List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Breaking the Cycle of Emotional Blackmail
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.
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.
About The Author
Jeffrey D. Murrah is The Results-Oriented Therapist specializing in marriage and family conflicts. Visit www.RestoreTheFamily.com to sign up for his free newsletter.
Childhood friendships are as special as they are a necessary part of growing up. While some of our children will maintain these friendships into adulthood, many will not.
5 Ways To Help Your Kids Do Math
Uh oh.Your kids arrive home with their school reports and it's poor marks from the math department.
Hurting from the Outside - In: The Rise of Self-harming
Ask any teacher or adolescent counselor what the most disturbing trend they are seeing in teens today is, and they are likely to tell you it's the growing number of "cutters".By cutters, they mean people who hurt themselves or "self-injure" a term that is more encompassing of the many types of behaviors that are actually involved.
Adolescence - Clues and Advice
Be sure to respect the intellectual changes that mark adolescence. Adolescent thinking can and should reflect: abstract notions, the relationships of things to each other and people to each other, multiple responses to the same condition or question and the idea of thinking itself.
Two Means Trouble
You have two kids who are 14 months apart. How cute, they look alot alike.
The Forgotten Secret of the Ancient Greeks that Shows Us How to Keep Our Teenagers Out of Trouble
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3) Four of the boys at training tonight are preparing themselves for their first fight at our forthcoming Christians vs. Lions promotion, scheduled for only three weeks hence.
Should The Dad-To-Be Attend The Birth?
Not so long ago a dad-to-be would pace up and down outside the labor room and would be admitted only after the birth. Modern practice is to assume the dad-to-be should be at the birth to offer support.
You Dont Need a Supernanny to Be an Active Parent
The hot new reality TV show "Nanny 911" has been joined by a similar nanny-to-the-rescue show called "Supernanny." These shows depict families in which the children are extremely out of control, rebellious, spoiled or otherwise quite a handful.
Parenting Your Teenager: Responding to a Poor Progress Report in School
Q. We just got our daughter's progress report, and it looks as if no matter how hard she works she'll get all C's and D's, when she had been getting A's and B's.
Assertiveness: Key to Better Parenting
I have always been aware of my number one weakness: non-assertiveness. But I have come a long way from the time when I couldn't say 'no' to a child molester and not understanding the importance of telling my parents.
Parenting Univeristy: Potty Training 101
When your child shows signs of potty training readiness, it's time to purchase some essential potty training items. There are many new products which can help to make potty training quick and easy for both you and your child.
Help! My Kids Dont Listen to Me
Does this sound familiar? Have your kids not listened to you when you wanted them to? This is one of the most common issues that parents bring to me seeking help and support. Parents tell me that instead of listening to them, their kids sometimes ignore them, walk away, don't do what they are told, laugh at them, turn up the radio or TV, talk back to them or give them the silent treatment.
Time Managment Skills for Children
Time management is an organisational concept traditionally associated with adults and the workplace. The experts tell us that more efficient use of time means greater productivity.
Parenting---Roots and Wings
I'm sure many of you have heard that old Hallmark card adage that goes something like this: Parents give their children two great gifts---one is roots, the other is wings. This is what I address in this article.
Parenting Your Teenager: 6 Things to Stop Doing Right Away
1. STOP focusing on what you are going to make your teen-ager doIt doesn't work.
Teaching Your Child Safety
Q. What is the best way to teach safety awareness to young children?A.
Is Your Teen Swamped with Homework and Tests?
I hear from many parents that their child is stressed out with schoolwork, tests, finals, finding time to study, and extracurricular activities.I do not like seeing overstressed children and teenagers.
Is Your Child Having Trouble in School?
Did you know that the school system is only able to meet 50% of student learning needs?That's right! - only 50% of the student population is in an environment at school which enables them to be successful learners.The reason for this is not because of bad teachers.
Surviving As A Single Parent: Seven Simple Suggestions To Make Your Life Easier
1 - Forgive even if you will never be able to Forget -Let go of grudges you may hold against your child's other parent, who is absent from BOTH of your lives. Holding onto feelings of anger will not change your situation and will probably consume a great deal of your energy - energy you need to devote to creating a positive environment for your child.
Small Children, Languages and Myths
Our children are growing up bilingual in the French part of Canada - Québec. "That's fine", says everyone.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !