EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL -- PSYCHOLOGY ABUSE TERMS, CONCEPTS
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1.24 EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL -- PSYCHOLOGY ABUSE TERMS, CONCEPTS

==== Emotional Blackmail

MEANING: You are forced to do something because the emotional consequences from the other person would be too great to do otherwise.

RELEVANCE TO ABUSE: Emotional blackmail is a favorite technique of abusers. It is related to the double bind and to mixed messages.

PERSONAL NOTE FROM RICK DOBLE: I actually coined this term in 1975 in marriage counseling with my 1st wife. While others may have used it before, I had never heard the term. I made it up to express what my wife was doing to me; none of the shrinks had heard the term before either.

I specifically used 'emotional blackmail' to describe what my 1st wife would do when I tried to talk with her about issues in our marriage: her response would be to cry for hours (not an exaggeration) to prevent us from talking. As a result I stopped trying to discuss things with her because the consequences (her tears) were too hard to deal with.

RELATED WORDS AND PHRASES: double bind, coercion, intimidation, mixed messages



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