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.  At the threat of any kind of blackmail is the one basic threat, which can be expressed in many different ways, bit it all comes down to the message: If you don’t behave the way I want you to, you will suffer.  How do they do it?  They create FOG- Fear, Obligation ,Guilt

There is frequently a vast difference between what our blackmailers do and the benign or even loving way they interpret their actions to us and themselves.  It take mindfulness of our feelings when we are being blackmailed, and it takes mindfulness on the part of the blackmailer to be aware that they are doing this.  There is no judgment, just awareness of what is effective for a long-term relationship and what is not. Being blackmailed usually causes resentments and anger.  Fear is what drives the blackmailer.  Fear of loss, fear of change, fear of rejection, fear of losing power.  Blackmail is the ticket to feeling safe and in charge.  Blackmailers are operating out of a high degree of anxiety.

Blackmail takes two.  It only works when we let people know they’ve found our hot buttons and that we’ll jump when they push them.  What we really need is to change ourselves. We can never change any one’s behavior but our own, but we can change HOW people respond to us.  Like the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of OZ, you can learn to exhibit courage even when you are afraid until you are no longer afraid.  Our sense of self-worth erodes every time we are in FOG and we give in to their demands and the blackmailer’ self-worth erodes every time they resort to their behavior, it is a vicious cycle.  Someone has to take a stand, that someone can be you.

Debra speaks around the U.S. on the topic “Bipolar Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder with Substance Abuse.” She teaches works and lives the Dialectical Behavioral principles, while operating The Meehl Foundation and The Meehl House. The Meehl House is the only residential treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder that is also an “Amen Brain Healthy Program” Clients benefit from an individual plan for a holistic balanced approach to mental wellness with psychological testing and assessment, medication management, hypnosis, acupuncture, hair follicle testing for vitamins and mineral, hormone balancing, and nutritional counseling.  Most importantly, clients learn how to take back, and create lives that are fulfilling and rewarding.