Emotional blackmail is a method of psychological manipulation that usually occurs in closed relationships. These relationships may be among parents and children, ”best” friends, couples, bosses and employees, brothers.
Every time one member of those relationships puts pressure on the other member/members in order to achieve a particular purpose then, he/she is considered as a manipulative personality that uses emotional blackmail to get what they want.
10 signs that show you are a victim of emotional blackmail
- someone threatens to break their relationship with you (any relationship) if you don’t do what they want you to do.
- every time you refuse to do what the other person wants, he/she becomes violent and do or say things with the purpose to hurt you.
- they promise you a ‘reward’ as a fair exchange but when they get what they want they don’t keep their promises.
- he/she threatens to harm themselves or you or someone you care about if you ‘dare’ to end your relationship
- they keep telling you how disappointed they are with you when you don’t please their wills or that your behavior towards them has changed and, that unexpected change hurts them
- they always remind you of the things they have done for you and the ”sacrifices” they suffer for your own good until they make you feel obliged to them
- if you ”abide by their rules” everything runs smoothly in your relationship but if you say “NO” , their behavior changes rapidly for the worst.
- they use money either as a way to get what they want from you or as a way to threaten you. ‘do this and i will give you money or refuse to do that and i will destroy you financially”
- others take advantage of your need to be loved and acceptable or that you don’t like arguments and tension in your life. This is a green light for manipulative people; it is like you say ”i’m vulnerable because i want to be loved. Come and take advantage of me”.
What to do to take back the control of your life
Set your own limits
Every person and every situation has its limits. There are things you can tolerate and others that you do not. It is normal not to see eye to eye with everyone because you have your own personality and beliefs. So, stop compromising with what others want and set your limits.
Break the vicious cycle of emotional blackmail by making clear to others what you consider as acceptable behavior and what not; what you expect from them and what not; what you forgive and what not. By setting these limits, you do not leave much space to someone to think of you as an ”easy target”. Send them the message that when you say “NO”, you mean it and you are not going to change your mind no matter what they say or do!
Start changing habits little by little
The problem with someone who wants to manipulate others using the emotional blackmail is the fact that they know too much about their ”victims” so, it is easier to them to predict their reaction.
For example, if someone close to you, uses always your sensitivity on something or someone as a means to hurt you emotionally then, the best thing you have to do is to ignore him completely and drop the matter, as it didn’t matter to you, any more. Changing your reaction is something the manipulator does not expect.
Every small change is a sign of a renewed person. That change may be your hair color, your wardrobe, the way you take your coffee, the taste of your food, the way you speak, It could be anything. Be unpredictable. Do things today that you did not do yesterday. This will give you more self-confidence; you will love and respect yourself and will raise your power to defend your will against others.
Take care of yourself
People who are constantly under emotional pressure experience many health issues. Uncontrollable stress, panic and food disorders, memory loss, stomachaches, headaches, low self-esteem, developing of fears, premature aging, all of them are connected with bad psychological state.
Is it worth it to suffer so much to please others? Visit your doctor for a full checkup and then a psychologist to ”fix” your emotional state and get more advice on how to deal with the situation.
End the relationship once and for all!
Many ”victims” of emotional blackmail fall into the trap of ”conversation”. They mistakenly think that if they discuss the matter with the person who blackmails them emotionally, they will solve the problem and the situation will become better.
Actually, believing that a manipulative person can be really a changed person is a waste of time! Psychologists claim that people who have lived their lives and achieved their goals taking advantage of other people’s weaknesses, rarely change their manipulative behavior because, they don’t know how to survive relying only on their own forces. So, before this toxic relationship consume all your energy, it would be better to end it and move on in your life.
After all, you only live once!
Do not let others to make decisions for you.
Make your choices and make every day count!