Our previous blog gave you an insight into identifying Emotional Blackmailers.
The question that now arises is how to shield ourselves from these emotional blackjacks and repress our vulnerability.
1. Resolve the underlying issue that makes you vulnerable –
Yes, emotions are involuntary but we need to control them if the situation demands it. Working on our emotional weak points helps to regain control of the decisions we make. Do not perform the guilt dance when someone fires emotional bullets at your feet. If a loved one has died, do not become an emotional wreck. Instead, work on these emotions. Express the sadness that you feel for the loss but refuse to be endlessly gloomy and depressed. Get on with living because life stops for no one.
2. Be Straight-Forward in your approach –
In order to distinguish between right and wrong. It will make that ‘feel-good’ seep in and demand respect from others. A strong belief in your own values and ethics is necessary. If you are about to speak and someone interrupts you, do not let it pass or allow the other person to speak for you. Instead, announce that you have just been interrupted and make it clear that you would like to speak for yourself.
3. Stop caving into the demands of your manipulator –
Think of all the instances when you gave in and ended up feeling used. If you are asked to make arrangements for a party by your children or your spouse when you would rather not, do not go ahead with it and sulk that you are always the one who is burdened with such chores. Instead, let them know that you are busy or not interested in being the organizer of the party. The use of the word ‘No’ is your ploy here- but make sure that the disagreements and done subtly.
4. Offer solutions –
Do not be over-sympathetic. Instead, give a positive angle to the whole situation. Suggest ways and means to polish off your manipulator’s misery. Do not fall for those ‘hard-luck’ stories! If a family member always cribs about the laundry not done, do not apologize or offer to do it right away. Instead, offer to teach the complainer how to run the washing machine and let them know that he/she is responsible for his/her own clothes.
5. Resist manipulation –
Yes, it is not as easy as it sounds! The problem with people who like to manipulate others emotionally is that sometimes they don’t realize it. Suppose you are confronted by a sidewalk salesperson who is pushing a product or a point of view, turn around and leave without explanation instead of buying the product or listening to him hoping that he will soon stop. Manipulators can exploit you if you are not at your cautious best.
Out-manoeuvring emotional blackmailers are not easy since they are persistent.
We have to keep reminding ourselves that people do not have the power over us, we give them that power.
So, let us keep that cool and grip our life before they can take us all for a ride! And remember, when we learn, we choose better and experience better.