January 14th, 2019
When one thinks of blackmail what immediately comes to mind? Maybe it is a tv show where an attorney tried to blackmail a judge, or an employee attempted to blackmail their boss – in other words, a lot of criminal justice references or scenarios may play out in your mind. Blackmail is often commonly associated with criminal activity or coercing someone into giving something (usually a sum of money, a service, or a favor) for not exposing or revealing information that is injurious, harmful, or compromising about that person. While people may understand this idea of blackmail, the concept of emotional blackmail is often missed by many individuals. Defining and understanding emotional blackmail is essential as a means to grasping its importance and relevance in both interpersonal relationships and within society.
So, what is emotional blackmail? Emotional blackmail is:
There are a number of instances in which emotional blackmail may take place including:
Perhaps you are reading this, and you are concerned that you are experiencing emotional blackmail in your relationship. If this is the case, ask yourself the following questions:
If you answered yes to these questions, then you may be experiencing emotional blackmail in your relationship. This can be very troubling, not only for your relationship but for your overall health and well-being in general. Emotional blackmail over time can lead to many psychological and physical complications. Experiencing emotional blackmail can be extremely stressful and taxing on both the mind and body. It is important to note that although in this blog post, emotional blackmail was referred to as occurring in romantic partnerships, it may occur in other contexts as well, such as:
There are a number of things you can do if you are experiencing emotional blackmail:
Whatever you do, do NOT tolerate emotional blackmail, and do NOT hide it! Talking with others can help you work out solutions to the problem and give you ideas on how to stop the emotional blackmail from occurring. If the problem seems severe, seeking professional assistance (through therapy) may be the best route.
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