Scary Signs You're Being Emotionally Blackmailed In Your Relationship

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Signs Of Psychological Abuse & Emotional Blackmail In Toxic Relationships

By Levita Galinksy

Even healthy relationships are difficult and challenging. They require sincerity and the ability to be there for one other through compassion and wisdom. Ideally, a relationship should encourage both parties involved to evolve and grow into powerfully confident and kind individuals.

However, sometimes people begin to take advantage of a relationship by breaking all the rules and boundaries with psychologically abusive and controlling behavior like emotional blackmail.

In essence, they turn into bullies. But unlike the types of bullying you encounter in school or online (by people who are somewhat distant from your immediate life in both a personal and/or professional setting), I am talking about the undercover bullies you currently have a deep relationship with.

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Undercover bullies are the kinds of people you might live with or have a very close relationship in one capacity or another (a boyfriend or girlfriend). They are the people you want to rely on for emotional support on a daily basis, yet they might actually be tearing down your self-esteem as opposed to encouraging your authenticity to shine through.

Signs of psychological abuse and emotional blackmail in relationships

Are you in a relationship where you are feeling suffocated or controlled and your needs don’t seem to matter? Do you feel an unspoken sense of abuse? Are you unable to express your true feelings in a safe, supported environment simply because your feelings are being ignored constantly?

What is emotional blackmail?

Your backstory is important to delve into in order to fully acknowledge and understand your inner wounds and emotions. So pay attention to the people you regularly interact with and be a witness to how you are being treated on a daily basis.

Have you ever been emotionally blackmailed?

Bullies from school are one thing. You don’t live with them. What about close people who you count on for love and support? These relationships are said to be the backbone of your emotional well-being. That is to say, close people can enhance your self-esteem or break it just the same.

People who are bullies create pain with words. They use this tactic to make you feel less-than simply because they feel worthless themselves and they don’t have a tangible way to express their true feelings, so they try to bring you down to their level.

Emotional blackmail is when someone (usually someone fairly close to you who knows all your weaknesses and therefore they can easily use it against you) threatens you through fear, obligation, and guilt either in an indirect or direct fashion in order to get what they want.

In essence, an emotional blackmailer is able to control you through various techniques, using phrases like “If you do X, it will make me happy” or “I will do this for you and you do X for me.”

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Through the power of manipulation, your emotional blackmailer can appear ever so charming to you so that you can easily commit to their needs. They can indirectly start bribing you with gifts so that you begin to feel obligated to them. It might lead to extreme statements from the emotional blackmailer to make you feel like if you do not comply with their wishes, you will be punished.

They can go so far as to threaten to hurt you or even themselves in order to get you to do something for them. This is dangerous, and you should ask for professional help at this point.

Emotional blackmail is ultimately abusive, as it is either their way or no way.

In a healthy, stable relationship, there is always a give-and-take balance. With emotional blackmailers, they do all the taking, so it is their way only, and this is how they place fear in you so that you cannot speak to them without feeling unworthy or afraid.

Initially, if you grow up with the same condescending words and remarks, you start to adapt to it and you end up feeling insecure, worthless, and powerless as an adult.

Understand that the blackmailer basically makes you seem responsible for their overall stability as a person. This places a burden on you, as you automatically feel obligated to help them in some way, and they make you feel guilty and fearful if you do not obey.

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But remember this; you are not responsible for another person’s needs and/or feelings.

If normal, healthy communication is not working out, begin setting boundaries so that people cannot cross you once your self-esteem has been violated.

Protect yourself; know that you are enough just as you are, right now, no matter how hurtful people’s words or actions are towards you.

If you cannot make clear statements without feeling helpless, remove yourself from that environment.

Find a support system where you can openly discuss your feelings about being emotionally abused. Begin your journey of inner reflection for finding that light within you.

Find that sense of self-love when you are ready.

Self-love is the foundation for all of your true happiness in your life, which is found deep within yourself underneath all the wounded feelings of pain and insecurity; beneath all the hurt lies the purest form of joy and gratitude of yourself.

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Levita Galinsky is an avid lifestyle journalist, a writer of poetry and spirituality, a pre-med psychology graduate, a learner of life, and a lover of truth. Connect with her on Facebook for self mastery life coaching sessions including spiritual and relationship counseling/guidance.

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This article was originally published at Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.