Friday, April 18, 2014


How do we learn to deal with not getting exactly what we want from others by threatening to 'take our toys and go home'?  Remember that one from childhood?

The underlying message of emotional blackmail - if you don't do what I want I will leave - seems to be effective because it taps into our fears about being abandoned.

It is interesting to think about the difference between setting healthy boundaries and using emotional blackmail to get what you want.


An opportunity to experiment with some fun


To illustrate the difference between these two think about  the following:

A personal Boundary means "this is where I stop and you begin".
It is the line in the sand that says "if you step over this point you are encroaching into my emotional and personal space."

Emotional Blackmail means "I intend to step over your line in the sand to get what I want."

How do you know where your own boundaries are?  Remember, we have both physical and emotional boundaries.

Think about how you feel when someone is standing too close to you?
How about when they are talking too loud for you?
How about when their demands for attention and air space feel too intense?
All of these are related to personal boundaries. 

*Some people are tuned in and can feel and honor these boundaries in others.

*Other people are totally unaware of when they are intruding.

*And others still - the emotional blackmailers - are aware of their trespass and feel that their needs and demands entitle them to encroach and stomp over those boundaries!

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