Each of us has heard the term emotional blackmail before. But what does that mean anyway? Emotional blackmail describes the process when one person wants to influence the action of the other on the emotional level. Emotional blackmail can take place in many different ways.
How exactly does emotional blackmail happen?
For example, emotional blackmail can be used when there are so-called "if-then" threats.
Take as an example the couple who spend almost every evening during the week as a couple. In the last few weeks he has also spent the weekends alone with his girlfriend, since her mother died 5 weeks ago and she can not cope with the death.
Now a good friend has asked him if they do not want to meet again in the evening. He would also like to get out of the apartment on the weekend. She looks at him with reproachful eyes and explains, "If you really leave me alone tonight, then you can not care much about me. You know how I feel. "
In the said example, she tells him guilty that she has not yet processed death and that he must stay with her.
But also comparisons with other people can be settled on the level of emotional blackmail. Parents who have multiple children and always compare one with the other sibling, for example, because it provides better academic performance, apply at this moment also emotional blackmail, even if they are unaware of it.
A particularly extreme case of emotional blackmail is when the other person threatens to harm or even commit suicide. Such extreme forms can occur when the other person is unstable and has just been abandoned, for example.
The processes of emotional blackmail are always similar
It is especially common to conjure up a guilty conscience for others by reminding them of apparent obligations. Gladly falls then the sentence "But you had promised me yet". But does the partner really have that?
A guilty conscience can also be created wonderfully, if the bad tone reminds of an intent that the partner can not keep. For example, "You wanted to lose weight, why are there chips in the shopping basket again?".
It is particularly degrading to refer to the opinion of others. For example, "What would your parents say if they knew how you behave towards me?"
What causes emotional blackmail in the person affected?
Depending on how the victim is ticking, his reaction to the emotional blackmail varies. People who generally seek to blame themselves tend to take extortion very seriously.
They apologize for things they have not caused, reduce their own needs, and make a special effort to please and appease the person who puts the emotional pressure on them.
For others, this affects self-esteem. They are increasingly questioning themselves and their abilities, no longer trusting in themselves and no longer believing in themselves.
At the same time, however, this can also cause a certain amount of anger. After all, the person concerned always strives to make it right for the partner all the time, yet the other is apparently dissatisfied the entire time. The affected person has the feeling that they only have to backfuck and bend themselves. In the long run, this leads to the consequence that the person affected becomes increasingly unhappy and thinks about ending the partnership.
The emotional blackmailer is a weak person
Not always is the emotional blackmailer aware that he is doing this blackmail. Incidentally, using oneself for emotional blackmail is never a sign of strength but of weakness.
At first, it may seem that this person is very dominant and knows how to assert their desires and needs. But in reality, emotional blackmail shows that the one who can not articulate his wishes differently and knows how to manage otherwise.
In addition, this shows that the blackmailer is extremely dependent on the partner. He really needs his love like the air to breathe and can not stand it if the partner does not follow him, but also wants to fulfill his own wishes. In addition, the emotional blackmailer often fails to express his own wishes, but tacitly hopes that the other person can read them from his eyes. However, since the partner is not a clairvoyant and thus can not fulfill the wishes, the extortionist again feels unloved and forced to put the other again emotionally under pressure.
When can we speak of genuine, emotional blackmail?
Not every time the other person expresses something that does not suit him, this can automatically be called emotional blackmail. Phrases like "That's how I treat myself", "You're unfair to me", "Well, then I'll have to do it myself" quickly fall into a relationship. However, they are not an expression of extortion, but the one expresses his feelings.
The situation is different when these sentences are used by the partner in order to move us, to convince us of guilt or even to pay us back for something.
Are we cold-hearted if we do not respond to emotional blackmail?
Of course, the emotional blackmailer tries to convey the feeling that we are cold-hearted, even a bad person, if we do not pay attention to him and his needs.
If we realize that we are victims of emotional blackmail, it is quite right not to bow to the desire of others. It is advisable in such a situation to speak the truth openly and honestly. For example, "I'm sorry, but I'm not feeling guilty about my going out tonight. This has been in the planning for 3 weeks and you knew. "
What is important is that we learn to make a clear distinction: do we feel guilty because we have misbehaved? Or do we feel guilty because our opponent persuades us? Recognizing this difference is incredibly important. Because the knowledge of emotional blackmail is of course not a free ticket, in a partnership only to take care of their own needs. A partnership is always a give and a take. However, this is unbalanced and the relationship is nothing more than giving, but we get nothing back, except that we feel more guilty if we reconsider the partnership.
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