Ever been guilt-tripped by someone because you didn’t comply with their agenda? One day I got a call from a friend who decided last minute to go skiing in Mammoth the next day. I did have a birthday I was invited to but I felt it was more important for my sanity to get out of town and smell some pine trees. On top of that, I had already seen this person on their birthday a week prior. When I texted to tell them I needed to take advantage of this opportunity and asked if we could get together when I got back, Instead of saying “ok no worries” or “Have fun let’s get together when you get back,” they texted “We all make our own choices.”

So the question becomes: Why does someone like this respond in such a disempowered way? Well, basically, if someone cannot be happy for a person who missed their birthday due to being on vacation and tries to make them feel guilty, they likely see themselves through a lens of insecurity and possessiveness. This perspective is often rooted in feelings of inadequacy, fear of abandonment, or a need for validation and attention.

This person might perceive the friend’s vacation as a personal slight or rejection, interpreting it as a sign that they are not valued or prioritized. This lens can lead to a sense of entitlement to others’ time and attention, where any deviation from their expectations feels like a betrayal.

Such a perspective can stem from:

  1. Low Self-Esteem: Feeling unworthy and needing constant reassurance from others to feel valued.
  2. Fear of Abandonment: Worrying that people will leave them, so they react strongly to perceived neglect.
  3. Possessiveness: Seeing relationships in terms of control and ownership, leading to discomfort when others act independently.

This mindset can harm relationships, causing resentment and driving people away. To shift this perspective, it would be helpful for the individual to work on building self-worth, understanding and respecting others’ autonomy and developing a more secure attachment style in relationships. Cultivating gratitude and empathy can also help them appreciate others’ happiness without feeling threatened by it.

Once you understand how someone’s mind works out of fear, abandonment, and possessiveness, you can let go of the guilt and have compassion for them. If you’d like to learn more about how to handle difficult people with ease and say goodbye to anxiety and guilt I recommend checking out our Breakthrough Coaching Program and The Winner’s Mindset HERE.

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