It can be incredibly painful when a man we love and trust hurts us, whether it’s through a thoughtless action or a more serious betrayal. In these situations, it’s natural to wonder how to make him feel guilty for hurting you. You may want him to feel regret for his actions and understand the impact he had on you.
Now you may think that making someone feel guilty can sound unpleasant and ineffective. However, a study, on the purpose of guilt and how it can be helpful, hypothesized that feeling bad due to guilt could motivate us to take action and repair the damage.
So, you see, making someone feel guilty for their actions may do wonders and bring out the results you want to see in them. However, it’s ultimately up to your partner to take responsibility for his behavior and make amends. Still, we will help you pick the course of action that will suit you best to make him realize your importance. Read on!
20 Proven Ways To Make Him Feel Guilty For Hurting You
If you’ve been hurt by someone you love, it can be a difficult and painful experience. It’s natural to want to make the person who caused you pain feel guilty for their actions. While it’s important to remember that guilt is not a healthy or productive emotion in the long term, it can be a useful tool for communicating the hurt and harm that their actions have caused. According to research, it was found that induction of guilt can be done with an intention of securing long-term, positive outcomes.
In this article, we’ll explore 20 proven ways how to make him feel guilty for hurting you. From setting boundaries and assertively communicating your needs to seeking support from friends and loved ones, these strategies can help you take control of the situation and start healing.
1. Describe the impact of his actions on your mental health
One of the most important things you can do when someone has hurt you is to clearly state the impact of their actions on your mental health. This means telling the person exactly how they made you feel and how it continues to affect you. Lack of communication and understanding might lead to repetitive fights, but it won’t make him feel bad for hurting you unless you put your thoughts in front of him clearly. You can express the negative impact by saying the following:
- “I am always in fear of not getting enough validation since you keep dismissing my opinion”
- “I have a hard time trusting people now since you have made it so difficult for me to trust myself”
- “Your words always make me feel so insignificant, it’s affecting me in my work environment”
It’s an essential step in helping the other person understand the gravity of their actions. It also gives them the opportunity to take responsibility for their behavior and make amends.
Related Reading: 15 Ways To Solve Relationship Problems Without Breaking Up
2. Confront him directly
If you feel comfortable doing so, confront him about his actions and explain how they have hurt you. When you sit with him and voice your hurt feelings to him directly, it can impact his psyche severely. You’re wondering “What can I say to make him feel guilty?” Maybe not much. Here’s why.
According to research, men naturally do not feel the same level of guilt as women, so, simply ‘watching’ the hurt he caused you to play out on your face as you let him know he hurt you can present your point more effectively. You won’t even have to say much. Make it clear that his behavior was not okay and that he needs to take responsibility for it and bring immediate change.
3. Use “I” statements
When communicating your feelings, it’s important to use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. For example, during arguments, use words like “I feel hurt when you say/do this” instead of “You hurt me.”
According to Tony Robbins’ blog, “An I-statement forces us to take responsibility for what we are thinking and feeling and prevents us from blaming our partners.” It helps you focus on your feelings and experiences, rather than placing blame on the other person. This approach can also help them understand your perspective and feel more guilty for hurting you.
Ways you can phrase your sentences instead of saying “You did/said this”:
- “I feel hurt when I don’t receive a response to my texts for hours”
- “I need more affection and physical intimacy in our relationship“
- “I feel disrespected whenever I share my choices and opinions with you”
- “I am disappointed that you didn’t follow through on our plans”
- “I feel unsupported and alone in this partnership when I have to do all the household chores myself”
- “I feel unheard when you dismiss my feelings and don’t try to understand my perspective”
4. Don’t let him off the hook too easily
It can be tempting to try to brush off the hurt that your partner has caused you, especially if you still care about them. However, it is important to stand your ground and clarify that their actions were unacceptable.
Here’s what happens if you let him off the hook too easily:
- It sends the message that his behavior is acceptable and that it’s okay for him to mistreat you
- It can create a pattern of abuse in the relationship
- He may not take you or your feelings seriously
- It can damage your self-esteem and sense of self-worth
5. Don’t let him gaslight you or make you doubt your feelings
It is common for manipulators to try to twist the narrative and make others doubt their own feelings and experiences by saying things like: “That’s not what happened, you are not thinking straight” or “How can you believe such things about me?” If your partner has tried to gaslight you or make you doubt your own feelings, it is important to stand firm and remember that you are entitled to your emotions and perceptions.
Educate yourself on dealing with a gaslighting partner without doubting yourself. Standing strong with your assessment of his bad behavior will make him realize his attempts are pointless, and he will acknowledge his wrongdoings eventually.
6. Don’t let him minimize the hurt he caused you
It is also common for some men to try to minimize the harm that they have caused their partners. If your partner has tried to downplay the hurt that they caused you, it is important to realize that what you feel is valid. You should not let him make you feel like you’re stretching things out of proportion. He’ll make you think what he did was not a big deal in the following ways:
- “It was only a minor error, nothing to worry about”
- “Let’s discuss something else”
- “It’s not that big of a deal, stop overreacting”
7. Don’t let him play the victim
Stephanie Sarkis, a licensed and board-certified mental health counselor, writes in this Forbes article, “In relationships, gaslighters play the victim in order to manipulate and guilt their partners into doing their will.”
Another common tactic of such people is to try to shift the blame onto their victims. If your partner has tried to play the victim in order to avoid accountability for their actions, it is important to stand your ground and make it clear that their behavior will not be disregarded. When you snatch away their power to manipulate you, you compel them to reflect on their actions. Don’t let them get away with deflecting responsibility and making it seem like you are the one at fault.
8. Set boundaries
When someone has hurt you by abandoning you, it’s important to set boundaries to protect yourself and your well-being. This can make him feel bad for leaving you.
No matter how much you wish to just drop him a text to make him feel guilty for hurting you, don’t. Setting boundaries allows you to take control of your well-being and helps to show the person that their actions have consequences. It also sends a clear message that you won’t tolerate being hurt and that you expect better treatment in the future.
Ways you can set boundaries in your relationship:
- Minimizing contact with him
- Setting limits on what you are comfortable with and what is not acceptable
- Ensuring that your values and boundaries are respected
- Establishing consequences for when those boundaries are violated
- Saying no to requests or demands that are unreasonable or infringe upon your boundaries
- Ensuring that your physical and emotional space and well-being are respected
9. Take care of yourself
It’s important to prioritize your well-being and take care of yourself after being hurt by someone you love. This might involve taking time to rest and recharge, loving yourself for who you are, engaging in self-care activities like exercise or meditation, or finding ways to cope with the emotions you’re experiencing. You may wonder, “This seems pointless in making him feel guilty,” but taking care of yourself helps in the following ways:
- Shows the person who hurt you that you value yourself enough to want accountability for their toxic behavior
- States that you won’t let their actions define you
- Helps to build your own resilience and strength so you’re better equipped to handle similar situations in the future
Related Reading: How To Love Yourself And Your Body Irrespective Of Society
10. Seek support from friends and family
Dealing with someone who has hurt you can be challenging, and it’s important to have a support system in place to help you in rebuilding love after emotional damage. This might involve talking to a friend or family member or joining a support group. It will provide you with the emotional and practical support you need to heal and cope with the hurt you’ve experienced. It can also help to give you a sense of perspective and remind you that you’re not alone. This is how it’ll make him feel bad for hurting you:
- He is less likely to treat you badly when you have a support system backing you up
- By asking for help from your friends and family, you can show him that his actions have hurt not only you but also those who are important to you
- Additionally, if you are not in the wrong, your mutual friends will support you over him, which will make him understand his behavior. It can provide you with a feeling of validation and confidence that you are not alone in your emotions
- As per research, acceptance — in romantic relationships, from friends, even from strangers — is absolutely fundamental to humans. Being part of a group helps people feel safe and protected. Thus, your partner would crave this social approval once it’s withdrawn, and this will make him feel guilty
11. Practice active listening
This means fully engaging with what a person is saying and showing that you are trying to understand their perspective. This can be done through verbal cues such as nodding, asking clarifying questions, and repeating back what they have said.
According to an article by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, “Being an actively empathic listener means that you not only make sure you’re actively paying attention but that you let the speaker know you are.”
By actively listening, you are showing that you are willing to listen to and consider your partner’s perspective which, ironically, can help him feel more guilty for his actions.
12. Use “we” statements after mastering the “I” statements
Another ironic yet effective way to make your partner feel guilty for hurting you is to use “we” statements. Using “we” statements helps to shift the focus from blame/fault to the acknowledgment that the issue needs to be worked upon together. This can help diffuse any defensive reactions and encourage your partner to use their guilt in taking responsibility for their actions.
Instances where using “we” statements can make a powerful impact:
- “We should spend more time together as a couple” instead of “You don’t spend time with me”
- “We had a misunderstanding” instead of “You disappointed me”
- “We need to communicate better and listen to each other more” instead of “You don’t listen to me”
- “We should both make an effort to plan date nights and keep the romance alive” instead of “You don’t plan dates at all, I always have to take the initiative”
- “We should support each other’s goals and aspirations” instead of “You never believe in my dreams”
- “We should be open and honest with each other about our feelings and needs” instead of “You lied to me”
- “We should show gratitude and appreciation for each other regularly” instead of “You never appreciate the things I do for you anymore”
13. Practicing forgiveness can make him feel guilty too
Forgiveness is not about letting the other person off the hook or condoning their behavior. It’s about letting go of anger and resentment so you can heal and move on. While it’s not easy, forgiveness in a relationship can be incredibly freeing and empowering. It may also be a step toward the ‘how to make him feel guilty for hurting you’ plan. By putting your anger aside and giving your relationship another chance, your actions would demonstrate your love for him. This can make him realize your importance and feel guilty about upsetting you.
Related Reading: When Forgiving An Affair Stopped Me From Killing Myself
14. Enjoy your life
Enjoying yourself and having fun can convey that you are not perturbed by the other person’s behavior and that you are not allowing it to influence your general well-being and joy. It may also suggest that you are making progress rather than wallowing in the situation. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Taking part in fun activities (hanging out with friends, pursuing a hobby, or going on a trip) to uplift your mood and forget about the issue
- Taking good care of yourself by obtaining adequate rest, eating healthy, and exercising
- Fulfilling your physical and mental needs to keep yourself positive and energetic
- Spending time with positive people who make you feel good, who encourage you, and who can uplift your attitude
- Seeing you thrive without him will make him feel guilty
15. Seek therapy for yourself
A therapist can help you process your emotions, understand the dynamics of your relationship, and develop coping strategies. Not only will therapy help you heal and move forward, but it can also give you the tools to communicate your needs and boundaries more effectively in the future. Realizing the exact changes you need in your relationship through therapy, you can confidently state them to him.
Your new-found awareness will make him guilty, will help him take you more seriously, and compel him to bring effective changes in his personality. In an article for Forbes addressing reasons to give talk therapy a try, Alice G. Walton writes, “An awesome benefit of therapy is that it not only helps you understand yourself better but it helps you understand other people.”
16. Seek couples therapy
Couples therapy is another effective way to improve communication and repair a relationship by helping you and your partner identify patterns of behavior that may be contributing to the conflict. Here’s how therapy will help:
- A therapist will ensure you both get to say your piece, so in the session, you can make him feel bad for leaving you alone to pick up the pieces of your de-escalating relationship
- If you can’t tell him how you feel directly, a professional’s office can be the right setting for you
- By seeking couples therapy, you are showing that you are committed to working through your issues and rebuilding your relationship. This can make him regret hurting you
- Instead of you making him regret his actions, you’re hiring a therapist to do the same. But in a more constructive manner
- A therapist can help you communicate your boundaries with your partner
17. Write a letter to make him feel guilty for hurting you
Sometimes it’s difficult to express our feelings in person, especially when we’re still processing the hurt and pain caused by someone we love. You may think you should just text to make him feel guilty for hurting you but writing a letter can help in the following ways:
- It’s a more therapeutic way to get your thoughts and feelings out
- It can help you communicate your boundaries and expectations
- Sometimes the written word can convey feelings better than talking
- The written word is more powerful in the bid to make him feel guilty for hurting you
- The letter will stay with him as a reminder to not repeat his mistakes
Related Reading: A Letter from a Wife to a Husband That Shocked Him to Tears
18. Take a break
Maybe the best step in your ‘how to make him feel guilty for hurting you’ plan can be to distance yourself from him. This can be especially helpful if the relationship is toxic or unhealthy. Taking a break can give you time and space to process your emotions and decide what you want for your future.
According to therapists, “Pressing pause on a relationship is a chance to rediscover yourself, build appreciation for your significant other, and ultimately learn traits such as compromise and sacrifice to strengthen your relationship.” It can also give the other person a chance to reflect on their attitude toward the relationship and the changes they need to make to make it better.
His repeated disregard for your feelings can be a sign that it’s time to take a break in your relationship. A few ways to take some time off in your relationship are:
- Take a few minutes to step away from a conversation or situation that is becoming emotionally or mentally draining
- Go for a walk or spend some time alone to clear your head
- Engage in a relaxing activity such as reading a book, taking a bath, yoga, or meditation
- Go on a short vacation or take a long weekend away from the relationship
- Take a break from all forms of communication with your partner for a set period of time – this will help you reflect and recharge and also make him feel guilty
19. Don’t let him blame others for his mistakes
Don’t let him try to blame others for his mistakes or deflect responsibility. Make it clear that he cannot justify hurting you by using any external influence or situation. Your lack of acceptance of his desperate attempts to justify his actions can make him reflect on his actions and feel guilty for hurting the person he loves. Notice the following ways in which he will blame his actions on someone else to escape accountability:
- “He acted this way, so I did too. How was I supposed to know it was wrong? It’s his fault”
- “All of this happened because circumstances were clearly out of my control. I don’t think I did anything wrong because that person gave me the wrong information”
- “They forced me to do this, I didn’t want to”
20. If nothing works, then break up
It’s easy to get caught up in feelings of self-blame and worthlessness when we’ve been hurt by someone we love. However, it’s important to remember that you are not to blame for their actions and that you deserve to be treated with respect and kindness.
If a situation has gone too far and there is no turning back, breaking up with someone could be the best option. Here are a few reasons why:
- For your own well-being, it’s essential that you move on if you are unable to forgive the harm he has inflicted on you
- Although it’s a difficult choice, it will enable both parties to find peace
- Don’t sacrifice long-term happiness for short-term relief
If he loves you and truly cares for you, he ought to feel guilty and eventually realize he’s losing you and bring healthy changes in his personality.
Related Reading: Why Do Breakups Hit Guys Later?
- Communicate your feelings to the person who hurt you, expressing exactly how their actions made you feel and the impact they had on you
- Use “I” statements when communicating your feelings, focusing on your own emotions rather than making accusations or placing blame
- Seek therapy or counseling to process your emotions and work through any underlying issues
- Your dedication to ‘make him realize my importance’ by setting boundaries or living your best life will help
- Let the person know the specific actions or behaviors that hurt you and what you need from them in order to heal and move forward
In conclusion, it is natural to feel hurt and want to make the person who caused you pain feel guilty for their actions. As explained above, there are various strategies that can help you take control of the situation and start healing. It is ultimately up to the person to take responsibility for their actions and make amends, but these strategies can help you cope with the situation and move forward.
Of course, guys do feel guilty for hurting someone they care about. Empathy and remorse are human emotions and are not exclusive to any particular gender. However, the intensity and duration of this guilt may vary from person to person. Some men may feel deeply remorseful and struggle to forgive themselves for their actions, while others may not experience as much guilt and try to justify their behavior.
When guys feel guilty, they may exhibit a range of behaviors. Some common signs of a guy’s guilt include:
Apologizing: Many guys will apologize if they feel they have wronged someone, either through their words or actions
Withdrawing: Some men may try to avoid the person they have hurt, either by physically distancing themselves or by becoming emotionally distant
Seeking redemption: Some may try to make amends for their actions or try to demonstrate their remorse in other ways
Avoiding responsibility: Some may try to avoid accepting responsibility, justify their actions, and may even blame you or others