Emotional blackmail is the word you’re looking for. You’ve been searching all this time for what was happening to you, and this is it!
I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re being manipulated. You are the victim of emotional blackmail and it has almost completely destroyed your self-esteem.But
But it’s not too late. I suggest you look within, learn who you are and then love that person. Then stand against emotional blackmail and refuse to let anyone else control your life.
Manipulative techniques which scar your emotions are calculated and refined.
I guess I started off assuming that you were being manipulated by your spouse, your friends or even maybe your family. If you’re not, then congratulations, you could be in a healthy relationship. But to those who feel something isn’t right, and for those who feel like a puppet on a string, this is for you.
According to the Urban dictionary-
Emotional blackmail: When the people in your life use fear, obligation, and guilt to manipulate you.
Unfortunately, it takes many years sometimes, even decades to recognize that emotional blackmail is a thing. During my twenties, I was bent, shoved and crammed into a life that wasn’t even mine. I’m not saying that there weren’t good times, but for the most part, it was a living hell. It was like walking on thin ice, waiting for a bomb to explode any minute. It was fear, a tool used by an emotional manipulator to keep me in my place.
I promise I’m not being over-dramatic. Emotional blackmail is a serious issue, even leading to suicide when victims are unable to escape the clutches of the perpetrator. I’ve attempted suicide on more than one occasion, unsuccessfully obviously.
It may be difficult to gauge whether you are being manipulated.
I sincerely hope you are in a healthy relationship with your spouse and your family. If not, I want to share a bit of information that could help you understand why. Maybe this isn’t for you, and maybe you have some other issue entirely. But just in case, here are a few ways to tell if you are being manipulated.
Home court advantage
A manipulator will try to find ways to get you on their home turf, whether it’s their home, car or their usual hang out spots, if they own it, that’s even better. This gives them the advantage should an argument ensue. Home court advantage allows them to instill fear and guilt, considering it is their location and they make the rules. Pay attention to home court advantage.
Pity and guilt
Those who use emotional blackmail, if they feel they are losing at their game, will use pity as a last resort. Pity is used to gain sympathy from their victims right before the victim catches on to the game. Guilt is also a tool they use quite frequently as a way to make the victim feel bad for fighting with them.
Bitter and disgusting humor
This is one of the most downright distasteful actions of the emotional manipulator. In an attempt to sway the argument and valid points of the targeted victim, the perpetrator will laugh and make cutting remarks to throw off the discussion. It’s an aversion tactic which works by using confusion. The manipulator, whether spouse or friend, actually talks down to the victim in joke form desperately trying to shift the momentum.
Sudden Aggression or Loud speech
You will know when you are being manipulated when the perpetrator uses fear tactics like aggression. You will notice that they start getting loud, acting like they are upset and weary of your ignorance. They will curse, invade your personal space and even call you names. This is also used to delay any logical points you may bring forward. As long as you are scared, you will be reluctant to continue the discussion.
It’s sad to think a human being could be as cruel as to punish another for their opinions. Manipulators will use threats and punishments in order to get vengeance for your valid points in an argument. Let’s say you come on top during a heated discussion, the manipulator will not let you get away with this. They will find a way to make you suffer, they will intentionally do something that they know upsets you.
The Silent Treatment
Want to know what leaves me shaking in my boots? The silent treatment, that’s what. Being silent as a form of punishment is one of the most successful antics of the emotional abuser. It’s like the calm before the storm, or the quiet brewing anger which threatens to burst forth at any second. It simply says, “You are going to wish you had not crossed me. I am waiting, quiet, and your fear will drive you crazy wanting to know why.”
God forgive these people. I wish for mercy on those who emotionally abuse me, and I will keep wishing kindness on them. There are parts of me which greive for their hearts. My inability to understand this manipulation makes me feel sorry for them.
And then I look into the mirror and realize I was alone, I was talking to myself
You are being manipulated, and have been for 20 years of your life. Every day that you endure this abuse, is another day that you question your own reality. Although it seems like you’re trapped, emotionally tied to a tree, in the middle of the forest, it’s not too late. It’s never too late to start over again.
To self: Stay strong, build your reserves, take up your weapons and hold your ground. You may never see a different side to your enemy, but you will always have the power to leave.
One day you will have to make a decision.
By Sherrie H.