The 8 types of emotional blackmail (and signs to detect it)

Psychological manipulation can take many forms, often resorting to the use of guilt.

Relationships, whether in a couple or less associated with emotional ties , are always complex. This means that, while it is true that they allow us the option of creating well-established friendships and love affairs, they also leave a wide margin for things to go wrong for a variety of reasons.

The different types of emotional blackmail that exist show how complicated these relationships are, since they are a way of making us feel guilty for what happened in the past, when what has really happened is not a reason to feel bad with one same. This is: there are ways to get that, looking back, we see a trajectory of events that almost forces us to do what the other person wants.

The 8 types of emotional blackmail (and signs to detect it)

The types of emotional blackmail

In this article we will see what those types of emotional blackmail are and what are the ideas and messages that are hidden behind them.

1. The elephant in the room

The concept of “elephant in the room” refers to an idea or fact that, although it is important and is present in the thoughts of all the people involved , is not addressed, it is avoided to talk about it.

In the same way, a type of emotional blackmail is based precisely on pretending a supposed normality in such a forced way that it is clear that there is something wrong, the subject being “canceled” some kind of conflict that both members of a relationship know and they should talk to solve it.

The fact that someone acts before another person in a way that screams the existence of a taboo is something that creates a rarefied atmosphere in which conflict is sensed all the time and, therefore, guilt does not leave us.

2. Self-punishment

Punishing oneself in front of the other member of the couple is one of the most used forms of emotional blackmail , due to its simplicity and its emotional impact.

In addition, the negative implications of self-punishment are so strong that it is even possible to fake them, since the possibility that someone is suffering makes us often stop critically analyzing whether it is true or not. For example, a person can pretend to make a sacrifice to answer the other, without that sacrifice existing : he says that he had planned to go to see his parents and he will not be able to do it, but perhaps he did not even feel like doing it.

3. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a very common type of manipulation in abusive contexts . It consists of making the other person believe that their mental capacities do not make them capable of knowing what is really happening, and that what they think are reasons to be angry are not really.

For example, convincing the other person that something was never promised when it actually happened, and blaming them for making up memories. This phenomenon makes the other person feel bad about himself and believes that it is the other who is having a lot of patience .

4. Suicide threats

It is very important to make clear that not all statements related to the possibility of committing suicide are a form of emotional blackmail. In fact, most people who kill themselves give early warning. That is why in any case, in the face of reactions of this type (for example, in the context of a couple breakup) it is very important to seek professional help.

5. Mercantilist blackmail

It is a type of blackmail in which an attempt is made to induce guilt by highlighting facts that apparently can be interpreted as sacrifices that have been made by the other person. For example, paying for a few drinks. The logic behind this reasoning is that everything that at first appeared to be a spontaneous show of kindness actually had a price, one that is decided after the blackmailer’s convenience.

6. Verbal abuse

Verbal abuse is considered a form of mistreatment, but it also has a facet as a type of emotional blackmail. This is so because through insults and slights it is achieved that the other person internalizes the idea that it is worth nothing , that their own criteria do not matter and that, therefore, the best thing to do is to obey. Self- esteem looks very resentful.

7. Blackmail of necessity

Some people try to emotionally blackmail others by using a type of speech according to which they have “basic needs” that they need to satisfy, something they cannot fight against. This makes being forced to satisfy them seem the most reasonable thing to do, and failure to do so would create guilt.

8. Appropriation

This type of emotional blackmail is typical of some relationships. It is based on the idea that there is one part that protects the other, which in practice means that one of the people must be controlled by their partner . To question this would be to undermine the well-being of the relationship, so there is no attempt to break this dynamic.

The 8 types of emotional blackmail (and signs to detect it)