How To Recognize Emotional Blackmail
By Ascending Hearts
Emotional blackmail can happen in the friendships, within the family relations, or in a romantic relationship. The goal of a blackmailer is to be able to manipulate the other person and turn them into someone who fulfills their desires.
Sometimes Blackmailing can be done in such a subtle way that the other person may not even realize that it is being manipulated.
Although it may seem difficult to believe, a person who resorts to emotional blackmail is also insecure and weak. They need to recourse to blackmail to reach their goals since they do not see themselves really able to achieve things in a healthy way. Although they tend to present themselves as very secure, well mannered, reasonable and self-contained people.
Here are 4 ways to Emotional blackmail and how to avoid falling into this type of manipulation
1. Emotional blackmail by pressure or threat
Manipulation of this kind consists of putting pressure on another person, in such a way that freedom is limited. If one does not do as one is asked to, there is a punishment or a great deal of upset later. The feeling presented by the victim in the face of this manipulation is fear.
The typical phrase spoken by parents to their young children, “If you do it again, you will be punished,” or someone telling your partner, “If you do it again, it’s all over!” These are basic phrases in which, if the order is not followed, there will be a later consequence.
How can we defend ourselves against this kind of emotional blackmail? Making the blackmailer see that he is not capable of causing us fear. A threat or pressure always seeks to generate fear and, thus, the victim ends up obeying. However, if there is no fear or if we make the person feel that we are not feeling fear, we dismantle the manipulation.
The answer to an “If you do it again, it’s all over” threat could be “I’m free to do whatever I want, and if that makes you want to leave me, I cannot do anything!” The important thing is to make the person see that, instead of accepting the threat or punishment, we are able to face it, and not for that we will change our actions.
2. Emotional blackmail that creates guilt
This Emotional blackmail consists of creating a sense of guilt in the victim, making one believe oneself to be a bad person if one does not obey. Phrases like “If you do it, it’s because you do not like me anymore,” “After everything I’ve done for you, this is how you pay me?”, “If you leave me, I will get sick, and I will not be able to bear it,” “You disappoint me, I thought you were a good person.”
What they are looking to do with these phrases is that the other person feels bad and guilty. In this way, the victim could be manipulated and consent to satisfy the other not to get “bad on tape.”
How do you stop this kind of emotional blackmail? Making the blackmailer see that we do not feel bad as bad as a consequence for not following their orders.
There are extreme cases, like the person who says, “If you leave me, I do not want to live.” This would be the most exceptional example because not feeling guilty in a case like this is complicated since we would feel responsible for the health of the other.
However, the reality is that each person owns his own life and we must live in freedom; we cannot be attached to someone out of pity or guilt because, after all, the victim would be really the person manipulated on that case and the one suffering from emotional blackmail.
3. Emotional blackmail that creates Confusing, distorting realities
The blackmailer will try to deceive situations until he can find himself in a role in which he is right; will try to become a kind of guide or the sane voice in a desert. To be able to manipulate, the manipulator will know perfectly the weaknesses of the victim and will make the victims believe that they need his advice to be ready to go a right way.
He will try to create a kind of dependency in which the blackmailer will be the person in possession of the truth. It will have arguments that can come out over any situation, to make the victim realize that salvation is in ignorance
How to stop this kind of distortion? Simply Informing the manipulator that each person sees things differently and that we, whether wrong or not, wish to make the decision that we think is the best for ourselves.
So even if the blackmailer tries to induce the victim to make a mistake, we can respond to him that we do not care whether we can make mistakes or not, but that we want to be able to make our own decisions.
4. Emotional blackmail that creates Positive and present promises
Another type of blackmail more hidden that does not even seem blackmail is the promise of something very positive if we manifest the desires of the other. We are awarded or presented with something that we want very much, but only in the case, we do what is requested of us by the blackmailer.
Parents often do this to their children, “when you get older, I’ll give you a bike,” “If you behave with your grandmother, I’ll buy you candy.” If a child desires too much, it is normal for him to do his best to get what he wants.
This is a positive case for emotional exchange because the outcome is something beneficial for both parties, but there are other cases where the exchange is an attempt to deceive the victim, such as the case of a passionate person who wants to win over a girl with financial problems. The blackmailer offers some “rewards” or “compensation” in exchange that he knows would convince the victim to date him.
Another similar form of Emotional blackmail is reminding someone of the present data and the amounts they owe, such as, “Do you remember the gifts I gave you? “Remember what I did for you? “Is like saying, subtly,” I have given you many material things, and therefore you must obey me. ”
How not to give in to this kind of Emotional blackmail? Reminding the blackmailer that each person is free to pay or gift what they want, and we are not obliged to return the favor.
Always, in any kind of relationship, be it in a friendship or in a loving relationship, we must feel the same, as equals to the other. It is an exchange, it must be reciprocal; the moment someone wants to occupy another position, the internal alarm should go off.
Even if someone is in trouble, a healthy person helps reasonably, but if someone takes advantage of it to put themselves in a “hero” position and leaves the other as a “victim that needs to be saved,” we can end up getting into a handling zone.
Signs to detect an emotional blackmailer
For one, talking with them can be stressful because they continually change the subject of the conversation, change their strategy and try to confuse the victim until they find the weak spot where they feel they can manipulate.
– When we are in front of a manipulator, the sensations tend to speak more than the reason, especially if you are an empath. We should always watch our emotions; if we meet a healthy person, the feelings will also be healthy, but if we are faced with a blackmailer, it is widespread for us to feel uncomfortable, unwell, frustrated and undecided.
On the one hand, our mind may realize that something is not going well, but on the other hand, the fears and blackmail we receive may invalidate reason and come to a point when we feel unable to make decisions.
– They usually boast about their lives and properties, since they seek to be seen as “heroes or saviors.” Therefore, people who have low self-esteem are more likely to fall into the hands of manipulators, as they may be overcharged.
“They want to be the ones who dominate the conversations and who are always right; are not flexible and do not know how to listen, they tend to speak much more than they are able to hear.
– They do not like to receive advice since they consider an insult to their intelligence.
– They change their moods quickly, since if they manage to manipulate they are happy, but if the victim resists, their features can change in a matter of seconds.
– They wish at all times to nullify the opinion of the other, making only theirs the valid and accurate.
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