Not all travel is fun, real, or metaphorical. Take the guilt trip, for example. These manipulative behaviors are more prevalent than you think and frequently happen in Latino households.
“Nadie me ayuda en esta casa.” You’ve probably heard this time and time again from your Latina mom (or dad).
When you were younger, your parents complained that they had all the household responsibilities on their shoulders in addition to having to work all day. This left you feeling like you could not relax after a long day of school and extracurricular activities.
As an adult, parents such as these still find ways of making you second-guess yourself, all because they want you to do something a certain way.
Statements like these make you harbor feelings of guilt and shame. You may brush them off, but they continue to ring in your mind and have you considering all your behaviors and decisions.
Does this sound familiar? Your parents are essentially guilt-tripping you, which is a fancy way of saying that they make you feel guilty so that you feel inclined to do what they want you to do.
If you feel this way, you may start to wonder when and how your parents are managing to make you feel this way. Here are some signs that can help you identify a toxic pattern with a parent.
Controlling and Manipulative Behaviors
Do your parents have a tendency to make you second-guess yourself? Every time you want to do something for yourself, they find just the “right” words to say that make you question what you are doing. Things such as “I guess I’ll spend the weekend alone” or “You should be more like your prima” trickle into your head and change your mindset.
This is essentially your parents’ desire to manipulate you, putting you through a guilt trip and shame to control you into doing what they want. If you feel you have to tiptoe around your parents and distort the truth so they won’t ruin the moment with unsolicited advice, you are most likely experiencing a toxic relationship with them.
No Respect for Boundaries
A parent that uses guilt-tripping to get what they want out of you is a parent that has zero regard for your boundaries. Even if they are your parents, they should respect you and your decisions and boundaries. Being their child does not give them a “free pass” to do as they wish and impose their will on your life.
And being made to question your choices by their toxic statements is a clear sign that they are using their control over you to make you live a certain way.
Your Parents Are Self-Involved
Some parents have this “gift” of being able to distort any situation to be about them. The “what about me?” or “imagine if you had my life” diminishes any obstacle you may be going through and makes it seem like only their experiences matter.
You can start feeling guilty for even complaining about a bad day because your parents always remind you that you can be worse off. This feeling of shame they instill in you is part of their toxic patterns to try and belittle you so that they can still feel superior.
These parents crave attention and need the world to revolve around them, and one of their ways to accomplish this is by being self-centered and self-involved.
Having a parent like this can be a difficult situation to navigate. Still, the first step is identifying the signs of a guilt trip so that you can form boundaries to keep the negativity away from your life.