Have you previously been emotionally abused or coerced into doing something by someone using blackmail? You feel like you’re on the brink of a precipice, and your only option is to give in.
Emotional Coercion, You Ask?
To manipulate another person’s behaviour or convince them to act in a way that benefits the manipulator, emotional blackmail is a dysfunctional kind of manipulation. Emotional blackmailers manipulate their victims into submission by instilling in them an overwhelming sense of dread, duty, and guilt. In intimate or romantic relationships, emotional blackmail is a typical method. If you’re being emotionally blackmailed, don’t worry about your abuser utilising your secrets against you.
Levels of Psychological Coercion
You must be aware of the six phases of emotional blackmail as it unfolds:
When someone uses emotional blackmail, they will first make a demand. The blackmailer’s demands can be overt or covert. Specifically, they may state:
I just don’t think you should be seeing that individual. Subtly: “I dislike how that individual looks at you.” He may pose a threat. Their controlling behaviour might be so subtle that you could think they care about you.
If you’re being emotionally blackmailed and you want to fight back, being honest about how you feel is your best bet. You don’t want the other person to come into your room even if they offer to help you clean it because you have personal space concerns. Responding to emotional blackmail with, “I am capable of cleaning myself,” is one option. I worry about inviting people into my space. Subtle forms of defiance include:
- Constantly carrying your room keys with you
- Hiding the broom or mop where the offender won’t be able to find it.
In healthy relationships, when one partner exhibits resistance, the other finds a way to overcome it. They talk things over and come up with solutions together. The demands of your blackmailer will be imposed in several ways. Among these methods are:
- They phrase their request in an approach that suggests they are concerned about you.
- They may blame you for making them feel horrible about themselves and insist that you owe it to each other in the name of love to comply with their demands.
Direct or indirect threats can both be effective forms of emotional blackmail. Examples of such threats include the following statements:
- I’ll leave you tomorrow if you go out with your friends tonight, that’s a direct menace.
- Subtle threat: “I cannot even spend time with my friends since I want to spend a bit more time with you.” I will find someone who will pay more attention to me if you depart.
- Apart from these, the blackmailer can also conceal the implied threats by making a promise, such as “If you stay with me, we can eat anything you wish. Let’s watch that film you’ve been meaning to see for ages.
It’s exhausting to always put up a fight, so you cave into their requests. Persistent emotional manipulation through threats and pressure can wear a person down. Once a blackmailer gets what he or she wants, they often change their behaviour and become nice and loving. The good behaviour could have been temporary. If you stay in a relationship with this person, their toxic behaviour will continue unabated.
If you cave in after a prolonged standoff, the blackmailer will know that you are easily influenced. It seems simpler to cave in than to put up a fight, so that’s what you do. This will keep happening until you finally realise you’ve had enough.
All forms of manipulation can be reduced to four distinct styles or indicators of emotional blackmail:
The demands and penalties of the punishers are stated. They will employ both overt threats and quiet treatment to keep you under control. Kryss Shane, a relationship expert, claims that those who punish others do it by avoiding communication with them.
Here’s an illustration: You’re worn out when you get home from the office. Your spouse has cheerfully cooked the evening meal. You decide to forego dinner and head straight to bed. This is unacceptable to the punisher. A lot of work and effort went into making the lunch, and yet it was met with such passive resistance. The punisher is closing doors in your face and avoiding your calls.
People who often engage in self-punishment like providing detailed explanations of the negative consequences of their actions. People who inflict pain on themselves will blame you for it. They do this because they know you will cave in and blame yourself.
Here’s an illustration: “I am a poor single mother. Please lend me some money so that I can feed your nieces. If you have a child, you should be able to relate to how I feel.
Injured people demonstrate their displeasure with you by exhibiting physical symptoms of distress. Their grumbles, murmurs, and cries are all attempts to get you to recognise how sad they are. Sufferers will constantly bring up their plight and tell you about all they’ve given up to ensure your happiness.
Here’s an illustration: A buddy of yours who has been hurting has asked to play volleyball with you. But you put up a fight, claiming that sports aren’t your thing. The phone rang after supper and it was your friend saying, “I feel so sad. After an enormous argument with my mother over my performance in school, I didn’t even bother to eat dinner. She claimed that volleyball is my only strength. I need to get out of this funk, and playing golf with you sounds like exactly the ticket. When do you want to go to the sports centre?
Those who tantalise frequently provide compliments and prizes. They try to trick you into giving them things repeatedly. This boosts your confidence, and the promise of a reward encourages you to fulfill a tantalizer’s requests.
Here’s an illustration: He tells you that you’re perfect for each other and that he can’t wait to start a family with you. “But for the time being, let’s take it easy.” You committed to caring for this person and you’re still doing it. You decide to finally ask him when he plans to start a family. He suddenly becomes irritable and asks, “Did I consent to this relationship?” You’re like glue to me; I can’t get rid of you. Why bother with this relationship?
When an Emotional Abuser Makes Dangerous Threats
An Individual With BPD is More Likely to Resort to Emotional Blackmail
A person who is emotionally blackmailing you may resort to physical violence to get what they want. If you push them too far, they may resort to abuse to acquire what they want. Regardless of how deeply you care about someone, you can’t make them do what you want. If it escalates into physical assault, you should get help right away by calling the police.
Tips for Making This a Thriving Romantic Partnership
Identifying emotional blackmail as such is the first step in getting out of a relationship in which you are being emotionally abused. Everyone has limits to their comfort zone that must be respected. When someone pushes against your limits or threatens to exert control over you, they are engaging in emotional blackmail.
Maintain Composure in Face of Negative Emotions
As a bonus, this is a great way to practise introspection and learn to resist the temptation to give in.
Let them know that their words have harmed you. Give them a chance to alter their ways, too.
Finding Out What Sets You Off
The blackmailer knows a lot about you and what triggers you. These triggers are how they want to exert control over you. You need to be aware of the triggers that could cause you to lose your cool. This is a fantastic opportunity to hone your self-control skills and reduce your vulnerability to deception.
The Final Action is to Reach an Agreement
The emotions of both of you ought to be taken into account. Begin by acknowledging the blackmailer’s feelings and working together to find a solution.
If you and your spouse can work out your differences, it will be great. Your spouse wants to make some very big choices in their lives, including the choice to adapt and to make compromises. But if you want a long-lasting, healthy relationship, it’s a risk worth taking.
Don’t Let This Make You Afraid
Everybody wants to be in safe, healthy relationships where they aren’t subjected to emotional or mental abuse. Learn techniques to challenge your own thoughts and overcome negative thinking patterns. Fearful living is something no one wants to experience. Emotional blackmail plays on people’s worries. You have a hard time standing up for yourself and finding it easier to give in. When someone is emotionally blackmailed regularly, it can cause them to lose sight of who they are and diminish their self-esteem to unhealthy levels.
Learn about the damaging effects of blackmail and emotional abuse in personal relationships.