Emotional Blackmail

"Lost in the Fog

How do so many smart, capable, people find themselves groping to understand behaviour that seems so obvious? One Key reason is that our blackmailers make it nearly impossible to see how they're manipulating us, at first, because they lay down a thick fog that obscures their actions. We'd fight back if we could, but they ensure the we literally can't see what is happening to us. I use fog both as a metaphor for the confusion blackmailers create in us and as a lens for burning it off.

FOG is shorthand way of referring to Fear, Obligation and Guilt, the blackmailers' tools of the trade. They pump an engulfing FOG into their relationships, ensuring that we will feel afraid to cross them, obligated to give them their way and terribly guilty if we don't.

Because it's so tough to cut through this FOG to recognize emotional blackmail when it's happening to you – or even in retrospect – I've devised the following checklist to help you determine if you are a blackmailer's target:

Do important people in your life:

  •  Threaten to make your life difficult if you don't do what the want?

  •  Constantly threaten to end the relationship if you don't do what they want?

  •  Tell you or imply that they will neglect, hurt themselves or become depressed if you don't do what they want?

  •  Always want more, no matter how much you give?

  •  Regularly assume you will give in to them?

  •  Regularly ignore or discount your feelings and wants?

  •  Make lavish promises that are contingent on your behaviour and then rarely keep them?

  •  Consistently label you as selfish, bad, greedy, unfeeling or uncaring when you don't give in to them?

  •  Shower you with approval when you give in to them and take it away when you don't?

  •  Use money as a weapon to get their way?

If you answered "yes' to even one of these questions, you are being emotionally blackmailed. But I want to assure you that there are many changes you can put into practice  immediately to improve your situation and the way you feel."

Exact taken from "Emotional Blackmail"  by Dr. Susan Forward with Donna Frazier.

The above information is an extract from a book that I have been recommending to my clients and giving them strategies how to deal with the FOG for years, it is truly amazing how many people answer "yes' to many of these questions and accept it as the norm, you can change and you can change the way people treat you, you are in control.

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