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How to Respond to Emotional Blackmail

What’s the definition?

Emotional blackmail is a type of manipulation in which someone manipulates your emotions in order to influence your behaviour or persuade you to view things their way. Dr. Susan Forward, a therapist, author, and lecturer, coined the phrase “emotional blackmail” in her 1997 book “Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You.” She breaks down the notion of emotional ابتزاز through case studies to assist individuals better understand and overcome this form of manipulation. Aside from Forward’s book, there isn’t much plain information regarding emotional blackmail and what it entails, so we contacted Erika Myers, a therapist in Bend, Oregon. Emotional blackmail, she says, is subtle and devious. “It might look as a lack of affection, dissatisfaction, or even a subtle shift in body language,” she says.

How it works

Emotional blackmail, like traditional blackmail, includes someone attempting to obtain something from you. Instead of using your secrets against you, they use your emotions to control you.

سايبر blackmail, according to Forward, goes through distinct stages:


A demand is made in the initial step of emotional blackmail.

“I don’t believe you should hang out with so-and-so anymore,” the individual may say clearly. They may possibly make it more subtle. When you see that friend, they sulk and rudely respond to you (or not at all). “I don’t like how they stare at you,” they reply when you inquire what’s wrong. They don’t seem to be beneficial for you, in my opinion.” They do, after all, phrase their demand in terms of concern for you. However, it is still an attempt to exert control over your choice of buddy.


If you refuse to do what they want, they will most likely push back. “You’re not insured, so I’m not comfortable letting you drive my car,” you may say frankly.


In healthy partnerships, people still express their wants and desires. When you exhibit resistance in a normal relationship, the other person usually responds by abandoning the matter or making an attempt to find a solution together.


Of course, you don’t want them to follow through on their threats, so you give up and surrender. You may be wondering if your opposition to their “request” was even justified. Compliance can be a gradual process as they grind you down with pressure and threats over time. When you give up, chaos gives way to calm. They have what they desire, so they may appear especially nice and caring – at least for the time being.


When you demonstrate to the other person that you will eventually yield, they will know exactly how to handle such circumstances in the future. The practice of emotional blackmail teaches you over time that it is simpler to obey than to endure constant pressure and threats. You may learn to believe that their affection is conditional, that they will withhold it until you agree with them. They may even discover that a certain type of danger will expedite the job. As a result, this pattern is likely to persist.



Someone employing punishment techniques will explain what they want and then threaten you with what will happen if you do not comply.

This frequently entails direct threats, although punishers can also influence through violence, rage, or silence.

Consider the following example:

As you step in, your spouse approaches and kisses you.

“Today I made a large sale!” Let us rejoice. “Dinner, dancing, romance,” they tease with a smirk. You exclaim, “Congratulations!” “However, I’m exhausted.” I intended to take a long bath and unwind. “How about later?”

Their mood shifts in an instant. They pout down the hall, slamming doors behind them. They refuse to reply when you follow them and try to chat to them.

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Cary Grant
Cary Grant
Cary Grant, the enigmatic wordsmith hailing from the UK, is a literary maestro known for unraveling the intricacies of life's myriad questions. With a flair for delving into countless niches, Grant captivates readers with his insightful perspectives on issues that resonate with millions. His prose, a symphony of wit and wisdom, transcends boundaries, offering a unique lens into the diverse tapestry of human curiosity. Whether exploring the complexities of culture, unraveling philosophical conundrums, or addressing the everyday mysteries that perplex us all, Cary Grant's literary prowess transforms the ordinary into extraordinary, making him a beacon of intellectual exploration.


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