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A guilt trip is a feeling of guilt or responsibility, especially an unjustified one induced by someone else. Creating a guilt trip in another person may be considered to be psychological manipulation in the form of punishment for a perceived transgression. Guilt trips are also considered to be a form of passive aggression.
The victim may be reminded of something bad they did, made to feel guilty about it and then given an option to escape that guilt. The option will depend on what the manipulator wants them to do. People often feel obliged to comply with guilt trip demands as a way of receiving others' approval.
George K. Simon interprets the guilt trip as a special kind of intimidation tactic. A manipulator suggests to the conscientious victim that he or she does not care enough, is too selfish or has it easy. This usually results in the victim feeling bad, keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious and submissive position.
The first known published use of the term is in 1967.
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- Guilt trip ngram
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