How to Respond to Emotional Blackmail video
Emotional blackmail is a form of control that involves an act of psychological violence. The blackmailer is usually an emotionally close person, who tries to control our behavior without giving us the possibility to choose. To achieve this, he can resort to intimidation and threats, or more subtle forms of manipulation that end up undermining our self-esteem.
In fact, emotional blackmail can hide behind seemingly innocuous phrases like " if you loved me, you wouldn't " or " you decide, but beware of the consequences ." These phrases are intended to awaken the feeling of guilt or fear, to make the person give in to the will of the manipulator.
How to detect an emotional blackmailer?
All blackmails are not the same nor do they have the same objective. In some cases the manipulation is almost harmless but in other cases it can cause profound psychological damage. In fact, when manipulation extends over time, it causes deep emotional wounds in the person who suffers it. Therefore, it is important to detect the blackmailer in time.
- His demand is excessive. Blackmailers always have a demand, which generally goes against our needs and wishes. In fact, no matter how many times we have given in to their demands, they will not be satisfied and will not even remember what we have sacrificed for them in the past, they will always want more.
- They put up great resistance. The blackmailer almost never gives his arm to twist, stands firm and fights if we think differently. If we do not follow your wishes, it will show your anger or disappointment in the worst way, making us feel bad. You can cry, argue, complain or scream, any strategy is good to "convince". The manipulator simply does not accept things if they do not like them.
- They misrepresent the words. The manipulator is a specialist misrepresenting words because he is not willing to take responsibility. If we try to claim our rights, he will immediately assume the role of victim or remind us of everything he has done for us. Thus, what was a simple claim to a fundamental right becomes "evidence" of how bad a person we are.
- They threaten continuously. These are not always direct threats, in many cases they are threats in disguise. For example, a manipulator may exaggerate the consequences of a wrong decision, threaten the pain and suffering that you will feel from that decision, or even say that it is better to break up, even though they don't really intend to do so.
- They underestimate the problems of others. The manipulator is not interested in the problems of his victim, we can carry a huge weight on our shoulders but the blackmailer will ignore and try to divert attention to his alleged problems. In this type of relationship, the victim is forced to bear the problems of both, and if he does not do so, he is labeled as selfish and insensitive.
- They know the weak points and do not hesitate to touch them. The blackmailer is a skilled emotional reader, knows perfectly the weak points of his victim and does not hesitate to touch them whenever necessary. In fact, this person is not exactly characterized by his empathy, if he knows that his victim has a great sense of duty or that he feels unprotected, he will resort to these "weaknesses" to manipulate them.
- They act arrogant and rigid. Most manipulators want to dominate the conversation, they always want to be right and get upset when they are advised or opposed because they consider it an insult to their intelligence. Your goal is to override the other's opinion, so that yours prevails.
- They change their mood with extreme ease. Manipulators change their moods very quickly. One moment they may be happy and satisfied, but the next moment, if the victim resists, they may transform and begin to cry, get angry or scream.
The types of emotional manipulation
There are different types of emotional manipulation, although the most common is that the blackmailer adopts various techniques to achieve their objectives, depending on the person and the context.
- In this case, the manipulator exerts pressure on the person to limit their freedom of decision . In practice, it lets you know that your behavior will have negative consequences that it would be best to avoid, "for your own good." In this type of manipulation fear is resorted to, in fact, in couple relationships phrases such as " if you do that again, I'll leave you " are often common . It is a radical position that does not admit discussion since if the person does not comply with the order, he will be punished.
- One of the most common types of emotional manipulation is sowing the seeds of guilt. The blackmailer makes the person believe that he is "bad" if he does not obey him. In this case, the person gives in to blackmail so as not to become "the bad guy." Phrases such as " with everything I've done for you and that's how you pay me " or " you've let me down, I thought you were a good person " are part of the script for this type of blackmail in which the manipulator becomes a "poor victim ".
- It is a type of emotional manipulation in which the blackmailer assumes control by pretending to be dependent on the other person. In this case, it not only awakens feelings of guilt but also refers to a sense of responsibility. For example, a couple or a mother may resort to phrases such as " if you leave me, I will not be able to bear it ." In this way, a mask of weakness and impotence is placed, with the aim of managing the relationship and making the person give in to their wishes.
- One of the most used emotional manipulation techniques is to confuse and criticize the victim. The blackmailer knows his weak points and knows how to leverage them, to make that person see him as his "savior." In this case, the manipulator takes over reason and becomes a kind of mentor since his goal is to create a dependency, so that the person always asks for advice. They generally use phrases aimed at undermining their self-esteem and self-confidence, such as: " you are useless ", " you have no idea how to solve the problem " or " I will help you because you don't know how to do it ".
- At first it may seem like a negotiation but in reality it is full-blown blackmail. In this case, the manipulator promises to reward the person if he agrees to his wishes. It is a very common blackmail between parents and children, such as when they offer the child a prize in exchange for passing exams. It is also appreciated in couples, in which case one of the members tries to subdue the will of the other through gifts or even by granting their attention or constantly reminding them of everything they have given.
Emotional blackmail in the couple
In a couple relationship, the feelings that are generated are not always positive. Sometimes people forget that they are together for love, to support each other, and go into a power struggle to gain control over the relationship.
This is how jealousy, humiliation and emotional blackmail arise. In this case, one of the people dominates the other, who is gradually losing their independence and self-esteem. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to detect emotional manipulation in a partner since sometimes neither of them is fully aware of that way of relating.
However, it should be clear that emotional manipulation is not love and, when maintained over time, it can almost completely annul a person. Emotional blackmail is a form of psychological abuse that you need to get rid of as soon as possible.
How to protect ourselves from emotional blackmail?
Above all, we must bear in mind that the emotional blackmailer is usually guided by the fear of losing the other or being rejected. At its core, emotional manipulation often hides a fear of abandonment, which can stem from childhood. In other cases it can be an expression of personal insecurity, lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem.
However, regardless of its causes, emotional manipulation can be very harmful, causing an emotional imbalance in the person suffering from it, to the point that it can profoundly affect their self-confidence and self-esteem. Therefore, it is better to stop it as soon as possible.
The first step is to recognize that we are being manipulated. Then, it is necessary to establish limits so that this situation does not repeat itself.
- Avoid blaming yourself. Guilt is one of the manipulator's main weapons, which he uses to exploit your weaknesses. In fact, it's understandable that you can feel guilty if you don't fulfill that person's wishes. In that case, ask yourself if your rights are not being violated: Are you being treated with respect? Are your demands reasonable? Are you the only one who gives and commits to the relationship?
- Focus your attention on the manipulator. When they try to blackmail you, listen to the request but shift the focus. If it is a person who loves you and is moderately reasonable, these questions will make you reflect and withdraw your request: Does what you ask me seem reasonable? Is what you are asking me fair?
- Use time to your advantage. When it comes to unreasonable requests, the blackmailer will demand an immediate commitment because he knows that if you think about it with a cool mind, you probably won't give in to his request. Therefore, a good strategy is to tell him that you will think about it. Take the time you need to weigh the pros and cons.
- Learn to say "no . " One of your fundamental rights is to set your own priorities without feeling guilty. So when you are not willing to do something, say no gently and firmly. Don't give too many excuses that the blackmailer may use against you and show indecision.
- Highlight the consequences. One of the most important skills in dealing with a manipulator is clarifying consequences and responsibility. Faced with an unfair and excessive demand, make him notice the consequences that this would have for you. Explain how he makes you feel and why you are not going to give in to his request. At the same time, make him see that you are not responsible for his actions or feel guilty for what he can decide or do.
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