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Breaking The Cycle of Emotional Blackmail

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Breaking The Cycle of Emotional Blackmail Powered By Docstoc
					                                                    Presented by Daniel Toriola


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                                                          Being an Emotional Victim
                                                               By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.



  Being an Emotional Victim
 by: Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

None of us like to think of ourselves as victims. The term "victim" brings to mind a pathetic image of a
person who is powerless. Therefore, It comes as a shock to most of us to realize how often we allow
ourselves to be emotional victims. Having counseled individuals, couples, families and business
partners for 35 years, I know that many of us are victims much of the time without realizing it.

We are being victims anytime we give another person the power to define our worth. We are being
victims anytime we make approval, sex, things, a substance, or an activity responsible for our feelings
of happiness and lovability. We are being victims anytime we blame another for our feelings of fear,
anger, hurt, aloneness, jealousy, disappointment, and so on. Whenever we choose to define ourselves
externally, we are handing away power to others and we then feel controlled by their choices. When
we choose to define ourselves internally through our connection with our spiritual Guidance, we move
into personal power and personal responsibility. The moment we sincerely want to learn about our own
intrinsic worth and what behavior is in our highest good, and we ask Spirit, we will receive answers.
Most people do not realize how easy it is to receive answers from a spiritual Source. The answers will
pop into your mind in words or pictures, or you will experience the answers through your feelings, when
your sincere desire is to learn.

We always have two choices: we can try to find our happiness, peace, safety, security, lovability and
worth through people, things, activities, and substances; or we can feel joyful, peaceful, safe, secure,
lovable and worthy through connection with a spiritual Source of love and compassion - taking loving
care of ourselves and loving others.

Whenever we choose to find our happiness and safety through others, then we have to try to control
them to give us what we want. Then, when they don't come through for us in the way we hoped they
would, we feel victimized by their choices.

Here is an example: Don and Joyce are in a continual power struggle over how to handle their children.
Joyce tends to be authoritarian while Don is fairly permissive. When Joyce gets frustrated with Don's
parenting, she generally yells at him about his permissiveness. Don often listens to Joyce rant and

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rave at him. Sometimes she goes on for over an hour and he just listens. Then, when he tries to talk
with her, she refuses to listen. Don then feels victimized, complaining about how Joyce yells at him and
refuses to listen to him.

When I asked Don in a counseling session with him why he sits and listens to Joyce, he stated that he
hoped if he listened to her she would listen to him. I asked if she ever does listen during these conflicts,
and he answered "No."

"Why do you need her to listen to you?"

"I want to explain to her why I did what I did with the children."

"Why do you need to explain it to her?"

"So she won't be mad at me."

Don allows himself to be yelled at by Joyce as his way of trying to control Joyce, hoping to get her to
approve of him. Then he tried to explain to further control how she feels about him. When she won’t
listen, he feels victimized by her yelling, blaming her for being such an angry, controlling person.

If Don were willing to take responsibility for approving of himself through his connection with his Higher
Power, he would not listen to Joyce when she was yelling at him. Instead, he would set a limit against
being yelled at, stating that he would listen to her only when she spoke to him with respect and only
when she was open to learning with him. But as long as she has to approve of him for him to feel
secure or worthy, he will not set this limit. Until Don opens to his spiritual Guidance for his security and
worth, instead of handing this job to Joyce, he will be a victim of her unloving behavior.

Taking responsibility for our own feelings of worth and lovability through developing our spiritual
connection, instead of giving that job to others, moves us out of being victims and into personal power.




Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is the best-selling author and co-author of eight books, including "Do I Have To
Give Up Me To Be Loved By You?" She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding healing
process. Learn Inner Bonding now! Visit her web site for a FREE Inner Bonding course:
http://www.innerbonding.com or mailto:margaret@innerbonding.com. Phone sessions available.

margaret@innerbonding.com




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                                   Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Blackmail
                                               By Jeffrey D. Murrah, LPC



Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Blackmail
 by: Jeffrey D. Murrah, LPC

Family decision-making is an intriguing phenomenon. Many factors become part of the
decision-making process. Emotions play an important part in this activity.

Parents and children each use emotions to steer decisions favorable way to themselves. Using
emotions to influence decisions develops naturally.

The use of emotions becomes harmful when they are used as threats to control or intimidate others.
Emotionally charged threats and intimidation leaves their victims feeling helpless. Victims of emotional
blackmail often give in, believing they have no other options.

Emotional blackmail occurs across ages. Parents use it on children, children use it on parents and
even grandparents often enter the picture with their opinions. One parent may even use it on the other
parent.

Threats often show up as emotion or behavior-based. Emotional threats are those where the
blackmailer uses an emotional state to control the victim. This commonly occurs through rage,
screaming, crying, whining or complaining.

Through making the situation uncomfortable enough, they force the victim to do something. When this
occurs in public places, embarrassment adds pressure to yield. After several episodes of emotional
threats, the victim often gives in to avoid the very possibility of another scene. The very threat of
emotional discomfort or blackmail creates pressure to give in.

Behavioral blackmail is where potential actions are used to intimidate. These include threats of
violence, suicide, running away, disowning and even calling Children's Protective Services. The
perpetrators may intensify the threats if the victim 'tells anyone' about the initial threat. Blackmailers
may also threaten to go public with dirty laundry to force the victims into obedience.

By using such threats, the blackmailer gets their way. Rarely does the blackmailer consider the effects
the threats have on other members of the family. The effect of repeated threats creates a hostage
situation within the home.

Threats also occur in the form of withholding. The blackmailer threatens to withhold love, attention,
money or dignity. These things are held out like a carrot to entice the family to do things their way. The
phrase "it's my way or the highway" is a common expression of this behavior.

In healthy families, decisions are made through negotiation, clearly defined rules and a just authority
structure. Although pleasing every member of the family in the decision-making process rarely occurs,
parents can listen to each person's input before making the final decision. Discussion allows issues to
be "out in the open" rather than someone's will imposed on the family. Such discussion also reduces
the feeling of being a hostage.


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Displeasure can be expressed in ways without using emotional blackmail. When rules and
expectations are clear, the need for manipulation is lessened. When the authority structure is clear
and just, family members develop trust in the decisions that are made.




Jeffrey D. Murrah, LPC, LMFT, LCDC is The Results-Oriented Therapist specializing in marriage and
family conflicts. Visit www.RestoreTheFamily.com to sign up for his free newsletter.
jeff@RestoreTheFamily.com




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