Emotional blackmail is a form of psychological manipulation. When someone tries to make you feel fear and guilt if you do not do something, you are probably being blackmailed emotionally.
Manipulators love to use emotional blackmail. They are very adept at knowing your weak spots – the areas that lead you to feel guilt or shame and they will target them mercilessly. They will make you feel you are a bad parent, a bad child or a bad spouse with emotional blackmail
Examples: If you loved me you would take me to see that show.
A good father would pay for me to have that outfit.
The give-get ratio is out of balance and you may not realise you are being manipulated. Even though you may not fully realise what is going on, you will more than likely feel bothered or may even feel anxious and depressed.
Is there someone in your life who always seems to be judging you as “good” or “bad”. Do they judge your actions and use emotions to explain why you should or shouldn’t be doing something? Are you doing things for others that you don’t feel entirely comfortable with? It may just be that you are the victim of emotional blackmail.
Set personal boundaries for yourself. Decide what you will and won’t do and clearly define what is acceptable to you. Stick to this no matter what. A blackmailer will try to confuse you and throw in all sorts of issues to distract you and make you doubt yourself. Often they are complete hypocrites who do all the things they say you are doing or not doing. Double standards are something emotional blackmailers live by.
Manipulators will often try force someone into making a quick decision. Never feel pressured and take your time if you are unsure. Trust your instincts.
Learn to say no and stick to personal boundaries. These are the most important strategies to deal with emotional blackmail. Learn to cultivate emotional distance from what the person is threatening you with. If you fear you will lose the relationship and keep giving in to them, they will keep manipulating you. You have to be willing to lose the relationship and stand up for yourself for something to shift and for you to regain power in the relationship. It is only once you take a stand and refuse to give in to the emotional blackmail that a positive shift can take place.