Open in the App Open in the App Open in the App
Get the key ideas from

Emotional Blackmail

When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

By Susan Forward, PhD, with Donna Frazier
13-minute read
Audio available
Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You by Susan Forward, PhD, with Donna Frazier

Emotional Blackmail (1997) helps us understand, identify, confront and remedy manipulation in our closest relationships. These blinks are filled with insightful explanations about the true nature of toxic relationships and provide you with the tools you need to break out of this vicious cycle.

  • Anyone tired of fighting a losing battle with a loved one
  • People who suspect they let fear run their life
  • People who want to empower themselves in their relationships

Susan Forward, PhD, is a therapist and an internationally renowned expert in relationship and familial conflicts. She is the author of the number one The New York Times bestsellers Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them and Toxic Parents.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

Emotional Blackmail

When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

By Susan Forward, PhD, with Donna Frazier
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You by Susan Forward, PhD, with Donna Frazier
Synopsis

Emotional Blackmail (1997) helps us understand, identify, confront and remedy manipulation in our closest relationships. These blinks are filled with insightful explanations about the true nature of toxic relationships and provide you with the tools you need to break out of this vicious cycle.

Key idea 1 of 8

Emotional blackmail is a subtle form of manipulation that may shape some of our closest relationships.

Leaked government secrets or organized crime might be the first things that come to mind when you think about blackmail. But blackmail is something that happens in our private lives, too. Emotional blackmail may be lurking behind some of your closest relationships.

Like other types of blackmail, emotional blackmail is rooted in a fundamental threat. Usually, it’s something along the lines of “If you don’t do this for me, you will suffer the consequences.”

Classic emotional blackmail occurs when someone threatens to end a relationship when she knows the other person cares too much about her to let that happen, and that the person would do anything to prevent it if forced. Essentially, whenever people threaten to make you suffer if you don’t give them what they want, you’re being emotionally blackmailed. Chances are, you’ve been emotionally blackmailed more than a handful of times over the course of your life.

So why do we let it happen to us? The problem is that it’s all too easy to walk straight into a blackmailer’s trap without realizing it. Emotional blackmail happens in close relationships, as the blackmailer knows you and your weaknesses extremely well. For instance, a blackmailer might get the best of someone who prides herself on her generosity, compassion and loyalty by calling her greedy, insensitive and untrustworthy. Unless, of course, she does what the blackmailer wants her to do.

Despite the deep psychological suffering this behavior causes, emotional blackmail remains hard to recognize for another reason: we don’t want to see it. Let’s face it, the fact that your loved one is manipulating you is a bitter truth to swallow. Many of us would rather turn a blind eye. But if you’ve decided it’s time to weed out toxic relationships in your life, stay tuned for the next blink.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.