Balancing Personal Growth and Helping Other
Emotional blackmail occurs when someone manipulates another person’s emotions to gain control over them or to make them feel guilty for not meeting their demands. Often, we cannot realize how frequently our emotional cords are being manipulated. It can present itself as a scheme to hinder our progress to reach our goals and dreams by shifting our focus to supporting individuals who have the capability to tackle their own obstacles.
Direct threat: “If you hang out with your buddies tonight, I will pack my bags and leave you.”
Indirect threat: “I don’t even spend time with my friends because I want.”
Indirect threat: “I don’t even spend time with my friends because I want to spend more time with you.
I had a friend who consistently expressed feelings of being unloved by their family and colleagues, thus establishing a foundation for me to provide emotional support whenever they needed it, ensuring they never felt isolated.
Everyone has clear boundaries that should never be crossed. Emotional blackmail becomes clear when these boundaries are under siege from constant pressure and threats aimed at controlling and manipulating you.
They may express their dislike for a friend you are close to, suggesting that you sever ties with them. They clearly have a desire to manipulate both your identity and the surrounding environment.
Ensnared by emotional blackmail, you find yourself tiptoeing around your own existence, afraid of being caught socializing with friends. All in the name of people pleasing.
Striking a balance between personal growth and supporting others who are capable of helping themselves is key. By prioritizing our own journey, establishing boundaries, and fostering self-sufficiency in others, we can navigate emotional blackmail, cultivate healthy relationships, and continue on the path to achieving our goals.