I confess that I am a Guilt Taker. I've spent most of my life feeling something is my fault. It doesn't matter whether it's true or not, I will feel guilty. And from there, I can be manipulated by a Guilt Giver.
Guilt Givers have a difficult time apologizing but Guilt Takers apologize so much that it can drive people crazy. Somehow we manage to attract each other. I married a Guilt Giver. If the two become one, then we've done a good job of balancing each other. I can remind Kevin when he needs to apologize for something and he can remind me when I don't need to apologize for something.
We guilt takers know who we are. We're the ones those ads are geared toward. You know the ones, starving children, hurting animals, adopt a penguin.... anything with stirring music and someone who tells you that you could make a difference. Who thinks these up? The guilt givers! They know that we guilt takers are out there, just ready for one well aimed guilt attack to make us whip out our checkbooks to assuage our guilt. A guilt taker and a checkbook means that someone won and it wasn't the guilt taker.
Guilt givers don't see the problem. They simply tell us guilt takers not to take the guilt. It's so simple to a guilt giver. But to guilt takers, it's almost impossible.
Some days I feel as thought everywhere I turn, I am hit by guilt. I am so sorry for the animals at the humane society. I am so sorry that there are so many animals that need to be adopted. I feel guilty that I don't want anymore pets. I take good care of my pets and I have had them spayed and neutered and yet I still feel guilty. Because I have anything to feel guilty about? No, because I am a guilt taker!
I don't think I know how to feel badly about something without mixing it with guilt. A guilt giver would tell me that I'm being narcissistic. A guilt taker will understand.
Maybe we need to hit people harder these days with guilt because we've become de-sensitized to pain around us. Or maybe general selfishness keeps us from seeing needs and then trying to help. Some people need to be jolted into action and guilt can be that jolt.
I totally understand freedom in Christ and no longer carrying the guilt of sin. This is separate from that. This is just me recognizing how I can be manipulated and trying to keep a healthy distance from unhealthy guilt.
Anyone else a Guilt Giver or a Guilt Taker? Maybe I should just feel guilty for bringing the subject up.....