As some of you may know, not only am I an avid reader, my family also has some serious mental issues. Combine those two things together and you get a person who is always looking for insights in books on how to deal with an insane (not in a good way) family.
Recently I bought this book called Emotional Blackmail. As I was reading through it I started thinking about all the people in my life that have blackmailed me in this way. The book talked about the strategies of those who do this and how they get what they want by guilting us into it, making us feel obligated, etc. It gave me a lot of insight.
Now, the tricky part is there are still people like this in my life…and many of them I have to deal with on a regular basis. It isn’t that I can’t deal with them (I learned a long time ago from dealing with my mom and ex how to deal with that crap), but how do I get others around me to start dealing with them and not give in? The guilt and obligation they put on you is actually really tough! However, as I said before I don’t really respond to it anymore. I mean…I cut my mother completely out of my life and I divorced my ex. I feel healthier because of those decisions and happier too. I am not saying anyone has to cut a blackmailer out of their life, but you do need to learn to put your foot down before it goes to far.
It seems like they are little kids…you give them an inch and they take a mile…you really need to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand. At first you think, “Oh well it isn’t that big of a deal even though I really don’t want to do what they want…what harm is it?” And the next thing you know, the person thinks they can get away with making you feel guilty…maybe citing family obligation, guilt for all they have done…and it can even escalate into various kinds of threats and demands with the only one compromising is you.
That is not healthy! A healthy relationship consists of give and give. Everyone has to compromise at some point to everyone to be happy. Everyone has to have the ability to say NO to something without fearing repercussions such as threats or the silent treatment or a big guilt trip. A successful relationship, be it at work, family or friends, depends on people wanting to help each other…not one person controlling the other through blackmail.
If you feel like you have an emotional blackmailer in your life, I strongly suggest this book! Actually, I suggest it anyway because you may have one and not know it!