Monday, November 9, 2009

Are You Being Emotionally Blackmailed?

I ran across this interesting theme in a book I was reading today: the idea of being emotionally blackmailed.

The book is Why Men Don't Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes: The Ultimate Guide to the Opposite Sex by Barbara and Allan Pease. It's a fascinating and often hilarious look at relationships and the inherent differences between men and women.

The book goes into the topic of emotional blackmail in dealing with husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend relationships, but it also points out that the abuse can (and often does) extend to friendships and even work-related relationships.

I did a little reasearch on the topic and found this article that is actually a review of the book Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward. In her book, Susan Forward uses the acronym FOG to stand for fear, obligation, and guilt - the tools of the blackmailer's trade. Here are a few more snippets from the review of this book:

The author says, "Emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten, either directly or indirectly, to punish us if we don't do what they want…

Blackmailers pump an engulfing FOG into their relationships, ensuring that we will feel afraid to cross them, obligated to give them their way and feel terribly guilty if we don't."

You can read the entire review by clicking here.

It occured to me that this kind of behavior can even be seen in *gasp!* the church. From Sunday School classes to board meetings, anytime you have people gathered together to push their own agenda, emotional blackmail is not far away.

That's why it's so important to make sure that in all we do we are seeking first the kingdom of God, and not our own kingdoms . . .

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

These observations sound very much along the lines of the Boundaries books by Drs. Cloud and Townsend. The Boundaries books set out a fairly realistic way of dealing with the problem, which I think is particularly pervasive among Christians in the US for some reason.