Emotional Blackmail

After a deep conversation with my friend I felt it necessary to address this concept of emotional blackmailing. Emotional blackmailing is a form of emotional manipulation, in which one person uses fear, guilt, expectations or any other tactic to control the other. As unfortunate as it may seem it is not uncommon to find yourself being emotionally blackmailed by someone close to you, such as a friend, family member or even a romantic partner.

If you have never been emotionally blackmailed, you may be wondering what it looks like. Some signs of emotional blackmail include: they are not willing to accept your opinion or you saying no, they resistant and small comments turn into a big argument, they try to pressure you into doing things their way, or they threaten you into doing things you may not agree with out of fear or guilt. A blackmailer is cunning and will often use what they know about you against you. They can be manipulative and implement reverse psychology to make you do the very thing you are against doing because they know you don’t want to hurt, let down, or even disappoint them.

Once you’ve identified that you have been or are currently being emotionally blackmailed what can you do to prevent it from happening again. I would like to look at 5 things you can do to prevent emotionally blackmailing from happening again.

  1. Do not give in or reward them because giving into their demands only makes the situation persist.
  2. Do not stay in any situation that is unsafe, safety is not just physical but your emotional wellbeing as well. No one who truly loves you will threaten you with harm or expect you to act against your own best interests.
  3. Do not allow yourself to be blamed for somebody else’s bad behaviors or poor personal choices.
  4. Take accountability for your own emotional safety. It is imperative that you work to identify your own personal boundaries and be willing to defend them.
  5. Accept and adjust accordingly. You can’t control the other person and because of that you may have to detach yourself enough to protect yourself, relationships, and anything else that is precious to you.

About Janee V. Henderson

Janee' V. Henderson is a licensed professional counselor, coach, and consultant. She is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and holds a license to service those located in Missouri, Texas, and New Jersey. Janee received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Hampton University and a Master's in Counseling Psychology from Temple University. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. Janee has certifications in Anger Management and Trauma-Informed Care.

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