Emotional Blackmail—What Is It And Why You Need To Know About It
Mindbody Wellness Clarity Tips
Dear Awesome Woman,
Emotional blackmail. Ever heard about it? I didn’t until I was so steeped in a relationship that felt so funky and upon sharing the details, a kind therapist recommended a book about it.
Funky. Why did it feel that way? Because I was involved with someone who wanted me to do something for them and when my response was a hesitation or “no, I can’t” their comeback caused such a confused sense in my body and mind. It was like “huh?” And I was always so flabbergasted I would give in to the request. How couldn’t I when they either said these exact words to me or implied them in a more subtle message?:
“If you really cared about me….”
“I’ve done so much for you …”
“I’m so generous to you …”
“You’re so selfish…”
Does any of this sound familiar? I hope not. I hope that you don’t have anyone in your life speaking to you like this or treating you like this. But if you do, here is what you need to know: the person is using Fear, Obligation and Guilt to manipulate you. It’s called FOG.
In Susan Forward’s book, ‘Emotional Blackmail’ she explains just what this phenomenon is and how to cut through it. She even has a contract that you sign for yourself committing to get this toxic pattern out of your relationships and out of your life. This is a life saving book for your health, whether you are in a relationship with a Borderline/Narcissist— parent, husband, friend, child, boss, teacher, or co-worker who use FOG on a constant basis or not. Even regular folks may have the negative habit of using FOG to get you to do what they want and to get their way.
Now you’ve got to get your brave on when you choose to release this pattern from your life. You will feel uncomfortable. There is fear in the body when emotional blackmail is being used against you. And that is exactly what the manipulator, the Emotional Blackmailer, wants you to feel. Instead of respecting your boundaries, your limits, your wishes, your being, their goal is of utmost importance to them. They want something from you and they will pressure, demean and hurt you to get it. And sadly, this is a person who pretends to care about you, and really, maybe they do, but they are in ‘bad behavior’ to accomplish their goal. I call it living from the lower self.
The key is to stay connected to your body when you are setting your boundaries with this person, even while feeling discomfort and fear. Susan Forward teaches you how to do this by changing the thought in your mind from “I can’t stand the pressure” to “I can stand the pressure.” When you give yourself permission to love and care for yourself by setting limits, then being in that higher state of mind gives you the strength to stand your ground. Of course there will be discomfort when a person is communicating to you that you are not “good enough, doing enough, being enough.”
But you don’t need to listen to them. It’s all lies for them to get their way. Again, it’s bad behavior on their part.
So, I invite you to read the book, even if no one is using this pattern in your life. Consider yourself lucky and be aware by reading it anyway.
For anyone who is a teacher or parent, it’s really important to educate children about this FOG factor. Keep your spidey senses up when a child opens up about relationships with friends. Children need to be taught not to use this pattern themselves in their relationships, as well as, not to have it done to them. When we want something, we need to have faith that if it’s meant to be it will be and our method of getting it needs to be with kindness and respect, not pressure or manipulation.
Please reach out today for a free Clarity Call if you are experiencing this in any of your relationships. You’ve been slimed by FOG and manipulation and your body and cells have been infected. There are gentle somatic techniques to heal from this and give your body and mind health. As a Somatic Healer and Clarity Coach, I guide women in aligning with their physical, emotional and intuitive wisdom, empowering them with clarity, vibrancy and peace-of-mind in their relationships, career and health. Looking forward to connecting 🙂
If you’d like more connection, emotional safety, peace and fun in your marriage, download your free gift e-guide: 6 Simple Tips to Up the Vibe of Your Marriage Today!
If you’re dating, there are beautiful resources for you as well (and they include the red flags to look out for to avoid the narcissists!).
“I came to Miriam looking for help recovering from a painful breakup with a covert narcissist that I’d been suffering over for far too long. I realized that I’d not only been struggling from my most recent relationship but also from my childhood relationship with my father, which I thought I’d dealt with years ago. I learned that I had energy stuck in my body from real traumas I’d experienced, which talk alone was just not able to process. Miriam helped me with real-time processing in my body and clearing the immediate pain, as well as healing the source of my unhealthy relationship choices, and given me tools for compassionately helping myself when difficult emotions arise in the future, leaving me feeling stable and self assured about myself and my future.”
- T.H., Colorado