October 14, 2010

Guilt: A Powerful Weapon

Guilt is a powerful weapon that many people learn to use to manipulate us into behaving exactly as they desire. This is something that many learn from a young age when they start to guilt their parents into proper behavior. The line 'you dont love me' is a sign that one is trying to guilt another. Basically, the former is playing upon the emotions of the later. As we know, this is an effective way to get what we want.

Only If We Buy Into It

All of us hate having this done to us. I cannot think of anyone who like to be played like this no matter if it is done by a Master, child, husband/wife, or co-worker. It is a horrible feeling to know that you were so blatantly manipulated. It is one of the more obvious methods used and often leaves one feeling completely down.

The odd thing about guilt is it is effective only if we buy into it. This might sound counter-intuitive but guilt has no power except for that which we give it. When we say 'he made me feel guilty', we are actually lying to ourselves. The truth is that we allowed ourselves to be pressured into feeling guilty. We chose to give another person the power to manipulate us to his (in this example) ends. The personal responsibility that we were all given dictates this. Another person only has power over us if we choose to give it to that person.

Guilt And BDSM

A BDSM relationship is simply another form of a relationship. Therefore, we see many of the same characteristics of all other relationships within the confines of this one. People using guilt to manipulate each other is commonplace. Dominants do it to their submissives who, in turn, do it back to them. In some situations, it is a vicious cycle.

While there are hundreds of forms of manipulation via guilt, the simple fact is that it is highly inappropriate in a BDSM relationship. To start, the fundamental basis of this type of relationship is some type of power exchange. This places the balance of the power in the hands of one person. Therefore, the dominant is one who should not need guilt to get one to obey. Obedience is something that is a basic component of this relationship. If not, the dominant is lacking in his/her control.

On the other side of the coin, a submissive person should not be manipulative. While I realize this is often not possible, it is a goal that one ought to strive for. Manipulation occurs when a sub/slave is not getting what is desired. In essence, he or she feels that the dominant one should grant another choice and this person is going to use guilt as a means to get that end. Guilt is something that we are all taught by society so it comes natural. I find that most are often unaware that they do this.

Of course, manipulation should never be tolerated. Corrective action needs to be taken whenever this monster appears. Left unattended it will grow into a regular part of your relationship. This is simply a habit that one does. Since most are unaware of it, the first step is to bring it to one's attention. After that, the necessary actions can occur for correction.

Self Imposed

The final component aspect of guilt to cover is the self imposed version. Not only are people experts are manipulating others, we also are equally as talented in using guilt on ourselves. Here is a simple question, 'have you ever felt guilty about something that you did' (or did not do)? Everyone will answer this question in the affirmative. To go one step further, where did the feeling of guilt come from? The truth is that we imposed it upon ourselves. We are apt to buy into this concept whenever we do it.

To stop this behavior, one needs to search further as to what is behind the guilt. I found that most people are too hard on themselves. This is especially true of submissive types. For whatever reason, they have a 'perfectionism' complex. Perhaps this is because the dominant ones are too hard on them but the fact remains that many do not cut themselves the slack to be human. It is impossible for a sub/slave to be perfect. Entering this lifestyle does not exempt us from the natural state of being human. Mistakes as much a part of life as breathing is.

Thus, it is imperative that one 'lighten' up if he or she is to ever overcome feeling guilty. There is no reason to feel guilt over making a mistake. They happen. The important thing is to learn from them when they occur and ensure that you do not repeat the same behavior. Forgetting something, making an error, or outright disobedience are all things that can be overcome. Guilt is something that never makes anything better. We live in a world where we are judged for our actions. Results are created through action. Thus, the feeling of guilt only serves to imprison us while clouding the path to a solution. It serves no purpose so resist the temptation to engage in it.

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