Let’s start by clarifying what emotional blackmail is and how to act against it and put a stop to it.
By itself, the term “emotional blackmail” leads us to think of lived situations in which we have been emotionally manipulated or we have witnessed someone being blackmailed.
Emotional blackmail is defined as the way to manipulate someone to get them to do what we want. It is usually through threats or deprivation. It becomes emotional when you use someone’s pain for your benefit. Most of us have used it at some point in our lives, either directly or indirectly.
It becomes a real problem when it is used persistently with the people around us as a tool to get what we want. Usually this behavior occurs between people who are emotionally close. Keep in mind that the wishes of the person being manipulated are not taken into account, only those of the person in control generating the manipulation.
Emotional blackmail generates guilt, fear, insecurity and discomfort in the person who receives it. Sometimes this manipulation can be so subtle that we do not even realize it, although on other occasions it is evident, but we do not know how to act in the face of the situation without generating discord or distancing on the part of the person exercising it. For example, I have a friend who’s mother manipulates her with her physical pain so that she is the one who works and supports her. Of course we would say, “it is her mother”, yes, but the interesting thing is that the manipulation is so subtle that it is based on guilt , without there being discussions or time to talk about it. Like this, there are many cases and examples of manipulation.
It is difficult to realize that we are going through this situation of blackmail because sometimes it is camouflaged by seemingly harmless phrases such as, “don’t worry, I bear this pain alone”, “do what you want, but then face the consequences” Or “if you loved me like you say, you wouldn’t be doing this”, “you don’t know how you hurt me”, these phrases are used to make the person give in through fear and guilt.
HOW DOES AN EMOTIONAL BLACKMAILER MAKE US FEEL?
People who often blackmail make the other person feel: Unbalanced, ashamed and guilty, a bad person. Taunting and manipulation make it easy for the victim to fall into the ambush. When we interact with an emotional blackmailer, we can begin to doubt the ability to maintain our own purposes, that is, we lose confidence in ourselves, our self-esteem decreases little by little and it is because we allow ourselves to be convinced by their manipulation tactics and we end up losing our integrity, independence, dreams and desires.
An emotional blackmail is not considered violent psychophysical abuse, but that does not leave less deep wounds, on the contrary, when we live with a person with these attitudes, it damages the deepest part of our being, something that is more difficult to recover than a few physical blows.
How to identify an emotional blackmailer?
We will introduce you to 8 behaviors that will help you recognize a person who is an emotional blackmailer:
1. Their demand is excessive they always have demands that generally go against our principles, needs and / or desires.
2. They oppose great resistance they never give their arm to twist, they stand firm and fight if we think differently.
3. They misrepresent words they are specialists in confusing things so as not to assume their responsibility. They are always the martyrs, they are eternal victims.
4. They threaten continuously they are not always direct threats, in many cases they are threats disguised as phrases such as, “one of these days I’m going to die…” “I know I’m going to end up alone…” “I know that nobody cares about me”.
5. They underestimate the problems of others blackmailers do not care about their victim’s problems, they will always want to divert attention to their own problems.
6. They know the weak points and do not hesitate to touch them. They are skilled emotional readers, they know each weak point that their victim has and they do not hesitate to touch them whenever necessary.
7. They act with arrogance and rigidity manipulators always want to be right, for them it is an insult to be opposed.
8. They change their moods easily they can change their mood in the blink of an eye, right now you can see them happy, but later if their victims resist their blackmails they can easily get angry or even cry.
Types of relationships where emotional blackmail occurs
– From parents to children it is very common for parents to manipulate their children, the problem is that this is the teaching model, they will use it in the future. “If you don’t behave, Santa Claus won’t bring you anything” “if you don’t study medicine you will let me down “
– From children to parents the child pretends to feel like a victim of a situation and does so with phrases such as: “You always scold me”, “you never let me do anything”, “I always have to put my toys away” and that’s how they get you, they have achieved what they want. You feel very bad and agree to their request. Or otherwise, it makes you the victim of a situation. It may be a “I don’t love you anymore”, a “I’d rather be with my grandfather than with you”, or another series of “stabs to the heart” that will leave you breathless, but you must not give it the slightest importance, because they do not really know what those words mean.
– From parents to children in separation situations, in general in these types of situations the children are involved. Some parents find it easy to use them in order to annoy or make their ex-partner uncomfortable. “Your mother only scolds you, stay with me and we will be calmer” or “if you prefer to be with your father it is because you do not love me as much as I thought”
– Within partners couples in which their communication is based solely on emotional blackmail end up being in toxic relationships. Phrases like: “If you go out with your friends, what do I do? you leave me alone? How little do you care”, “if you leave me, you will not find anyone better than me” “if you are not with me, my life no longer has meaning”.
How to deal with emotional blackmail?
Regardless of its causes, it is intolerable. This needs to be cut off when detected, the following may be helpful for this:
1. Avoid blaming yourself
2. You must be your priority
3. Learn to say NO
4. Abandon the victim role
5. Take time to make decisions
6. Don’t avoid conflict, face it confidently and firmly
7. Take distance with the blackmailer
8. Learn to differentiate a request from a requirement
We hope this blog helps you identify if you are being a victim of emotional blackmail or if you know a close person who is so they can put a stop to it and look for solutions.