Emotional Blackmail and Bipolar: What Is It? What to Do About It | Bipolar Burble Weblog | Natasha Tracy


Emotional blackmail can happen in any relationship, however, sadly, some individuals affiliate emotional blackmail with bipolar dysfunction (or one other psychological sickness). I’ve had many individuals speak to me about this over time. It’s extraordinarily laborious to cope with emotional blackmail regardless of who’s doing it, however when emotional blackmail comes alongside bipolar dysfunction or one other psychological sickness, actually, it’s double-tough. Learn on to find out about emotional blackmail and what you would possibly wish to do about it.

Emotional Blackmail: What Is It?

In keeping with the Cambridge Dictionary, emotional blackmail is:

“the act of utilizing an individual’s emotions of kindness, sympathy, or obligation in an effort to persuade them to do one thing or really feel one thing.”

Briefly, an emotional blackmailer tries to make use of your personal emotions in opposition to you. An individual is bludgeoning you together with your emotions. It hurts and it’s a type of manipulation.

Usually, the emotion being utilized in emotional blackmail is guilt. That is generally referred to as a “guilt journey.” For instance, a mom would possibly say to her youngster,

“I used to be in labor with you for 28 hours and you’ll’t even come to dinner?”

Equally, a mom would possibly say one thing like,

“In case you have been daughter, you’d do as you’re instructed.”

Clearly, the specified motion of getting a baby to return to dinner isn’t significantly sinister, however the identical method can be utilized in an try to control a baby to do nearly something.

Emotional Blackmail and Bipolar Dysfunction

One other instance of emotional blackmail that comes up in relationships generally is the “if-you-loved-me” situation. It’s when one individual says or implies to a different that the individual would act in a sure method in the event that they liked them. For instance, a person would possibly say to his partner,

“In case you actually liked me, you’d recover from that affair. I used to be manic on the time.”

On this case, the individual is just not solely utilizing emotional blackmail in an try and get his companion to “recover from” one thing, however he’s additionally utilizing his bipolar dysfunction as an excuse for his actions. In case you ask me, this twists the knife even additional as a result of not solely is your love of the individual supposedly unsure however so is your empathy for the individual with bipolar dysfunction.

One other instance may be,

“In case you don’t get a job, I simply know I’m going to get depressed once more.”

Right here, an individual with bipolar dysfunction is emotionally blackmailing her companion with concern and suggesting that her psychological wellness is the opposite individual’s accountability.

Bipolar Dysfunction and Emotional Blackmail’s Soiled Tips

Emotional blackmail is mainly a unclean trick anybody can pull out at any time in an try and win an argument or alter one other individual’s behaviors. It’s not honest; it’s not proper and it shouldn’t be part of anybody’s relationship dynamic.

See this video for one of many worst varieties of emotional blackmail in the case of bipolar dysfunction, the if-you-don’t-do-what-I-want-I’ll-kill-myself selection.

However I wish to make one thing clear: simply because an individual has bipolar dysfunction doesn’t imply they’ll emotionally blackmail anybody. Emotional blackmail isn’t as a lot about bipolar dysfunction as a lot as it’s about desperation and an absence of interpersonal expertise; each of which can be current in an individual with bipolar dysfunction.

Why Would a Individual with Bipolar Emotionally Blackmail Somebody?

First off, there’s desperation. It’s simple to see how an individual with bipolar dysfunction could also be determined. An individual with bipolar dysfunction could also be determined due to issues which have occurred throughout a manic episode or due to the truth that they can’t get out of a depressive episode or as a result of they’ll’t meet their commitments or as a result of they concern their companion leaving them for being “poor” or about one million different causes. Being determined is virtually baked into bipolar dysfunction.

However the second half that will lead an individual with bipolar dysfunction to emotionally blackmail is an absence of interpersonal expertise. Many individuals with bipolar dysfunction began getting sick very younger — some even earlier than their teenagers — and they also have stunted development in some respects (in the event that they haven’t taken motion to appropriate this). In case you consider a 15-year-old, for instance, the concept that they could attempt to emotionally blackmail you is nearly predictable. So is the truth that the individual will develop out of doing issues like that. Sadly, should you’re sick once you’re imagined to be studying extra constructive strategies, chances are you’ll by no means choose up these strategies and thus you’re left with emotional blackmail as an arrow in your quiver in a relationship.

So once you mix these two elements, you’ll be able to see how emotional blackmail and bipolar dysfunction could go collectively for some individuals.

What to Do About Emotional Blackmail and Bipolar Dysfunction

In case you’re the individual that is being emotionally blackmailed by an individual with bipolar dysfunction, I’m so sorry. If the individual with bipolar dysfunction is threatening their very own life or well being, I’m doubly sorry. What you’re coping with is horrendous and virtually unthinkable. Emotional blackmail is just not okay whether or not the individual has bipolar dysfunction or not.

The way you cope with emotional blackmail with bipolar relies on a couple of issues however one of many main issues is that this: is the individual blackmailing you a repeat offender?

If the individual with bipolar is emotionally blackmailing you and also you’ve by no means confronted them on it, now is an effective time. You must sit down exterior of the incendiary scenario and speak about the kind of interplay that was had. You must speak about emotional blackmail: what it’s and why it isn’t acceptable. It’s attainable the individual could also be doing it with out actually understanding how damaging and devastating it’s. If that is so, the individual with bipolar will work to vary their habits and communication strategies. This would possibly take greater than a dialog, although, this would possibly take the help of a therapist. Whether or not solo remedy or couple remedy is tried, it may be very efficient in educating somebody new and wholesome methods to disagree. If the connection is essential to you, this step is sensible even within the face of one thing as unreasonable as emotional blackmail.

What to Do About Repeat Emotional Blackmail and Bipolar

If, alternatively, the individual with bipolar is a repeat emotional blackmailer, your response could also be completely different. When you’ve got already confronted the individual and have tried remedy (or remedy has been rejected) then you definately’re in a a lot tougher spot. As I mentioned earlier, emotional blackmail — by an individual with bipolar or not — is abuse and abuse isn’t okay. At this level, you could set strict boundaries for your self you’ll be able to stay with. In case you’re ready to proceed in an abusive relationship, that’s your alternative, however I’d extremely encourage you to take a step again. You don’t need to be handled that method. Abuse — together with emotional abuse — ought to by no means be part of any relationship.

And please bear in mind, you aren’t accountable for anybody however your self. Don’t let an emotional blackmailer persuade you that you’re accountable for her or him. Whereas it may be extremely painful, sooner or later an grownup has to care for him or herself. (This doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t name in assist, nevertheless. In case you imagine that your companion actually is vulnerable to hurting themselves, don’t hesitate to name a disaster staff and even 9-1-1.)

Sure, this will imply saying goodbye to somebody who refuses to vary, however bear in mind, this makes room for somebody in your life who’s entire and wholesome. And also you deserve that.