Created By: dragonslip on September 9, 2012 Last Edited By: dragonslip on November 13, 2012
Nuked

Friends who tell you not to acknowledge guilt

This when the friends of a character tell them not to feel guilty even if something is genuinely there fault

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Trope
Back on the planet Kes fullfills her role in their relationship. Telling Nelix not to feel bad when he really should feel bad.
Its generally thought that if an error in judgement on your part causes others pain and/or anguish, you should accept that what happened was your fault so you can learn from it and move on, even if it causes discomfort. Usually if a 'good' character in fiction does something wrong, they understand this. The people around them usually do not. Regardless of the situation, the friends of a character who's made a mistake will tell them things like "It's not your fault," or "Don't feel guilty." While they may have good intentions, they tell this person to deny responsibility for something they actually did, all in an attempt to ensure they don't feel bad. Instead of admitting the hero messed up and should learn to move on, they opt to give the guilty hero a quick pickup so as to not let them feel bad for too long

Examples:

Live Action TV
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Captain Cragen arrests an ex-convict because hes prejudiced against him, and ends up ruining his life. When Cragen finds out hes innocent ADA Novak tells him its not his fault, he points out it clearly is
  • House, When Dr Formen says he should feel bad for accidentally killing a girl Cameron says
it wont help her which is true but also not the point


Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • September 9, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Why is the first paragraph so normative? It tries to describe not only how things are, but how they ought to be. That's weird. Can be deleted with nothing about the "trope" (not sure) being lost.
  • September 10, 2012
    dragonslip
    You know it's weird, I'd never heard the word "normative" before in my life until a week ago and now I've read it three times since then

    "It tries to describe not only how things are, but how they ought to be" I thought the first sentence only did the later?

  • September 10, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Does that somehow reflect positively on this?

    Making claims about how real life should be (how people should act, how they should feel, and so on...) is way worse than making claims about "conventional wisdom" (whose convention? which wisdom?), and they're both far off-mission. The disclaimer sentence doesn't help, it digs deeper. The first paragraph is not necessary. Better to just not tell people what to think, instead of saying something like "TV Tropes isn't here to tell you what to think."
  • September 10, 2012
    dragonslip
    @rodneyAnonymous

    The conventions of Western civilisation I always thought. It's what every teacher and parental figure I had or saw in TV/FILM has said to me

    "which wisdom?" what does this phrasing mean? Is there is more then one kind of wisdom?

    "The disclaimer sentence doesn't help, it digs deeper" digs deeper into what?

    "It tries to describe not only how things are, but how they ought to be" I thought the first sentence only did the later? (please don't ignore my questions just because they are not pertinent)

  • September 10, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Of course there is more than one kind of wisdom. And you think there is only one ethical convention in Western civilization? Um, no. Why so resistant to avoiding making claims about real life? If it's subjective, it's not a trope. Stick to describing things that actually happened, no interpretation. (For instance, the Law and Order example seems good, it says something happened and then things people actually said. The House example is weak, though; everything after "it won't help her" is just an opinion about what the point is... the sentence should end there.)

    Digs deeper into being obviously off-mission. That makes it more (not less) wrong.

    I didn't ignore the question: I can see how that could be read as not trying to describe how things are, but "[m]aking claims about how real life should be (how people should act, how they should feel, and so on...) is way worse..."
  • September 10, 2012
    dragonslip
    @rodneyAnonymous

    I always thought "wisdom" referred to particular way of thinking regardless of the conclusions you come to. I would have thought referring to the wise thought processes that lead to two different conclusions as "two different wisdoms" would be wrong in the same way referring to two experiments producing different results as "two scientific methods" would be wrong

    "there is only one ethical convention in Western civilization?" there's one predominant one

    "Why so resistant to avoiding making claims about real life? If it's subjective, it's not a trope" I can think of other trope pages that relay on other subjective value judgements being generally excepted, Like historical villain upgrade for example which assumes most people have the same notion of villainy

    "I didn't ignore the question: I can see how that could be read as not trying to describe how things are, but "[m]aking claims about how real life should be (how people should act, how they should feel, and so on...) is way worse..."" But you didn't answer it.

  • September 10, 2012
    Avurai
    Generally, if an error in judgement on your part causes others pain and/or anguish, you should accept that what happened was your fault so you can learn from it and move on... Even if that makes you feel like crap for a while (At least that's what conventional wisdom says, views on the issue may differ and TV Tropes isn't here to tell you how to live your life). Usually if a "good" character in fiction does something wrong, they understand this. The people around them usually do not. Regardless of the situation, the friends of a character who's made a mistake will tell them things like "It's not your fault," or "Don't feel guilty."

    I fixed up some errors. However, I think something like this would go a bit better.

    "Generally, if an error in judgement on your part causes others pain and/or anguish, you should accept that what happened was your fault so you can learn from it and move on, even if it causes discomfort. Usually if a 'good' character in fiction does something wrong, they understand this. The people around them usually do not. Regardless of the situation, the friends of a character who's made a mistake will tell them things like "It's not your fault," or "Don't feel guilty." While they may have good intentions, they tell this person to deny responsibility for something they actually did, all in an attempt to ensure they don't feel bad. Instead of admitting the hero messed up and should learn to move on, they opt to give the guilty hero a quick pickup so as to not let them feel bad for too long."

    I think it would be best to either make sure examples are in extremes, (so blatantly obvious that it isn't ambiguous or debatable in the slightest), or that they're placed in a YMMV.
  • September 11, 2012
    KarjamP
    I think this entry needs a better name.

  • September 11, 2012
    TheHandle
  • November 11, 2012
    rodneyAnonymous
    Motion to discard.
  • November 11, 2012
    bulmabriefs144
    Bah, seconded. Name is too long. And it can be People Sit On Chairs, since it's more uncommon to get friends that don't do this.
  • November 13, 2012
    IlGreven
    This is You Did The Right Thing out of Stock Phrase makeup.
  • November 13, 2012
    Earnest
    ^ Except You Did The Right Thing explicitly has the character do something good they regret. Here the character has done something bad only to have their friend try to brush it off. Basically, You Did The Right Thing has Being Good Sucks and a friend who gives a pep talk; this trope is a Heel Realization followed by a Poisonous Friend denying it.
  • November 13, 2012
    Karalora
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=54bf8gfksn5qc6qf271pptda&trope=DiscardedYKTTW