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Knowing the profile of the emotional blackmailer will help you not to fall into his network or be released as soon as possible. Unfortunately, emotional blackmail is a type of invisible psychological violence that can trap you in an unhealthy dynamic. By adopting the role of victim, you gradually lose your ability to make your own decisions and begin to be at the mercy of the manipulator.
To satisfy an emotional blackmailer you will have to pay a very high price. You probably feel that you walk on crystals since you never know what mood he will be or how he will take your words. To please that type of person you have to sacrifice yourself continually, putting his needs and desires before yours.
As a result, the victims of emotional blackmail end up with a destroyed self-esteem, feeling guilty for the feelings and emotions, attitudes and behaviors of the manipulator. They tend to fall into learned helplessness, a state in which they learn to survive with this system of manipulation because they do not know how to get out of the web built around them.
Who is the emotional blackmailer?
Anyone can become an emotional blackmailer. It is someone who manipulates and extorts the others to achieve personal benefits, at the expense of the needs of his victim. The emotional blackmailer is one who relates using manipulation methods aimed at limiting the decision power of their victims to lead them to make a determined decision.
They are usually people with mental disorders. In fact, the profile of the emotional blackmailer is often characterized by:
– Fear of being abandoned and emotionally damaged
– Intense need to have everything under control
– Low tolerance to frustration
– Distortions of thought that make him believe that his demands are reasonable
The types of emotional blackmailer
These are manipulative persons who directly threaten to retaliate if you do not agree to their demands. They have no qualms about expressing what they want and making clear the consequences of not doing so. Examples in everyday life abound: “If you don’t leave the job, I’ll leave you”, “If you separate from me, you won’t see the children anymore” or “If you go there alone, assume the consequences”.
This type of emotional blackmailer knows your weak points and will attack you where it hurts the most. He usually expresses himself in an aggressive way, although in some cases he can assume a passive-aggressive attitude. Then his favorite tactic is to stop talking to someone as punishment, although it is evident that silence hides a great anger.
The worst thing is that the narrower the relationship, the more control the blackmailer will want and the more vulnerable you will be. When the blackmail intensifies, the consequences of not accepting his requests can become serious, such as abandonment, emotional coldness, withdrawal of financial support or even physical harm.
In this case the threat is directed towards themselves, to generate a guilt trip and thus get them to do what they want. If you contradict them or do not give in to their wishes, they will threaten to harm themselves or even take their own lives, in the most extreme cases. “If you leave me, I do not want to live anymore”, is one of the most common phrases.
Sometimes this emotional blackmailer develops a more refined profile. “If you argue with me, I will get sick”, is the typical phrase of those who resort to health problems to generate guilt trips in their victim.
In any case, these manipulators turn drama into their main tool, they are excessively needy and dependent on those around them and then demand that they do what they want. Actually, they take advantage of your empathy, concern and sense of guilt to touch your conscience beforehand.
The profile of this emotional blackmailer is the most subtle and, therefore, one of the most difficult to detect. He also uses the sense of guilt of the victim to control him. In fact, he is specialists in making others feel guilty.
In this type of emotional blackmail all the phrases are accompanied by a feigned attitude of resignation: “Don’t worry about me, I’m just a nuisance” or “Go and have fun, so I will not be a nuisance for you”. The goal of his attitude is to show how unhappy, sick, unfortunate or miserable people he is. That way he let you see that your decisions cause him harm and that, therefore, you are a bad person.
In the end, if you do not want to bear the guilt of his misfortune, you have no choice but to give him what he wants, although he has not even told you directly what it is. The problem is that, whatever you do, it will never be enough because this person will always ask for more.
The profile of this emotional blackmailer projects great security. He is a “generous” person who offers you love and protection, but only as long as you give in to his needs. He will strive because you distrust your abilities and will try to make you look like a weak and helpless person who can not fend for himself. Once he woke up your insecurities, he reaffirms himself as a benefactor.
At the beginning, he will be doing everything for you, but very soon he will begin to take out accounts and demand that same avaliability, or even more, because in reality behind that altruism there is an imperious need for control.
If necessary, he does not hesitate to bring up everything he has done for you, how much he has sacrificed and how many things he has renounced. Phrases like “With all I’ve done for you, that’s how you’re paying me” are common in the speech of these blackmailers. He will put you in a position in which, if you are a good person, you will have no choice but to compensate him for that avaliability. The problem is that your compensation will never end, you can never pay off the debt.
Usually they are very charismatic people with a seductive personality. Their emotional blackmail is based on promises. They will not hesitate to promise you the sky and the stars, but only on the condition that you accede to their wishes.
Their strategy is based on a kind of inverted blackmail because instead of threatening you, they will tell you all the good things they will do for you, as long as you allow yourself to be manipulated. His preferred phrase is: “You do what I tell you and you won’t have to worry about anything anymore”.
In this way, the manipulator manages to create a dependency relationship and takes power away from his victim. However, in most cases he does not even keep his promises, but he always has a good excuse to justify himself.
The 3 emotions used by the emotional blackmailer
Independently of the tactics of manipulation that are used, deep down the mechanism of emotional blackmail is the same, because it is based on activating three key emotional states in the victims, thanks to which he manages to subject them:
Emotional blackmailers build their strategies, either consciously or unconsciously, on the information we provide them. They are based on our fears, uncertainties and weak points.
The fear of not getting what they want and losing control is so intense that it helps them focus with extreme precision on their objectives and more clearly detect our weaknesses, so in some cases they can get to know us better than ourselves.
And they will not hesitate to use that knowledge as ammunition to manipulate and feed the fear in their victim, even if it means breaking the trust that it had placed in them.
Often, our idea of duty and obligation is reasonable and forms an ethical and moral basis that becomes the compass that guides our life. However, sometimes that idea makes us go too far, so we lose perspective and balance.
The blackmailers do not hesitate to put our sense of duty to the test, over and over again. For example, the attachment to the family and the belief that it is a sacred bond keeps many people in relationships that have lost meaning or are even harmful to them.
A manipulator will always tighten the rope to see how much he can take advantage of that sense of duty. And if this is stronger than our self-esteem, we will quickly fall into his web.
Guilt is an essential piece in the way of being a responsible person who cares about the wellness of the others. It is a tool of conscience to generate discomfort and self-reproach if we have violated our code of ethics and values. The blackmailers know it.
One of the quickest ways for a manipulator to achieve his goal is to generate an undeserved guilt, actively attributing to his victim any nuisance or problem he has. When the blackmailer sees that guilt trip can help him reach his goals, he will have no limits and will use it again and again.
Finally, remember that the blackmailer seeks to control you and the situation, so you will lose your freedom, your confidence and your happiness. Every time you give in to blackmail, you give up more space of freedom. Therefore, pay attention not to let a person who does not respect your priorities, limits and needs govern your life. Maybe it’s better to lose that person than to lose yourself in blackmail.