This information was gathered by Lauren LaBate, a crisis volunteer and a student of a Victimology course. She also did a review of the book entitled Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward, Ph.D.
COMPONENTS OF EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL
(1) Demand--someone wants something
(2) Resistance--the other is does not feel comfortable with the demand
(3) Pressure --used to make the resistant one give in
(4) Threat --to turn up the pressure
(5) Compliance--on the part of the resistant one
(6) Repetition--this pattern reoccurs in at least other situations (just with a different name)
TYPES OF BLACKMAILERS
(1) The Punisher--very direct about their demands, clearly state the consequences
(2) The Self-Punisher--uses threats of self harm to manipulate the resistant one through fear, obligation and guilt
(3) The Sufferer--the martyr who believes they’ve done everything for others and suffered because of it and don’t hesitate to remind them so they will feel sorry for them
(4) The Tantalizer--uses bribery, knowing they have something the other wants
EMOTIONS FELT BY VICTIMS OF EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL
They feel insecure, unimportant, unworthy and generally bad about themselves
They doubt their ideas and needs
They feel isolated
They may have consistent physical ailments as a result of the stress
They always feel as if they in a FOG unable to think clearly as a result of being manipulated to feel Fear, Obligation and Guilt
TOOLS USED TO CREATE FOG
Making demands seem reasonable
Making the victim feel selfish
Labeling with negative qualities and connotations
Pathologizing or crazy making
Making a demand that needs an immediate response
Allying themselves with someone of authority or influence i.e. parents, children, mental health professionals, religious leaders etc.
Comparing the victim to a person that the victim does not like or is in competition with
Learning the victim's "triggers"
Assess how much pressure to apply before the victim will give in
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VICTIM
Constantly seeks approval
Does their best to avoid anger and keep peace
Takes the blame for anything that happens to others
Has compassion and empathy
Tends to feel pity or obligation
Believes they need to give in because it is the “right thing to do”
Has self-doubt with no sense of their worth, intelligence or abilities
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN EMOTIONAL BLACKMAILER
Has great fear of abandonment and deprivation or of being hurt
Needs to be in control of things
Experiences frequent frustration
Has thought distortions regarding the reasonableness of their demands
Has had someone emotionally blackmail them and sees that it works to get them what they want
WHAT IS NECESSARY TO STOP EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL
The victim must begin to look at the situation in a new way.
They must detach from their emotions.
They must realize that they are being blackmailed and that it is not appropriate for the blackmailer to be treating them in that manner.
They must make a commitment to themselves that they will take care of themselves and no longer allow this abusive treatment.
They need to see that a demand is being made on them and that it makes them uncomfortable.
They must determine why the demand feels uncomfortable.
They must not give into the pressure for an immediate decision.
They must set boundaries to be able to take time to consider the situation and to look at all of the alternatives to make the decision.
Finally, they must consider their own needs first for a change, in this process.