If you’ve been in the company of a manipulator for a long time, you will start acting in toxic ways yourself. For instance, you will lie about innocent things.
It’s called innocent guilt and it’s a real thing. You see, there are four main levels of guilt, but they do not include innocent guilt.
- Natural guilt – You’ve done something wrong, and you feel bad about it
- Toxic guilt – You constantly have an unfounded feeling that you are not a good person
- Existential guilt – You feel guilty for the injustices in the world
- Survivor’s guilt – When you feel bad for surviving when others die after tragedies
While some forms of guilt are healthy, others are not. As for innocent guilt, it can damage your self-worth through the fear of confrontation, the acceptance of misplaced responsibilities, and lying. So, how does the manipulator trick you into feeling so guilty that you turn to this toxic behavior?
1. The guilt trip
It’s like falling over something that isn’t really there. Manipulators are people who want things their way and that’s all. So, the reason why we lie out of misplaced guilt is so we do not have to endure the disgusting performance of guilt-tripping.
Let’s say you really don’t want to go see a movie because you’re busy. However, to prevent the manipulator from making you look inconsiderate with a guilt trip, you just say,
“Yes, I would like to go, and yes, I am excited about the show.”
First, you do something you don’t really want to do, and you lie about how you feel in the situation. And this is all because, apparently, “You don’t love them” if you aren’t as excited as they are about the movie. I am totally serious – people like this exist.
2. Truth isn’t worth the trouble
Unfortunately, some people, namely significant others, tear apart your truth, trying to find fault. So, if this happens so much, it may become easier to tell a lie that’s simple.
For example, if you suddenly get a text from a cousin and you go for a visit, you know that your boyfriend will ask a million questions and act suspicious, as he seems to be quite manipulative. So, you tell him you stayed home all day, despite the fact that your visit with your cousin was completely innocent. It’s easier.
3. The guilt of success
Manipulators are toxic and so they feel uncomfortable when others are successful. If you have a manipulative girlfriend and you won an award, you may feel tempted to hide this from her. Let’s say, she was aware that you entered a contest, and she asks if you won.
So, to prevent jealousy and insecurity, you may lie to her. Now, this isn’t always easy to cover up, as awards are announced in some form or another. But if you can hide it, you may do that if your mate is prone to secretly wishing for your failure. And you will know when this is that type of person.
4. Information is used against you
There are some manipulators that are so maniacal that they will use any information about you as a weapon, even the truth. Sometimes, it’s easier to say you had a normal childhood than share truths about childhood tragedies.
And this is also true about day-to-day activities or information. If you have a manipulative friend, you may choose to lie about concerns and problems just to keep them from gaining too much information.
For example, you’re having issues with your children and your friend can tell that something is bothering you. So, they ask you what’s wrong. Instead of talking about your problems, you lie and say nothing is wrong.
Yes, you can’t simply say you don’t want to talk about it because manipulators take offense to this statement. Sometimes they use guilt to persuade you. And so, you may even elaborate with more lies. Because you’ve learned that the person you thought was a friend wants your information to possibly use it against you in the future.
The pain of innocent guilt
While it may seem harmless to lie to manipulative people, you’re creating a bad habit. Sometimes the lies will spill over into healthy relationships, and this is unfortunate.
It’s another reason why choosing your relationships, friends, and overall acquaintances is so important. Innocent lies are still lies, and we should always strive to be better and do better, no matter how difficult it may seem.
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