Blackmail may be viewed as harsh. Perhaps the term “manipulation” is a gentler or kinder word to describe abusive type personalities that tend to manage (control), or alter, the beliefs of their target. Some would argue the similarities, or the differences, but that is not the issue of this article.
Blackmail is used to gain power and control over a target. It usually includes, but is not limited to, the practice of bullying. They will stop at nothing to get their own way. They have but one agenda, “WIN at all costs”.
Targets of blackmail will go against their instincts, continually question their own thoughts, wonder if they are crazy, become easily confused during a confrontation and eventually, over time, become programmed to cave to the demands of their abuser. They become so fearful of the consequences hovering on the horizon, they will do anything to stop the eruption of aggressor. You might wonder how one can gain such control over another.
Getting stuck in this vicious cycle is quite confusing, that is, until you discover the secrets.
(1) The blackmailer demands something from the target
(2) The target might refuse
(3) The blackmailer begins to play “the game”
(4) The blackmailer cunningly twists reality, placing blame on the target
(5) The target accepts the blame and begins to feel guilty
(6) The blackmailer side steps responsibility
(7) The target begins to accept responsibility
(8) The blackmailer threatens the target with consequences
(9) The target is now burdened with fear on top of blame, guilt and responsibility
(10) The target caves, giving into the demands
(11) The blackmailer wins the battle
(12) The target didn’t even know there was a battle
(13) The blackmailer files this experience in his/her back pocket
(14) The blackmailer repeats a similar cycle when necessary
(15) The target soon becomes programmed to respond through fear
It is difficult to break free from this vicious cycle. Becoming aware of the agenda is the first step into healing.
When I first discovered this cycle, I often wondered why.
Why would anyone want to act this way?
Why would someone want to use such power over another?
Why would anyone want to inflict such pain?
The answer does not seem to be simple. I am not a professional psychologist or psychiatrist. However, from my research, I discovered the person inflicting the pain is often not consciously aware of their actions.
It is usually a learned behaviour from childhood.
They too, had terrible pain inflicted upon them
They too, felt the fear of such control
They too, were bullied into compliance
In short, fear is fueling their actions and controlling their life.
They are consumed with fear.
Fear of pain – someone might hurt them
Fear of lack – someone might take from them
Fear of security – their needs might not be met
Fear, fear, fear!
For me, I had a desire to heal from the destruction. Part of the healing included releasing the pain, forgiving the abuser and finally looking at him in a new light.
“Compassion for the child that suffered those childhood experiences. Perhaps it was pain that created this man.”