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  • Emotional Blackmail and FOG, terms coined by psychotherapist Susan Forward,

  • PhD, are about controlling people in relationships and the theory that fear,

  • obligation or guilt are the transactional dynamics at play between

  • the controller and the person being controlled. Understanding these dynamics

  • are useful to anyone trying to extricate themselves from the controlling behavior

  • of another person, and deal with their own compulsions to do things that are

  • uncomfortable, undesirable, burdensome, or self-sacrificing for others.

  • General The first known documented use of

  • "emotional blackmail" appeared in 1947 in the Journal of the National

  • Association of Deans of Women . "Emotional Blackmail Climate" was used

  • to describe one type of problematic classroom control model often used by

  • teachers. Emotional blackmail typically involves

  • two people who have established a close personal or intimate relationship.

  • Children, too, will employ special pleading and emotional blackmail to

  • promote their own interests, and self-development, within the family

  • system. Emotional blackmailers use fear,

  • obligation and guilt in their relationships, ensuring that others feel

  • afraid to cross them, obligated to give them their way and swamped by guilt if

  • they resist. Knowing that someone close to them wants love, approval or

  • confirmation of identity and self-esteem, blackmailers may threaten

  • to withhold them or take them away altogether, making the person feel they

  • must earn them by agreement. Fear, obligation or guilt is commonly referred

  • to as "FOG". FOG is a contrived acronym—a play on the word fog which

  • describes something that obscures and confuses a situation or someone's

  • thought processes. The person who is acting in a

  • controlling way often wants something from the other person that is legitimate

  • to want. They may want to feel loved, safe, valuable, appreciated, supported,

  • needed, etc. This is not the problem. The problem is often more a matter of

  • how they are going about getting what they want, or that they are insensitive

  • to others needs in doing so that is troubling - and how others react to all

  • of this. Under pressure... one may become a sort

  • of hostage, forced to act under pressure of the threat of responsibility for the

  • other's breakdown. and could fall into a pattern of letting the blackmailer

  • control his/her decisions and behavior, lost in what Doris Lessing described as

  • "a sort of psychological fog". Types

  • Forward and Frazier identify four blackmail types each with their own

  • mental manipulation style: There are different levels of demands...

  • demands that are of little consequence, demands that involve important issues or

  • personal integrity, demands that affect major life decisions, and/or demands

  • that are dangerous or illegal. Patterns and characteristics

  • = Addictions= Addicts often believe that being in

  • control is how to achieve success and happiness in life. People who follow

  • this rule use it as a survival skill, having usually learned it in childhood.

  • As long as they make the rules, no one can back them into a corner with their

  • feelings. = Mental Illness=

  • People with certain mental conditions are predisposed to controlling behavior

  • including those with obsessive compulsive disorder, paranoid

  • personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and narcissistic

  • personality disorder People with borderline personality

  • disorder are particularly likely to use emotional blackmail,. However, their

  • actions may be impulsive and driven by fear and a desperate sense of

  • hopelessness, rather than being the product of any conscious plan.

  • = Codependency= Codependency often involves placing a

  • lower priority on one's own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the

  • needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including

  • family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community

  • relationships. = Affluenza and children=

  • Affluenzathe status insecurity derived from obsessively keeping up with

  • the Joneseshas been linked by Oliver James to a pattern of childhood training

  • whereby sufferers were "subjected to a form of emotional blackmail as toddlers.

  • Their mothers' love becomes conditional on exhibiting behaviour that achieved

  • parental goals." = Assertiveness movement, training=

  • Assertiveness training encourages people to not engage in fruitless

  • back-and-forths or power struggles with the emotional blackmailer but instead to

  • repeat a neutral statement, such as "I can see how you feel that way," or "No

  • thank you, I'm not hungry." They are taught to keep their statements within

  • certain boundaries in order not to capitulate to coercive nagging,

  • emotional blackmail, or bullying. Recovery

  • Techniques for resisting emotional blackmail, including strengthening

  • personal boundaries, resisting demands, developing a power statementthe

  • determination to stand the pressureand buying time to break old patterns:

  • she accepted nonetheless that re-connecting with the autonomous parts

  • of the self the blackmailer had over-ruled was not necessarily easy. One

  • may for instance feel guilty even while recognizing the guilt as induced and

  • irrational; but still be able to resist overcompensating, and ignore the

  • blackmailer's attempt to gain attention by way of a tantrum.

  • Consistently ignoring the manipulation in a friendly way may however lead to

  • its intensification, and threats of separation, or to accusations of being

  • crazy or a home wrecker. Cultural examples

  • Angela Carter described Beauty and the Beast as glorifying emotional blackmail

  • on the part of the Beast, as a means of controlling his target, Beauty.

  • Doris Lessing claimed that “I became an expert in emotional blackmail by the

  • time I was five" Criticism

  • Daniel Miller objects that in popular psychology the idea of emotional

  • blackmail has been misused as a defense against any form of fellow-feeling or

  • consideration for others. Labeling of this dynamic with

  • inflammatory terms such as "blackmail" and "manipulation" may not be so helpful

  • as it is both polarizing and it implies premeditation and malicious intent which

  • is often not the case. Controlling behavior and being controlled is a

  • transaction between two people with both playing a part.

  • See also References

  • External links

Emotional Blackmail and FOG, terms coined by psychotherapist Susan Forward,

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B2 US blackmail emotional personality disorder controlling fog disorder

Emotional blackmail

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    rd761104 posted on 2017/11/08
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