Weapons Of Control (Guilt-Shame-Fear)

A lot of us one way or the other have developed some manipulative tactics to defend ourselves especially when we want to cover up some of our bad behaviors, our fears and our weaknesses. Most times we end up being manipulative and controlling.


These tactics include projection, a defense where the manipulator accuses others of his or own behavior. Manipulators believe “The best defense is a good offense.” By shifting the blame, the aggrieved person is now on the defensive. The manipulator remains innocent and free to carry on, while their victims now feel guilt and shame.

Abusers are known to blame their victims or anyone else. Addicts typically blame their addiction on other people, their demanding boss or “bitchy” spouse. A criminal defendant with no defense will attack the police or their methods of collecting evidence. Rapists used to be able to attack the reputation of their victims. In a domestic violence case, the husband, who had beaten his wife, blamed her for his violence.


Guilt-tripping and shaming shift the focus onto you, which weakens you while the abuser feels superior. Martyrs use guilt when they say or imply, “After all I’ve done for you…” sometimes combined with criticism that you’re selfish or ungrateful.

Shaming goes beyond guilt to make you feel inadequate. It’s demeans you as a person, your traits, or role, not just your actions. “The children would behave if they had a mother who knew how to parent (or, made a decent living.)” Comparing is a subtle, but powerful form of shaming. It’s harmful when parents compare siblings with each other or with playmates. Some spouses compare their mate to their ex to have the upper hand by making their mate feel inferior.

Guilt and shaming may include “blaming the victim.” For example, you find evidence on your partner’s phone that he or she is flirting. Your partner acts outraged that you went into the phone. Now he or she has switched the focus onto you. By playing the victim, your partner avoids a confrontation about flirting, which may also be lied about, minimized, or circumvented altogether. You, the real victim, feel guilty for spying, undercutting any justified anger, and may thereby allow the flirting to continue unaddressed.

The social media is also a medium where guilt and shame are used most frequently. You see a lot of young people guilt shaming others for posting either an article or a picture or comments, without getting the persons perspective or respecting others opinions.

Some parents use fear to get their kids to be whom they want them to be in life. I’ve seen parents who either you’re a doctor or a Lawyer, or you’re completely labelled a failure. Some Parents too will use shame to get their teens to attend collages. ‘If you don’t get a degree, you will amount to nothing’.

Sometimes when people guilt shame you, it might not be coming from a bad place but a manifestation of their own fears and the only way to communicate that is by creating fear in you.

Individually we sometimes knowingly or unknowingly use these weapons to control others.


#1 Be who you are because that’s who you are, not who somebody told you to be. Do things that inspire and motivate you, things you’re passionate about.

#2 There are two ways to motivate yourself; its either fear or love. Always make a decision out of love and not fear.

#3 Always maintain positive energy. Most times positivity drives away negativity-fear, guilt, shame. Maintaining positive energy helps to manifest the best potentials in you no matter how another tries to bring you down by trying to guilt shame you.

#4 Self-awareness- Always try and put in check when others try to manipulate you or when you try to manipulate others. Ensure that you don’t try to manipulate whether its your kids or partners or friends and family. Allow others to be who they are, others opinion or targets in life must not be like yours. Respect others.