The profile of the emotional blackmailer: 5 tactics and 3 emotions they use to blackmail you

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Louise Hay
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Knowing the profile of the emotional blackmailer will help you not to fall into his net or run away as soon as possible. Unfortunately, emotional blackmail is a type of invisible psychological violence that can trap you in an unhealthy dynamic. By adopting the role of victim you are gradually losing the ability to make your own decisions and terms at the manipulator's mercy.

To satisfy the emotional blackmailer you will have to pay a very high price. You probably feel like you are walking on crystals because you will never know what mood it will be or how it will take your words. To satisfy that type of people you have to sacrifice yourself continuously, putting their needs and desires before yours.



As a result, victims of emotional blackmail end up losing self-esteem, feeling guilty of the manipulator's emotions, attitudes and behaviors. They tend to fall into learned helplessness, a state where they learn to survive with this system of manipulation because they don't know how to get out of it.

Who is the emotional blackmailer?

Anyone can become an emotional blackmailer. This is someone who manipulates and blackmails others for personal benefits, at the expense of the victim's needs. The emotional blackmailer is the one who relates using manipulation methods aimed at limiting the decision-making power of his victims, to lead them to make a certain decision.

They are usually people with psychological problems. In fact, the profile of the emotional blackmailer is usually characterized by:

- Fear of being abandoned and emotionally hurt

- Intense need to have everything under control

- Low frustration tolerance

- Distortions of thought that make him believe that his requests are reasonable


The types of emotional blackmailers

  1. Punisher

They are manipulators who directly threaten to retaliate if their demands are not accepted. They have no qualms about expressing what they want and clarifying the consequences of not doing it. Examples in everyday life abound: "if you don't quit your job, I'll leave you", "if you part with me you won't see the children anymore" or "if you go away alone you assume all the consequences".


This type of emotional blackmailer knows your weaknesses and will attack you where it hurts you the most. He usually expresses himself aggressively, although in some cases he can assume a passive-aggressive attitude. So his favorite tactic is to stop talking as a punishment, even if it is evident that silence hides enormous anger.

The worst thing is that the closer the relationship, the more control the blackmailer will want and the more vulnerable you will be. As the blackmail escalates, the consequences of not accepting his requests can become serious: abandonment, emotional coldness, withdrawal of financial support, or even physical harm.

  1. Autoaggressivo

In this case the threat is directed towards themselves, to generate the sense of guilt and to induce you to do what he wants. If you contradict him or do not give in to his wishes, he will threaten to harm himself or even in the most extreme cases to take his own life. “If you leave me I will commit suicide” is one of the most common phrases.

Sometimes this type of emotional blackmail develops a more refined profile. “If you quarrel with me, I'll get sick” is the typical phrase of those who resort to health to generate a sense of guilt in their victim.


In any case, these manipulators make drama their main weapon, show themselves excessively needy and dependent on those around them to ask them later to do what they want. In fact, they take advantage of your empathy, concern, and guilt to create a problem of conscience for you in advance.

  1. Martyr

The profile of this emotional blackmailer is the thinnest and, therefore, one of the most difficult to identify. It also uses the victim's guilt to control it. He is very good at making others feel guilty.


In this type of emotional blackmail, all the sentences are accompanied by a false attitude of resignation: "don't worry about me, I'm just a nuisance" or "go ahead, so I won't bother you anymore". The goal of his attitude is to show how unhappy, miserable, sick or unfortunate he is. This way he shows you that your decisions cause him problems and that, therefore, you are a bad person.

In the end, if you don't want to take the blame for his misfortune, you have no choice but to give him what he wants, even if he hasn't told you directly what it is yet. The problem is, whatever you do, it will never be enough because this person will always ask for more.

  1. Benefactor

The profile of this emotional blackmailer projects enormous security. She is a "generous" person who offers you love and protection, but only as long as you give in to her needs. He will try to make you distrust your abilities and will try to make you appear as a weak and helpless person who cannot take care of himself. When he manages to make you feel insecure, he will reassert himself as your benefactor.


In the beginning, he will do everything for you, but soon he will present the bill and demand the same effort from you, or even more, because in reality behind that altruism is an imperative need for control.

If necessary, he will not hesitate to point out everything he has done for you, how much he has sacrificed and how many things he has given up. Phrases such as "with everything I have done for you this is how you repay me" are common in the speech of this type of blackmailer. It will put you in a position where, if you are a good person, you will have no choice but to reward him for his effort. The problem is, you will never pay off your debt.


  1. Seducer

They are usually very charismatic people with a seductive personality. Their emotional blackmail is based on promises. They won't hesitate to promise you the sky and the stars, but only on condition that you fulfill their wishes.

Their strategy is based on a kind of reverse blackmail because, instead of threatening you, they will tell you all the good things they will do for you, whenever and wherever you allow yourself to be manipulated. Their classic phrase is: “do what I tell you and you won't have to worry about anything anymore”.

In this way, the manipulator manages to create a relationship of dependence by taking power away from his victim. But in most cases he doesn't keep his promises, in fact he always has a good excuse to justify himself.

The 3 emotions used by the emotional blackmailer

Regardless of the manipulation tactics used, in depth the mechanism of emotional blackmail is always the same, because it is based on the activation of three key emotional states in the victims thanks to which it is subjugated:

  1. Fear

Emotional blackmailers build their strategies, consciously or unconsciously, on the information we give them. They are based on our fears, uncertainties and weaknesses.

The fear of not getting what they want and losing control is so intense that it helps them focus more precisely on their goals and spot our weaknesses more clearly, so in some cases they may know us better than ourselves.

They will not hesitate to use that knowledge as a weapon to manipulate and feed fear in their victim, even if it means betraying the trust that fear placed in them.

  1. Duty

Often, our idea of ​​duty is reasonable and forms an ethical and moral basis that becomes the compass that guides our life. But sometimes this idea takes us too far, so we lose perspective and balance.

Blackmailers don't hesitate to test our sense of duty, all the time. For example, attachment to family and the belief that it is a sacred bond keeps many people in relationships that have lost meaning or are even harmful to them.

A manipulator will tug harder and harder to see how much he can take advantage of that sense of duty. And if this is stronger than our self-esteem, we will quickly fall into its net.

  1. Guilt

Guilt is an essential element in being a responsible person who cares about the welfare of others. It is a tool of our conscience to generate discomfort and scold ourselves when we violate our code of ethics and values. Blackmailers know this.

One of the quickest ways a manipulator can achieve their goal is to generate undeserved guilt by actively blaming their victim for any discomfort or problems they may have. When the blackmailer sees that guilt can help him achieve his goals, he will no longer have limits and will use it without hesitation.

Finally, remember that the blackmailer tries to control you and the situation, so you will lose your freedom, your safety and your happiness. Every time you give in to blackmail, you give up some of your freedom. Therefore, be careful not to let a person who does not respect your priorities, limits and needs control your life. Perhaps it is better to lose that person than to lose yourself in blackmail.

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