Psychological and emotional blackmail in a relationship: How to defend yourself against an emotional blackmailer?

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Emotional blackmail is an aggressive form of manipulation. What is even more insidious is that it comes most often from those closest to us. The goal of emotional and psychological blackmail is to affect our emotions. An emotional blackmailer wants to hit us at a vulnerable point and advance his interests at all costs. How to prevent emotional blackmail in a relationship?

How to detect an emotional blackmailer?

You usually won't spot an emotional blackmailer within a few dates. Emotional blackmail can take different forms – from seemingly innocent comments to targeted manipulation. It often starts completely inconspicuously, but the pressure gradually increases and disrupts the emotional ties in the relationship. The goal of an emotional blackmailer is to induce remorse or fear or doubt in the other person.

Low self-esteem or a disturbed personality are usually behind manipulative behavior. An intelligent person can masterfully hide his true feelings and opinions about himself. On the outside, he appears calm and composed, but in reality, he experiences an internal struggle and feels threatened if he cannot advance his interests. Emotional blackmail is then a means of satisfying one's needs or achieving one's goals.

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How to defend against emotional blackmail?

Don't be fooled

If your partner repeatedly blackmails you emotionally, stay firm and don't let yourself be swayed. Don't be pressured into anything you don't want to do. You are an adult and responsible above all for yourself, not for the emotions of your counterpart. Learn to say no. Don't be pushed into a situation where you have to back down involuntarily or make a quick decision and act without first considering all the pros and cons.

Talk to each other

An emotional blackmailer often repeats patterns experienced by his family and does not realize that his behavior is pathological and unacceptable. He himself experienced emotional blackmail by a parent and considers similar manipulation to be a common way of communication. Emotional blackmail by a mother or father leaves traces on a person, which he often carries into adulthood and projects them into other relationships. Open communication is key in this case.

Find a common solution

Try to find a solution that will help you save the relationship and will be acceptable to both of you. If the main cause is the partner's low self-esteem, you can work together to increase it. Psychotherapies can also help, which gradually unblock negative patterns of behavior and low self-esteem that the partner carries from childhood.

Stand up for yourself

If your partner refuses to talk about the problem, downplays his or her behavior, or even blames his or her behavior on you, the only solution is usually to break up. No one deserves to be manipulated. However, leaving a relationship with an emotional blackmailer is not always easy. Be prepared for emotional blackmail to be used during a breakup as well. It is important to realize that you do not owe your partner anything and you are not responsible for his or her emotions either. Move out as soon as possible and cut off all contact if necessary.

Don't be fooled

Even though breaking up is a painful and difficult chapter in our lives, it makes no sense to stay in a relationship based on blackmail and manipulation. Everyone should have a partner by their side who will treat them with respect, without coercion and manipulation. Every ending means a new beginning and can open the way for you to a new, balanced and fulfilled relationship. It's never too late to break free from the clutches of an emotional blackmailer, even if he tries to manipulate you during the breakup and purposefully attacks your self-esteem. It may also question your chances for another relationship - don't let yourself be told that you are worthless and that if you break up with your partner, you will remain alone forever.

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Move on in life

It is important to realize your own self-worth and move on in life. You definitely don't have to worry about being alone, in the modern world there are plenty of opportunities to get to know each other. You can try speed dating, for example. Unlike online dating, you don't waste time on lengthy correspondence and arranging dates. You can meet up to 12 single counterparts in person for one acquaintance. All this discreetly, without stress and fear of face-to-face rejection. Try a fun form of dating.

Autor: Jakub Žwak