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Emotional Blackmail
2019/12/02 08:29:09瀏覽876|回應4|推薦4

Writer:

Susan Forward is one of the nation’s leading therapists, as well as a best selling author, dynamic lecturer and frequent talk-show guest. In addition to her private practice, she has served as a therapist, instructor and consultant for many Southern California psychiatric and medical facilities. She is the author of the #1 New York Times best sellers Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them and Toxic Parents. She also hosted her own nationally syndicated program on ABC Talk Radio for six years.

Through her practice, her books and her work on the radio, Susan’s groundbreaking work has opened up exciting new worlds of confidence, inner strength and emotional independence for countless women and men.(R.2)

 

Story:

A practical guide to better communication that will break the blackmail cycle for good, by one of the nations leading therapists, Susan Forward.

“Breathe a sigh of relief! Susan Forward helps you identify and correct an intensely destructive and confusing pattern of relating with those you love. I highly recommend this important book!"—Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

"If you really loved me..."

"After all Ive done for you..."

"How can you be so selfish..."

Do any of the above sound familiar? Theyre all examples of emotional blackmail, a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten to punish us for not doing what they want. Emotional blackmailers know how much we value our relationships with them. They know our vulnerabilities and our deepest secrets. They are our mothers, our partners, our bosses and coworkers, our friends and our lovers. And no matter how much they care about us, they use this intimate knowledge to give themselves the payoff they want: our compliance.

Susan Forward knows what pushes our hot buttons. Just as John Gray illuminates the communications gap between the sexes in Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, and Harriet Lerner describes an intricate dynamic in The Dance of Anger, so Susan Forward presents the anatomy of a relationship damaged by manipulation, and gives readers an arsenal of tools to fight back.(R.3)

 

Highlights vs self- reflection:

1.p.94:In fact, the more abusive the blackmailers, the more they twist reality. Their extreme sensitivity and self-centeredness magnify the hurts they feel and help them justify retaliating against us for what they see as deliberate attempts to thwart them.

2.p.137:By safety I mean goodwill and trust-the elements that allow us to open ourselves to someone without fear that our innermost thoughts and feelings will be treated with anything but care. Remove those elements and what’s left is a superficial relationship empty of the emotional candor that enables us to be our true selves with another person.

3.p.114: Atlas syndrome: Atlas, who carried the world on his shoulders, they weigh themselves down with the burden of fixing everyone elses feelings and actions, hoping to atone for past or future transgressions.

4.p.158:Internal discomfort is one of the major impediments to change, and we’re so used to responding to it as though it were a fire to be put out that many of us haven’t learned to leave with it in the natural amounts that accompany change.

Golden Sentence:

1.xv:When we live with emotional blackmail, it eats away at us and escalates until it puts our most important relationships and our whole sense of self-respect in jeopardy.

2.p.16: You may feel as though a rug’s been pulled out from under you.

3.p.250: Once you stop waiting for other people to change and start working on your own behavior, miracles really can happen.

4.p.246:Blood is thicker than water.

5.p.247:if not a happy ending, at least a hopeful ending.

6.p.137:Emotional blackmail sucks the safety out of any relationship.

7.p.116: Blame and responsibility are closely allied.

Conclusion:

1.No matter how deep your feet in the mud, keep looking up high to the purest sky, you will find out how to fly.

2. Even you are the most lousy opponent, you still find your enemy, build up your own useful weapon to save yourself.

3. The best way to escape from the net is to sharpen your knife and break through your trap.

4.Forgiveness is to forget other’s hurting. Gratitude is to remember other’s giving. All the enemy is to train ourselves to be a better self that you prefer.

5. Blame-taker vs blackmailer is a coin from both sides. Where is the boundary depends on clarifying the Atlas Syndrom.

6. Try our best to learn then run, cos the nonuplifting people is the energy vampire, suck away our power of kindness, we take the lesson we learn and run towards the uplifting people.

7.Four faces of blackmail:punisher, self-punisher, sufferer,tatalizer(p.17) therefore, we have to use three steps in the change process.SOS-stop, observe, strategize,(p.250)Once you stop waiting for other people to change and start working on your own behavior, miracles really can happen.

 

We will have a special gathering at Lydias condo this time in order to celebrate a year ending, as well as a coming Christmas. Thanks to Lydia to offer us her comfortable house. Some of us have prepared food for everybody, please feel free and enjoy a happy potluck. We will also assign the leaders and announce the books for 2020 as a result of vote.

Please see the attached Dec. file - Summary questions.

 

Emotional Blackmail Summary Questions by Lydia:

Emotional Blackmailby Susan Forward, Ph.D. with Donna Frazier

Emotional Blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten to punish us for not doing what they want.   Emotional blackmailers know how much we value our relationships with them. They know our vulnerabilities and our deepest secrets. They can be our parents or partners, bosses or coworkers, friends or lovers. And no matter how much they care about us, they use this intimate knowledge to win the pay-off they want: our compliance.In Emotional Blackmail, bestselling author Susan Forward dissects the anatomy of a relationship damaged by manipulation to give blackmail targets the tools they need to fight back.   In a clear, no-nonsense style, she outliners the specific steps readers can take, offering checklists, practice scenarios, and concrete communications techniques that will strengthen relationships and break the blackmail cycle for good.

 

Questions:

1. The World Health Organization distinguishes 4 types of child maltreatment, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional (or psychological) abuse and neglect. In your point of view can the emotional blackmail be so pathologizing included

The term was introduced by Susan Forward, Ph.D., in her book Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You. Emotional blackmail is a concept recently developed and one receiving increased attention. The #MeToo movement is bringing education and awareness around the dynamics of emotional abuse and its powerful negative impact.

The laws addressing emotional abuse are less clear and less consistent. In the legal system, the term used to describe emotional abuse and blackmail is “coercive control.”(R.5)

2. The behaviors and impact of emotional blackmail can be similar to a frog in boiling water. A frog in lukewarm water and slowly increase the heat it does not recognize the pain as a danger signal at the same level of heat, the water heating up slowly. Emotional distress can significantly increase our vulnerability to headaches, muscle spasms, gastrointestinal problems…and other ailments. Have you ever experienced these?

I learned from the marriage that educated members easy to take this emotional blackmail as the fast weapon to gain pay-off without any other court of appeal. They use all the mean ways to take the legal reserved portion to disobey father’s will. Susan is really a great writer, the blackmailer really take the little stuff to sweat you till(p.124).Vicious cycle keep rolling till it becomes an avalanche.(p.130), we try so hard to rationalizing and justifying for them (p.132), we keep persuading ourselves to be a blame-taker. Moreover, the others’ betrayers become co-blackmailer. The victim stuck in the pressure chamber(p.138), till the physical pain comes as a warning(p.135). Susan suggests us to write a contract with ourselves to admit the true inner negative feeling. Turn the triangle into a straight line(p.160) via nondeffensive communication via I-sentence than you-sentence, and take the blackmailer as an ally, go for Win-win situation! p.250: Once you stop waiting for other people to change and start working on your own behavior, miracles really can happen. Keep going with yourselves, you will find out that you are on the other side of the mountain with a braver self.

 

3. In the book, the writer gave many examples to show how

triggering events such as rejection by a lover, the loss of the

job, divorce, retirement or illness can easily turn someone close to

us into a blackmailer.  Do you like the way the writer present it?

Really helpful and scaffold our inner unconscious self to conscious

self. We can have a better bird view to face where we are gone

through. But I feel so reluctant to go through the suffering

again by reading the trauma. No wonder I really respect

4. Why turning understanding into Action to change is important, when we descend into the blackmail zone, a blinding FOG(a blinding fear, obligation, guilt) starts to penetrate, disorient?  The quote from the book “Yet if theres one thing I know with absolute certainty, both personally and professionally, it is this: Nothing will change in our lives until we change our own behavior. Insight wont do it. Understanding why we do the self-defeating things we do wont make us stop doing them. Nagging and pleading with the other person to change wont do it. We have to act. We have to take the first step down a new road.” 

― Susan Forward, Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

p.250: Once you stop waiting for other people to change and start working on your own behavior, miracles really can happen.

 

5. Betraying others to placate the blackmailer, P 136:  How can we forbid the capitulation to emotional blackmail to prevent the betray to ourselves and our integrity? Do you think the suggestion of “Contract with myself” page 149 will help?    

Behavioral therapy adopts the philosophy that if a patient changes his problematic behavior, he will see a positive change in thoughts, feelings, and interactions with others. Behavioral therapy uses different theories of behavior, reinforcement, and motivation to pinpoint and improve problematic patterns of behavior. Its common for behavioral therapy to be incorporated into sessions when working with interpersonal, relationship, and emotional issues.(R.6)

6. Is Emotional Blackmail a crime?

Laws about coercive control (i.e. emotional blackmail) and abuse vary around the world. Currently, the United States does not have clear criminal laws in place to protect victims from emotional or psychological abuse by a partner. There are criminal statutes that only protect partners from physical violence. Some states have attempted to house emotional abuse under statutes prohibiting domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse.

There are several countries who are addressing psychological abuse in the court systems. The first country to ban “psychological violence within marriage” was France in 2010.

Coercive control has been recognized as a crime in the UK since 2015. The Serious Crime Act 2015 recognizes that “controlling or coercive” behavior towards another person in an intimate or family relationship is punishable for a prison term. Since the law has been in place, an estimated 100 men have been convicted and sentenced for such crimes.

The UK law states:

Coercive control is defined by a pattern of behavior that gradually is purposeful in exerting power and control over another intimate partner. The law sees the perpetrator as the one who carries out these coercive behaviors as solely responsible. Coercive behaviors can include:

  • Making a person dependent by isolating them
  • Exploiting their strengths and resources
  • Humiliating and putting them down
  • Using intimidation, or abuses that cause harm, are punitive and intended to frighten

 

The British law defines controlling behavior as “making a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance, and escape, and regulating their everyday lives.”

The law requires charges to be based on a pattern of behaviors rather than one occurence. Irish legislation have also created the Domestic Violence Bill 2017, which includes “coercive control” as an offense. In these countries mentioned, establishing criminal laws addressing psychological abuse sends a strong cultural message that it will not be tolerated. It conveys a level of support and safety for victims of such abuse.

Domestic violence victims often state that the physical abuse was not the worst part of their abuse. The control, intimidation, and emotional blackmail often caused the most suffering; yet the impact is more challenging to measure. Author of Coercive Control: How Men Trap Women in Personal Life, Evan Stark discusses the damage of emotional abuse and coercive control on victims. He states, “Not only is coercive control the most common context in which [women] are abused, it is also the most dangerous.

Identifying physical abuse is more straightforward, so the topic of how to prove coercive control or emotional abuse has been a topic of discussion. Those opposed to criminalizing coercive control suggest the area is ambiguous and difficult to prove. Opposers claim that separating jealousy, control, and emotional abuse is complex to sort out and difficult to prove by jury or judge.

Attention had not been drawn to the issue until the impact of the abuser’s behavior on the mental and physical health on the victims was studied and evaluated more seriously. More awareness is contributing to more support and movement in the criminal courts. For example, Monckton-Smith has developed a diagnostic tool (Domestic Abuse Reference Tool) to help identify and clarify if victims are in danger.

Laws addressing domestic violence in the US were initially created for a different reason. They were initially put in place to deal with single violent assaults conducted by strangers. However, much of physical and emotional abuse occurs in intimate relationships. Therefore, this law does not sufficiently address the cycle and pattern of abuse that happens with spouses.

Critics show concern for the lack of support the US legal system is showing for victims of such abuse. Without laws in place criminalizing emotional and coercive patterns of abuse, the culture may be reinforcing it. In his book, Stark suggests that despite its progress, the domestic revolution is stalled. He discusses how the narrow focus on physical violence against women, distracts from the more insidious form of psychological abuse which more closely resembles kidnapping or slavery than assault.

Stark considers the lack of laws addressing coercive control represents a human rights violation and a “liberty crime” against the victim.

The Center for Disease Control conducted a study in 2010, reporting that nearly half of all women in the U.S. (48.4 percent) have experienced at least one form of psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lives. They experienced coercive control, verbal aggression and angry gestures in their partners that were degrading, insulting, dangerous, or humiliating.

There are organizations and groups advocating for policy change in the US. Their objectives are for the US legal system to recognize the damage of coercive control and put criminal controls in place to address it. 

There are alternative paths to take in the legal system beyond criminal statutes. In some cases of emotional abuse, civil lawsuits can be filed. Victims or families of victims can file these emotional abuse claims based on an intentional infliction of emotional distress.

According to the legal system, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress involves the following:

Intentional infliction of emotional distress is an intentional tort based on conduct so awful that it causes the victim extreme emotional trauma. Emotional distress claims are difficult to prove and win, and don’t apply to simple rudeness or generally offensive behavior. Instead, these cases arise when conduct is so reprehensible that the emotional effects are real, lasting, and damaging.

In order to have a successful claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, a person must prove three elements:

(1)Extreme or Outrageous Conduct: Again, this is behavior that is more than merely malicious, harmful, or offensive — the conduct must exceed all possible bounds of decency;

(2)The Conduct Was Intentional or Reckless: Careless or negligent behavior won’t suffice — the actor must intend to cause emotional distress or know that emotional distress is likely to occur; and

(3)The Conduct Caused Severe Emotional Distress: This can be the hardest to prove, but severe and lasting emotional effects like persistent anxiety and paranoia, or possible bodily harm like ulcers or headaches could show a person suffered extreme emotional distress as a result of the conduct.(R.5)

7. Someone threatens to commit suicide if you end the relationship with them.  When you encounter this blackmail how will you deal with it?  

(1)Showing your caring to them

(2)avoid getting into argument

(3)maintain your boundary

(4)Remind that’s their choice to make

(5)Don’t need to refine themselves with this friendship

(6)Help them find more resources (R.7)

The world between us lead us how to deal with the suicide(R.8)

8.  Is Emotional Blackmail an interesting book to you?

It helps me understand how it suffers so much from the emotional blackmail, feel relieved from the past trauma

Link for your refernece

https://conscioused.org/books/emotional-blackmail-susan-forward-phd-with-donna-frazier-review-summary

 

 

Related Reading:

1.Emotional Blackmail:https://youtu.be/_OtzNWESjCY

2.Susan Forward: http://www.susanforward.com/

3.Emotional Blackmail: https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Blackmail-People-Obligation-Manipulate/dp/0060928972

4.Emotional Blackmail Quotes and Outlines: https://positivepsychology.com/emotional-blackmail/

5.18+ways to handle emotional blackmail: https://positivepsychology.com/emotional-blackmail/

6. different style of consulting: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/counseling/the-different-types-of-counseling-styles/

7. How to break up someone who is threatening suicide: https://www.wikihow.com/Break-Up-With-Someone-Who-Is-Threatening-Suicide

8. The world between us: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%88%91%E5%80%91%E8%88%87%E6%83%A1%E7%9A%84%E8%B7%9D%E9%9B%A2

9.Empty chair:gestalt therapy https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/gestalt-therapy-the-empty-chair-technique/

 

Book Discussion for Dec. 2, 2019

Lydia’s great guidance lead us to see few notes of the Emotional Blackmails as follows:

1.No matter how deep your feet in the mud, keep looking up high to the purest sky, you will find out how to fly.

2. Even you are the most lousy opponent, you are doomed to have enemy, why not turn enemy as ally and strengthen our own wings to fly heigher than we expected..

4.Forgiveness is to forget other’s hurting. Gratitude is to remember other’s giving. All the enemy is to train ourselves to be a better self that you prefer.

5. Blame-taker vs blackmailer is a coin from both sides. Where is the boundary depends on clarifying the Atlas Syndrome. (The Atlas personality, drawing on the myth of the giant Atlas from Greek mythology upholding the world, is someone obliged to take on adult responsibilities prematurely. They are thus liable to develop a pattern of compulsive care giving in later life.)

6. Try our best to learn fight and flight, cos the non uplifting people is the energy vampire, suck away our power of kindness, we take the lesson we learn and run towards the uplifting people.

7.Four faces of blackmail: punisher, self-punisher, sufferer, tantalizer(p.17) therefore, we have to use three steps in the change process. SOS-stop, observe, strategize via self-contract, empty chair and self imaginary writing, Once you stop waiting for other people to change and start working on your own behavior, miracles really can happen(p.250).

8.Blinding FOG(fear, obligation and guilt) states that all blackmailers, no matter what their style, work to intensify in us(p.39).FOG bypasses our thought processes and goes straight for our emotional reflexes. Suddenly we’re floored, and we don’t know what hit us.(p.59), Susan unveils the fog and helps us relieve our inner hurt which we used to take it for granted and blamed ourselves without second thought.

 

We are happy to announce that our 2020 Book List, Schedule and Leaders has been completed, please see the attachments, we will put it in our Line album of KIWC Book Club, which you can find easily.

 

 2020 Book List

 

 

January 6, Activity:

Book: The Orphan’s Tale

Author: Pam Jenoff

Leader: Clive

Time: 1 p.m. Jan. 6, 2020

Place: Qubit Cafe (Hanshin Arena) No.6, Lane 50, Bo-Ai 3 Road,

Zuo Ying District, Kaohsiung.  Tel:07-3459477

 

We look forward to seeing you soon in the coming New Year 2020, Wishing you good health, happiness, and success in the coming year and always. Happy New Year.

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Bifröst Kærlighed
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Joe's feedback
2019/12/05 06:08
I have watch a Japanese TV program to show how to behave to defense yourself from blackmails and bullying  , in Japanese company and school  it happens  often and the became a   Social issues .But in Taiwan people seems admire those Blackmailers and on the contrary,blamed  the weaker ,the blame-takers .
Boston Kindergarten wish to be the wind beneath your wings

☆﹒﹒☆★‧*°∴°*﹒﹒☆﹒﹒☆★*°﹒*﹒﹒☆

A teacher
Takes a hand
Opens a mind
Touches a heart
Shapes the future
☆﹒﹒☆★‧*°∴°*﹒﹒☆﹒﹒☆★*°☆*﹒﹒☆
Bifröst Kærlighed(readingclub) 於 2019-12-05 06:11 回覆:

we are not sure if the blackmailer is the tornado or not

we follow Susan's checklist

we learn how to fight and flight

sometimes

the blametaker is not sure they are in the tramp

it brings himself into trouble


Bifröst Kærlighed
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beyond words
2019/12/03 09:06
thank you, Lydia give us a peek to the life in paradise with wonderful food, Torey's great talent to show the chinese curry puff, Florence's giant Wonton soup and redbean-peanut desert soup,Faye's bouquet which give us a chance to understand how grand  your hub's retirement ceremony is.. we are lucky to get a chance to meet Kim, what a lovely , sweet and considerate angel daughte in law of Fay, Janio's bacon t from Taipei and  Carol's roast duck rejuvenate our day, Cathy, Joy and  Slyvia complete our mission of 2020 new year resolution-keep loving, sharing and giving. love you all !
Boston Kindergarten wish to be the wind beneath your wings

☆﹒﹒☆★‧*°∴°*﹒﹒☆﹒﹒☆★*°﹒*﹒﹒☆

A teacher
Takes a hand
Opens a mind
Touches a heart
Shapes the future
☆﹒﹒☆★‧*°∴°*﹒﹒☆﹒﹒☆★*°☆*﹒﹒☆

Bifröst Kærlighed
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from Florence
2019/12/02 21:39
Dear all: we greatly appreciate Lydia for her kind entertainment to everybody, we enjoy a great meal, and a very special cosy  place, we all have a very happy afternoon.
Boston Kindergarten wish to be the wind beneath your wings

☆﹒﹒☆★‧*°∴°*﹒﹒☆﹒﹒☆★*°﹒*﹒﹒☆

A teacher
Takes a hand
Opens a mind
Touches a heart
Shapes the future
☆﹒﹒☆★‧*°∴°*﹒﹒☆﹒﹒☆★*°☆*﹒﹒☆

馮紀游陸游:語蓮
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2019/12/02 16:14

A great article. Thanks for sharing. Conclusion #4 was what happened to me all my life, but I’ve overcome the “hurting” from the evil persons by following #1, #2 and #3 to be successful.

Bifröst Kærlighed(readingclub) 於 2019-12-02 21:38 回覆:
it helps me a lot ,too, and makes a great sense for me to understand the hurt do have an important mission, i learn to listen to our heart more in a better meaninful definition. may God bless all the miserable people find a better way out. thank you for your great feedback