How to Make Someone Feel Guilty: 10 Steps

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How to Make Someone Feel Guilty: 10 Steps
How to Make Someone Feel Guilty: 10 Steps

Making someone feel guilty can be a great way to get an apology or anything else you want. However, it is also possible for the other person to resent you through emotional blackmail. If you decide to make someone feel guilty, try to remember that your relationship with the other person is more important than winning any argument.


Method 1 of 2: Ripping Someone Else's Apology

Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 1

Step 1. Ask questions that force the other person to admit what they did

If she doesn't even admit to doing something wrong, she probably won't apologize. Direct accusations may put her on the defensive, but you can force her to confess through prompting questions. At worst, you will at least discover a little lie that you have proof against.

  • If you've discovered that your boyfriend has dated another woman, for example, start by asking "Why didn't you answer the phone sooner?" If he says he was at work, say "No I wasn't. I called there, too."
  • If you know your teenager has stolen money from your wallet, ask "Where did you get money to go to the movies last night?"
  • Be careful about accusing someone of something they may not have done. The other person may be tempted to take action if they are accused of something they did not do.
Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 2

Step 2. Recall other things the person did wrong

Playing the victim is essential to making someone feel guilty. Make the other person feel that this kind of behavior is already expected of them and that you deserve better. The method is especially effective if you can think of things similar to what the other person did this time, but you can also use anything that makes you upset.

  • If you're trying to get your wife to apologize for being too nervous, for example, say "This isn't the first time you've fought with me. Remember when you said…?"
  • Do this only if you need to. The technique can end up encouraging the other person to remember wrong things you've done, too.
Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 3

Step 3. Question the other person's feelings

Explain that the way she acted makes you doubt how she feels about you. This might even be true in some cases, especially if you're upset about something serious. Regardless, the important thing is to make the other person feel that they need to prove that they still like you.

  • Say something like "How can you say you love me and lie to me?"
  • Another option: "I was really hurt that you forgot my birthday. Don't you care about me anymore?"
Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 4

Step 4. Remind the other person of good things you have done for them

Contrast her actions with cool things you've already done. The more recent and grand the gesture, the better, but any little thing should do. The memory doesn't even have to have anything to do with the subject of the moment. All it takes is for her to demonstrate what a wonderful person you are.

  • If someone has taken something from you without permission, say "After everything I've given you, how could you have the courage to steal from me?"
  • You can also say something like "I don't think you even cared about the flowers I gave you the other day, so you want to fight me now."
  • Another option is to say something like "I made you dinner every night for five years and you can't even remember to buy a carton of milk on the way home?"
  • Be careful not to overdo it. Otherwise, the other person may start to feel less gratitude towards you and think it's only a matter of time before you throw whatever nice little thing you've done in their face.
Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 5

Step 5. Rebut any attempts by the other person to blame you

When we try to emotionally blackmail someone, it is common for the other person to try to use the same tactic against us. Even if you've done something wrong, never admit it! Instead, shift the blame back to the other person.

  • If you want your boyfriend to apologize for texting another girl, for example, he might try to make you feel guilty for messing with his cell phone. In that case, say something like "And it looks like my suspicions were correct, didn't it?"
  • Even if you lose your mind, try to recover with something like "I wouldn't scream if you didn't make me feel this way!"
  • Refusing to admit a mistake is great for making someone feel guilty, but it's not very healthy for a relationship.
Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 6

Step 6. Exaggerate your emotions

If the other person resists your advances, it's time to push the drama. Cry, scream, smack your feet on the floor… do what you want! Eventually, the other person will be so desperate to calm you down that they'll say anything you want to hear.

Play a little with the other person's feelings, too. Make her feel even more guilty with words like "disappointed", "selfish" and "ashamed"

Method 2 of 2: Getting Something You Want

Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 7

Step 1. Recall your recent achievements and good deeds

When you're getting ready to ask someone for something, start by pointing out their good points. The success of emotional blackmail is directly proportional to how good you look in the other person's eyes.

  • If you want a new cell phone, for example, start by saying "Dad, have you seen my newsletter? My lowest grade all year was eight!"
  • As for getting someone to donate to your charitable organization, list all the good things the organization has done for the community.
Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 8

Step 2. Appeal to the other person's negative feelings

Sadness, grief, anger, injustice and shame are all very powerful weapons. To force someone to give you something, try making them feel bad. So he will do anything to replace the discomfort with a more positive feeling.

  • If you want your parents to take you out to eat, for example, say "I'd really like to go out with you guys to spend time with my family, but it doesn't seem like that's important."
  • If you want a new outfit, try saying "I'm embarrassed because my clothes aren't as nice as those of my schoolmates."
  • Exaggerate the language with words like "always" and "never" to mark your position well. Say, for example, "You're always working and you never spend time with me."
Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 9

Step 3. Make the thing you want a synonym for happiness or love

After appealing to the other person's negative feelings, let them feel that giving them what you want will make them (and you) feel better. Use words like "love", "happiness" and "the best" to make yourself understood. This technique often works well with parents, who feel the need to show their children how much they love them.

  • Say, for example, "Don't you want me to be happy?" or "If you help me, you'll feel better too!"
  • You can also try saying "Don't you love me?" or "If you loved me, you…"
  • Don't forget, though, that your parents really love you. Exploiting this feeling for a petty reason is quite manipulative. The tactic can be effective, but it can also make them angry.
Give Someone a Guilt Trip Step 10

Step 4. If you get a no, ask for the same thing in different ways

Even the best emotional blackmail is subject to failure. If you don't get what you want right away, take a break and try again later. Be persistent. It may be that the other person gives in just to get rid of you.

  • If the other person says no the first time, counter it with something like "I know you said no, but think about it…"
  • You can also wait a few days and say, "I wish you would reconsider lending me the car this weekend."


  • There are several positive ways to get people to do or say what you want. Making someone feel guilty should be used as a last resort. In fact, the ideal is that you never do this.
  • Never blackmail someone into having sex with you. This type of coercion is considered sexual abuse.
  • Avoid overt and overly elaborate lies.

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