings or mistakes.

Making someone feel guilty is an easy way to control or manipulate another person. If a person is trying make you feel guilty, you have the right to set boundaries and protect yourself. Don’t let others use guilt as a tool to manipulate you.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Guilt trip from mom

More comebacks you might like

How to deal with someone giving you a guilt trip

When someone is trying to take you on a guilt trip, you need to be assertive ,but also approach the situation with empathy.

Let the person know that you understand they have concerns about the situation, but it is also OK to state your firm boundaries. Share that their behavior impacts you, and it can be stressful and express how you feel calmly.

Try to address any concerns and see if you can find any common solutions to resolve the issue. Remember that you have a right to feel the way that you do without the guilt trip!

The Role of counselling and self care

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Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home. 

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home. 

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with someone who tries to make you feel giulty? Share them in the comments below.

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  1. The gal at the grocery store cashier said to the bagger, (who by the way has a disability), “ Don’t worry, Bowie will be dead soon. We will let you know when Bowie comes up front, Okay???”
    This was said in my presence as I was paying for the groceries. I wasn’t sure how to react, so I did not return a rude remark.
    I am not sure what the bagger thought about this or how he felt.
    This was said loudly enough to make me feel guilty or humiliated about something.
    I am rather surprised that person is employed there.

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