***TRIGGER WARNING!*** References to past abuse present in this posting! <3
What is “guilt gifting,” you might be asking yourself? Guilt gifting is when someone gives you a gift, specifically because of the direct result of how they feel about what they did to you or how they treated you. Narcissists do this ALL the time. I’ll explain…
Guilt usually implies some form of regret on the side of the party who did the wrong, specifically the abuser. If they are a true narcissist, they don’t “feel” guilt like you or I would. However, they do know the difference between right and wrong (crazy, huh?) and they know when they’ve done something that was perceived as wrong to the other party (AKA the victim). So, they give a nice, seemingly thoughtful gift so it soothes the victimized party’s feelings and “smoothes over” a volatile situation.
An example: I caught my abusive husband cheating, even though he adamently denied it. I was so angry and hurt, I told him (not asked) to leave and go somewhere else. I was upset and crying and shouting. He finally did leave and I calmed myself and went to bed. The next morning, I had flowers at work. A dozen red roses, to be precise, with lilies too. Another example of guilt gifting was when I received a beating for leaving a little bit of toothpaste spittle in the sink. Ironically, he left his beard trimmings all in the sink, but that was besides the point. I received this abuse BEFORE I went to work, so I cleaned up the offending area, composed myself, and went to work. That evening, I received the most heartfelt apology and a beautiful necklace.
I’ve fallen prey to guilt gifting one too many times — so much so that I question regular people when they want to give me a genuine, thoughtful gift. It’s sad, but I have a whole standing jewelry box full of pain and anguish that I am thinking of selling or giving away. He even gave me the damned jewelry box, but on the same holiday gave his mistress diamond earrings. SMH.
If you are in an abusive relationship or even one where your significant other has screwed up in a major way…no matter how lovely the gift, refuse it. PLEASE don’t do that if your safety is in question, of course. Just know that accepting that gift is accepting their screw up as acceptable. It’s acceptable to forgive them in due time, but accepting the gift makes that deed “acceptable” or “okay,” and they’ll do it again — mainly, because they know you can be bought. A simple “no thank you” or “please keep your gift, I don’t want it,” will suffice. They’ll be insistent, but be firm and unbudging.
The buying their way out of bad behavior stops here.
NOTE: I’ve even taken back a gift before and bought something the family needed, because he was dumb enough to leave the receipt in the box (mainly because he wanted me to see how much he spent). I bought a week’s worth of groceries one time and a family-pack of tickets to an amusement park and hotel stay on another. Needless to say, he stopped doing THAT!