Monday, November 30, 2009

injaynesworld "We Don't Do Guilt Trips..."


The surest way to get me to not do something is to guilt-trip me about doing it. 

Being a recovering Catholic, I’m pretty sensitive to guilt.  After all, I was barely five years old when I learned that I was a sinner and personally responsible for the death of Jesus and I have to say, that’s a helluva thing to lay on a kid. 


Of course, like any other recovery program, you never actually recover.   The sight of a nun, even Sally Field playing one on TV, can still set me off in a raging case of hives, but I have gotten better at handling guilt-trippers. (Not to be confused with the Beatles’ “Day-Trippers,” and if you don’t remember the Beatles, you need to leave now.)

Where was I…?   Oh , right.  Guilt-trippers.   Whereas in the past they could actually succeed in making me feel guilty some of the time, now I just get pissed off because I realize what a sad-assed attempt at manipulation guilt really is, and it makes me want to get as far away from the perpetrator of said guilt as possible. 

This post actually relates to another I wrote some time back called “The Power of No” and will probably make more sense to you if you click on the link, go read “The Power of No” and then come back.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.  I have to pee anyway…

Back?... Good.   See, here’s my point.  At this time of year -- especially at this time of year -- when the pressure to please is as pervasive as the pressure to spend, it would seem like a good time to reclaim our right and our power to say no if we want to without feeling all responsible for how shitty someone else chooses to feel about it. 

At my age, I know I’ve earned that right, but you don’t have to be an old fart to claim it for yourself.  

Happy Guilt-Free Holidays.

If you don’t leave a comment, you will be personally responsible for ruining my day… Just messin’ with ya.  ;)


22 comments:

Kim Ayres said...

Yeah ok, I'm sufficiently guilted into leaving a comment...

Linda Medrano said...

I have a dear friend named Nelson. He is something of a hermit, as well as being a "super-brain". Love him to death, but he can make me tired too. Okay, Nelson has no hesitation about saying "no" whether it's to an invitation or a request. He isn't rude or unkind or unpleasant but he says "no". He gives no excuses or apologies. I envy the hell out of him. I rarely lie, but if I do it's to cover the fact that I cannot simply say "no". Good piece, Jayne!

Jen said...

It's funny because I'm not Catholic, Jewish, or Italian but yet my family has taken guilt to a new level that only the above groups can lay claim to. I don't even need to be manipulated I just feel guilty about everything. Years ago in high school some of my friends decided to get together and trash the womens bathroom. I don't know why, we went to a very good school and no one ever rebelled but for some reason my friends decided to do this. The smeared butter on the mirror. That's it. We lived fast and played hard.
I knew about the plan to deface the mirror but got distracted and never made it to the bathroom on time. The girls were busted and an assembly was called to shame everyone (at least all the girls) into admitting their participation.
As I was walking to the assembly I was talking to my math teacher (who smoked a lot of pot and was dating a senior student.) I mentioned that I knew about the plan, basically spilled my guts to him, and that I felt I should turn myself in. He turned to me and said "Never feel guilty for something you didn't do".

I kept my mouth shut.

I still feel guilty about everything but I can usually shake it off and rarely react to it.

Luckily most of my family is dead now and my brother and I rarely get together for holidays so there is little guilt left to spread around. Happy holidays to you too.

Kristi Stevens said...

Thank you for this. It is just the reminder I needed as I sit here contemplating that my mom will be disappointed with the Christmas gift I have purchased her. I am not, repeat, I am not spending my lunch hour buying her an additional gift. In the end? No matter what I buy will be enough. So, I'm giving her what I decided I wanted to give her and she is now the proud owner of her own reaction to it.

Can I please have a 1 800 number for Christmas Day?

Love,
K

justsomethoughts... said...

have a holly jolly - wait one minute. wasnt it me who killed - never mind. i'll let you keep that on your head.
i've got better things to do and drink.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

Catholic guilt and Jewish guilt are similar. Now, how do I use it effectively on my kids??

pinktattoochick said...

I was guilted into leaving a comment lol

My family puts guilt on me during the Holidays more so than needed. I'm tired of all it. I just want to have a nice happy holidays with out everyone complaining.

Nice post!

xoxo

Karen said...

Great post twinset, a one-two punch in the No.

I was going to say that I wish somebody had said this to me 20 years ago, but I realize I would have added, silently and in my head, "...except for me," and continued on with all my yessing.

We're rewarded socially for saying yes all the time, even to our detriment: http://www.polarisrising.com/martyrdom-chief-feature-and-healing-victim-consciousness.html Healing that, like ou suggest, leads to more joy.

CatLadyLarew said...

Thank you so much, Jayne! Now I can totally forgo purchasing Xmas gifts for my extended family without guilt!

kimber p said...

mothers = guilt
children = guilt
God = guilt
food = guilt
failed relationships = guilt
happiness = guilt

it's just built in and there's nothing we can do to escape it's slimy, choking grip....

that's why I love wine.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I used to have a boss who would say, "Have a great weekend with your family; don't do any work." In the next breath: "I need this first thing Monday." Arguing the logic didn't work. I finally learned: do it, or don't do it, and take your chances. If I don't guilt myself, nobody else can guilt me, either.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Geez, Jayne. Guilt-free holidays? What kind of crap is that! LOL

Stephanie said...

I was raised in a fairly guilt-free environment. Until - drum roll - at age 12 I snuck out my window in the middle of the night, met my best friend and was picked up by the police on our way to her boyfriend's house. Not even MY bf... Next day was Mothers Day and the first time I ever saw mine crying. Wah. My first experience with that big old sucker punch to the gut. Hardly my last…

gayle said...

x Catholic.........still have guilt but I'm trying!!

BLOGitse said...

No guilt here!
To learn that has not been easy.
But now we enjoy get together with family/friends - when we want not what the calendar says.
Forget all the gifts - be a gift yourself! Cheers! :)

mo.stoneskin said...

Hope you had a nice trip to the loo...saying "no" can be very hard, especially for people-pleasers like myself.

Tawnia said...

I hate guilt. Which is why I can't have my mom around at all! Nothing is ever good enough for her. Well I gotta go and get off the computer my kid is whining... Oh damn it, that guilt shit is always around:)
Love Tawnia

Rootietoot said...

Guilt. hm. In my prayer group we have a "cover your bases" guilt trip confession "forgive me for my wandering mind and selfish ways", which means "sorry for lusting after Agent Gibbs and hogging the cheetoes" or something. I'm not Catholic, but Presbyterian, which is the Protestant Catholic,and I refuse to feel guilty for Agent Gibbs and the cheetoes.

LucyCooper said...

Oh, boy. The death of Jesus. That was you? For 30+ years I've walked around just sure it was my bad....

My name is PJ. said...

High Five from one, ahem, wiser woman to another!

No is a complete sentence. That's my credo. And it's oh-so-easy!

When Pigs Fly said...

Now I don't want to feel guilty for not leaving a comment. I must agree about the whole guilt thing. One would think I was raised Catholic given my propensity for guilt ridden angst. It's tough to let it go. I do try not to be a doormat.

OMYWORD! said...

Man (er, I should say Woman, I guess), this ex-Catholic really needed to read this post today. :-|

Thanks for a shot of courage in the just-say-no department!

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