It is always important to remember that toxic relationships may NOT always be with just your intimate partner. Toxic relationships can definitely occur between you and your best friends, parents and other close family and friends. Usually this sense of control within these other relationships can be seen through one party creating, or inducing guilt within the other party, or “victim.”
This Guilt Inducer can control you by encouraging you to feel guilty any time you do or say something that they do not like. They may even get others to convey their sense of disappointment or hurt to you. For example, your sister may let you know how upset and disappointed your mom was for not cleaning up the house, or coming to dinner. Your mother has expressed her concerns to your sister, indirectly (or maybe directly, depending on who you are dealing with) causing your sister to deliver the message, hence creating guilt within yourself.
Guilt inducers can control you by both inducing guilt as well as removing guilt. By removing guilt whenever you do something that he or she wants you to do, you are giving control to the other person. If you are a guilt-prone individual, like myself, anyone or anything that removes guilt becomes very desirable and damn near addictive. You are constantly carrying this feeling of guilt when you are around these people, that of course, when things are done to remove that guilt, you begin to feel better with yourself. You then begin this back and forth cycle within this relationship. One person induces guilt, while you work tooth and nail to do what that person wants in order to remove this guilty feeling.
This idea of creating guilt is commonly found between parent and child relationships. Toxic parents use this form of control over their children, and this continues on into the adult child’s life.
Guilt inducing is designed to control your behaviour. By controlling your behaviour, your toxic partner, parent or friend will always get what they want.
Source: Cory, Thomas L., PH.D. “Toxic Relationships.” Healthscopemag.com. Chattanooga HealthScope Magazine, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://healthscopemag.com/hs_summer_07/Features/Toxic_Relationships.aspx>.