Break Free From Your Mold

Emotional Blackmailing
The purpose of this post is to help decide whether to move out when it's a dysfunctional relationship or stay in if it's worth it. Having asked yourself the right questions, the miserable "I don't know what to do" condition of yours will ebb away, bringing out the best in yourself and others.

Relationships in which we wear out and succumb to the the ways not necessarily of our choice may be toxic. One or both parties might feel controlled, insecure, unhappy, or taken for granted. We might feel sliding into mind games because of other person's erratic emotions. At work place we my find that we've been manoeuvred into doing something unethical.  

When you're in a difficult situation with somebody close to you, and your inner vision is blur and you can't see what's happening to you can be a symptom of emotional blackmailing. It happens when people close to you emotionally threaten you to make you do something you don't really want to do. And you change your behavior under pressure. Had there been no pressure, your behavior would have been different.

If you're okay with doing the same thing without pressure, then it's NOT worth creating the fuss over. Imagine someone blackmailing you and you slouch. When you bend, you make sure that will happen again giving other person the advantage to manipulate you and control you at any point. And you be ready because you've set off the cycle.

The only reason anyone can blackmail us is because we allow them.

To break the cycle, we have to be ready to bear the cost they will bring us in case we don't buckle under their emotional manipulation. When they see this tactic is not changing you, that particular emotional tool will turn futile. Beware, most of the times they'll resort to bringing you an even higher cost until they find a point at which they can control you. They can try to make it worse. The solution is to train your brain not to depend your happiness on external things. Because attachment to these things gives others a point to lash where you are vulnerable.

There are some important questions we need to ask ourselves before standing against somebody blackmailing us.

(1) Take stand when you're right. If you're wrong and you don't want to change, you're just stubborn and uncivil.

(2)When you're right, don't give the steering wheel into anyone else's hand. It is your life and your actions. We can't blame others for our destruction.

The worry that a bigger problem will arise by refusing than the satisfaction we receive by doing what's best, makes us recede to think that "It's not even worth the fight". The other person may say since you're the closest to me, I have the right to demand anything from you. There's a little problem with these logics. For a particular event it may hold true but this behavior will turn into a wrecking ball, shuffling all the costs and benefits. We give in to it when it happens for the first time but this is the paddle which turns on the cycle.

Susan Forward (Ph.D) has explained 6 deadly symptoms in her book called "Emotional Blackmail" : Demand, Resistence, Pressure, Threats, Compliance and Repetition.

When is it not necessary to keep on communicating
In a situation when someone threatens to leave you if you don't listen to them and the logic they give is if you really loved me, you would leave this and you would do this and that! no matter how immoral. Communication made for this issue may go nowhere, or is tumbled flop into more blame.

How to detect
Watch out for statements like "You don't understand me." – When they say it in order to justify their bad behavior.

"I only say/do this when I am angry being my partner you should bear it"

"My x was better he/she did it for me. You don't do it and this is not love" - Hearing this you should be proud that you're better and self-aware.

"It's your responsibility to make me happy."

"You don't have time for me"

All this statements are thrown at you to "CHANGE" you. Draw fine lines of what's acceptable. 

Decide how important is the relationship
We can beat the emotional blackmailing where the other person is reasonable. You can stand by the person if you see the good behavior coming. If it's their strict nature, don't be afraid to abort, don't compromise on your virtue.

There's a difference in owning your emotions and being a victim of emotional blackmailing. Being a sensitive person will blur the scenario for us and we will be confused if it's really the other person's fault. People using emotions to manipulate you should be avoided. A common way used to make the other person feel guilty and change for the wrong is threatening them to "think again before continuing the relationship". 

It might feel better to jump out of the toxic relationships but there could be some reasons to stay back. A little unhealthy reasons for holding on are the comfort of familiarity and a hidden belief that we don't deserve the happiness. Healthy reasons are to stay including the loyalty or compassion and foreseeing a better bond n future. The answer whether to stay or move away lies in us.

And just that - always believe in helping others improve. Point short comings. Give always a large hearted flow to life!

The post is dedicated to everyone having battle scars in relationships.


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