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livelaughlove21's avatar

Have you ever been guilted into doing something?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (14961 points ) January 19th, 2014 from iPhone

My sister and uncle have recently started going to church and my mother has joined them. They love talking about their new church and how awesome it is. My mom has been trying to get me to go for weeks. I’m glad they like their church, but I’m not going.

…or so I thought. My uncle is getting baptized today and my mom called me last night requesting that I go. “He really wants you and Josh to go. The service isn’t until 10 and only lasts an hour. I think you’d really like it.” I spent the next 20 minutes after that phone call trying to come up with a good reason to say no that wouldn’t start an argument. Then I get a Facebook message from my uncle asking if we’re going and saying, “It would mean a lot to me if you were there. I love you guys.”

Aaaaand we’re going to church this morning. Ugh.

I’m sure most of you are amazing and never do anything you don’t want to do but to those of you that have regrettably let yourself be guilted into doing something, tell me about it.

As I wrote this, my husband (a theist) said, “Call your mom and tell her my truck broke down and we can’t go.” He paused and said sarcastically, “No, I’ll go to church and pray that God fixes my truck.” I replied, “That was mildly blasphemous, I think. I’m a bad influence on you.” Muahahahaha! Wouldn’t it be something if the truck really won’t start today?

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20 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

Sure, we all do it. Relax. There is very little chance the religion aura will stick to your skin. Just go and observe the proceedings like you would a National Geographic special on tribes of South America or wherever. It’s family. Consider it a cultural experience.

Keep an open mind. If the head gaskets on the truck are suddenly changed you might consider going back to that church a second time.

gailcalled's avatar

Not any more. Saying “no” gets easier after a while. Lying serves no purpose.

janbb's avatar

Sure – but my Mom’s dead now.

LuckyGuy's avatar

When you’re young you pretty much go along to keep the peace. As we get older and crustier it gets easier to avoid participating in activities we want to avoid.
Here’s a life lesson from an elder to a young’un. When you must go to events like this, go with a smile on your face. Own it. Don’t sulk.
Be respectful while watching any cultural aspects you find interesting: the pretty lighting, the mind control, the cult-like chanting, the inspirational speeches that can justify anything, etc. You’ll survive.

jca's avatar

Something like that, I would just go. It’s not a big deal. If the question referred to a guilt trip for something more time consuming, like “take the day off and drive someone to Kennedy airport” then I’d say stand strong and don’t do it. However, it’s for your uncle. He wants you there. It means a lot to him and requires little effort on your part. You never have to go to church any more, after this. I look at going to church for his baptism to be no different than going to church for a wedding.

I go to Catholic churches for Catholic weddings. I don’t go to church otherwise and I definitely would not go to a Catholic church. It’s not like you have to believe in the baptism idea. When you go to church for a wedding or a baptism, you are just being there, with a smile on, for someone else. It requires very little effort. It means a lot to your uncle.

Like @LuckyGuy said, relax, smile, make the most of it.

janbb's avatar

I’m a Jewish atheist and I recently went to my grandson’s baptism in Paris. It didn’t invalidate me in any way and I did it to support them. Not the choice I would have made but not mine to make. (And it was nice that the service was in French.)

KNOWITALL's avatar

Family using guilt is tough. Personally I hate it but since I kove my family I will often cave. I’d go.

cazzie's avatar

As far as things to be guilted into, an hour out of your Sunday seems like quite a small thing. Also, there is a difference between truly being guilted and simply doing something for your family to show some support, even though it wouldn’t be your first choice of activity for that day. I assume you didn’t have to change travel plans or a doctor’s appointment so you weren’t being put out all that much, really. Buck up. If the shoe was on the other foot, you would certainly like the show of support. It is what friends and family do.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I often allow myself to be guilted into things. It’s been happening a lot at work recently, it makes me feel like shit but I am so bad at saying no.

Similar to your example, I have often been guilted (emotional blackmailed perhaps) into going to events I don’t want to go to but I get over these type of situations quite quickly. If it means a lot to a family member that you take an hour out of your day to go and witness something that means so much to them and it’s not going to hurt you or anyone else then what’s the problem? I’m not religious and I don’t believe in the idea of marriage but I still go to friend’s or family weddings and pretend that I am enjoying myself. It’s usually a massive yawn fest but it doesn’t hurt me. I do hope that something out of my control would prevent me from going though. It never does :(

livelaughlove21's avatar

@LuckyGuy “Sure, we all do it. Relax. There is very little chance the religion aura will stick to your skin.”

Hm. Well, I wasn’t un-calm, but okay. And I wasn’t worried anything would “stick.”

It seems some of you got the impression I was asking for advice, still trying to get out of going, or asking if I should go. I knew I was going when I posted this and the reason I asked the question was to get stories, not a pep talk.

As for the advice not to sulk and to go in with a smile, I don’t know what other way I’d do it. I’m an adult, I can go to a religious service without rolling my eyes or mocking churchgoers. I’m not that type of person anyway. I went, listened, bowed my head and clapped at the appropriate times. It wasn’t too bad – not that I thought it would be awful; I just have no interest in church. There was an awesome Christian rock band and a funny pastor that got us in and out in an hour, so pretty cool in the grand scheme of things. I still probably won’t go back.

Thanks to those of you that shared your experiences as I asked. :)

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I think we all have at one time or another, and we do it to keep the peace or out of obligation .

cazzie's avatar

I raised an autistic child for 10 years. How is that for a story?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@cazzie A story, sure. Not sure how it’s relevant, though.

Seek's avatar

^ She was guilted into doing so.

longgone's avatar

I can’t think of anyone having to guilt me into anything…I frequently feel responsible/obliged of my own accord. Typical oldest sibling, I guess.

@gailcalled (and everyone): This is the first time I have used the phrase “of one’s own accord”. If I haven’t used it correctly, please let me know.

janbb's avatar

@longgone Well used!

longgone's avatar

@janbb In that case, thank you! :]

josie's avatar

Yes.
Never again.

Paradox25's avatar

Yes, something similar to the OP, but the circumstances were different. I was breaking away from my Catholicism during a time when several loved ones passed away within a short time frame when this happened to me.

My deceased step-dad was Protestant, and those religious folks treated me and my family very good during those difficult times. They had invited us to attend their church one Sunday, and had asked us to attend regularly after that. I had gotten a job during that time where I had to work weekends so that pretty much ended my church days.

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