Understanding Emotional Blackmail and Strategies for Dealing With It

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Have you ever Parents feel powerless to refuse someone’s request or feel guilty when ignoring it. Maybe Parents get attack emotional blackmail.

The term is used to describe attempts by partners, friends, and family to trigger fear and guilt. In the end, this fear is used to control and make them obey.

This condition actually enters into a toxic relationship in a relationship and is very detrimental. So, how does this manipulation effort work? Check out the explanation below!

Related Article: 8 Signs You’re Being Emotionally Manipulated and Tips for Dealing With Them

What is Emotional Blackmail?

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Emotional blackmail or in its Indonesian equivalent known as emotional blackmail, is a form of manipulation in which a person uses another person’s feelings as a way to control behavior or persuade them to see things their way.

This concept was first introduced by Susan Forward, a psychotherapist, author, and lecturer. The concept was introduced by him in a 1997 book entitled “Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You.”

In addition to Forward’s book, Erika Myers, a therapist in Bend, Oregon describes emotional blackmail as both subtle and dangerous.

“It may seem like withholding affection, disappointment, or even a slight change in body language,” he explains Healthline.

Related Article: 10 Traits of Manipulative People, One of them Hobby is Playing Victim

6 Tricks of Emotional Extortionists Until the Victim Gives Up

Don't be manipulated, know what emotional blackmail is and strategies to deal with it!

Source: Unsplash

Emotional blackmail often involves trying to get what they want from someone. However, the way to achieve it is by manipulating through emotions.

Based on the information that Forward wrote in his book, emotional blackmail is carried out through the following stages.

1. Asking To Do Something

The first stage of emotional blackmail involves requests. The person often asks explicitly. They also make it sound very subtle. This is done to control one’s choices.

2. Doing the Resistance

If a person is not willing to comply with his or her request, the abuser may exhibit resistance behavior. Even though it looks like he is backing down or giving in, he actually uses various ways to persuade him again.

3. Putting Pressure on the Victim Emotional Blackmail

In a healthy relationship, when someone experiences rejection, they usually respond by ignoring the problem or trying to find a solution together. However, a blackmailer will continue to press to fulfill their demands. For example by constantly repeating their requests in other ways and sweeter words. Another way that is usually done is by criticizing and demeaning.

Related Article: Getting to Know Love Bombing, Manipulative Love Expressions That Couples Can Do

4. Threatening

Threats can be in the form of direct or indirect threats. They may also cover up threats as positive promises. In addition, usually they can also disguise it so it doesn’t look like a threat.

5. Make Surrender

All the persuasion, threats, and pressure by the blackmailer will eventually make the target feel tired and give up. When they achieve what they want, so they may seem very kind and loving.

6. Back Repeating Pattern Emotional Blackmail the same one

When one has given up, the blackmailer finally knows the target’s weak point. They know exactly how to play out similar situations later on. The pattern will probably continue and repeat itself.

3 Psychological Aspects Targeted by Perpetrators

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Psychologist Irma Gustiana, who is also the founder of the Ruang Grow Psychology Clinic, revealed that the perpetrators of emotional blackmail played with three psychological aspects of their victims, abbreviated as FOG, namely:

  • Fear (fear): scare the victim that his life will be bad if he does not fulfill his request.
  • Bonds (obligations): questioning responsibilities and obligations. For example, the perpetrator positions himself as right and the victim is wrong.
  • Guilty (Guilt): this time the perpetrator positioned himself as a victim. For example, by saying “I don’t know who else to ask for help, only you can,”.

Strategies for Dealing with Blackmail’s Emotional Attacks

Furthermore, Irma revealed a number of ways to deal with emotional blackmail. He suggested doing SOS, namely Stop, observeand strategy. Here’s the explanation.

1. Stop

Wait, do not immediately make a decision to comply with the wishes of the manipulative perpetrator. Think by considering the things that are relevant.

2. Observe

Identify your thoughts, emotional reactions and fears caused by the perpetrator. Because the one who has the right to make choices and make the right decisions is yourself. Do not let other people interfere by manipulating.

Dispel Strategy Emotional Blackmail

Then analyze the demands and their impact on life before agreeing to the perpetrator’s request. If you continue to be emotionally terrorized, consider seeking help from someone else to talk to.

Well that’s the explanation about emotional blackmail which is very detrimental to the victim. Be alert, lest you have or are currently experiencing this. Don’t wait until you lose, okay? Parents!

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Also Read:

6 Types of Emotional Violence in Children by Narcissistic Parents

7 Examples of Parent’s Gaslighting to Children

Always Makes Others Feel Guilty, These Are Signs Of A Guilt Trip And How To Overcome It

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