Emotional Blackmail by Dr. Susan Forward

  • 3 Replies
  • 882 Views
*

Psuedonym

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 605
Emotional Blackmail by Dr. Susan Forward
« on: November 20, 2018, 01:11:11 PM »
I haven't even finished this book but it's a great read and I wanted to get the word out. The author is really insightful (she also wrote the famous Toxic Parents); one of my favorites so far is (paraphrasing) 'trying to approach emotional blackmail with compassion and empathy is like throwing gasoline on a fire'. Amen. Some of the things I really appreciate about the book:

  • Unlike a lot of self help books that have an idea and then pretty much repeat that idea for a hundred pages, this book is crammed with information. Despite, or maybe because of, its narrow range of focus, it contains an amazing amount of detail. Part of it reminded me of Understanding the Borderline Mother in that it breaks down emotional blackmailers into different types and describes the various tactics they employ and the responses they illicit.
  • The other thing that makes the book so effective is that it's very objective. That probably makes little sense so I'll give an example. Instead of saying 'Person A did X to Person B and it was completely inappropriate and unfair' it puts things in terms of 'Person A did this to Person and B and it worked because of X, Y, and Z, so you can bet that Person A is going to continue to use this effective strategy to get what they want until Person B changes their response'. It's almost like a business book in that regard, its more of an analysis of how and why emotional blackmail works and how to counter it.
  • The book has great examples. Most of them (so far) deal with SOs, which I thought I wouldn't relate to, but they are all compelling and complex situations.

Anyway, that's it for now, I will update this when I finish!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 01:15:13 PM by Psuedonym »

*

Starboard Song

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 2249
  • Be good. Be strong.
Re: Emotional Blackmail by Dr. Susan Forward
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2018, 02:24:40 PM »
Thanks for sharing! I am requesting this one from the library today.

While I hope we've left our emotional blackmailers behind us forever, I still process their words and try to make sense of them. I still wonder why, when we stopped playing their game, they simply shut down. This book may steel my strength for the long-term day when they return to haunt another day.

Starboard
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

*

Starboard Song

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • 2249
  • Be good. Be strong.
Re: Emotional Blackmail by Dr. Susan Forward
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2018, 10:40:28 AM »
My wife and I have both read Emotional Blackmail now. Thanks for the lead!

It is extremely dispassionate and full of examples. Your illustration is a great one. Another thing I like is that the author provides a real example from her practice: an example that either is or isn't emotional blackmail. She then either alters it, or compares it to another real case, to show what the other version would like: what would make it become -- or stop being -- emotional blackmail.

Our blackmailers couldn't accept it when we stopped participating. They amped up the shaming and condemnation and the false accusations and the smear campaigns. They rejected us in full and have never looked back except to attempt continued correspondence with our son.

As a result of where we are in this situation, the book provided no practical help to us. But it was keenly diagnostic. While it hurts, it isn't bad from time to time to review such new insights and say, "yes, that is what I dealt with. Yes, I did my best. Yes, it is sad."

This is a powerful book for those in the midst of it. It offers a promise of relationship redemption, or the strength to cut your losses when the relationship cannot be righted. I've added it to the Pantheon of my forum signature.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

*

absolutelynope

  • New Member
  • *
  • 12
Re: Emotional Blackmail by Dr. Susan Forward
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2019, 05:09:42 AM »
Hi, newbie here. I hope it's ok to resurrect this thread?

So I have a uBPD waif mother and I'm working with a pyschotherapist who has basically said I'm quite damaged and he's going to have to spend a long time helping me on myself to undo it. Emotional blackmail is exactly what my mother has done all my life and now that I'm Out of the FOG I can recognise what it is and identify when she's doing it and it's affects on me. I also vaguely know what I need to do to in terms of trying to break the cycle. However my problem is I can't do that due to the fear. The fear of upsetting her and making her angry. I wonder if this book would just tell me what I already know and not really help me to overcome the fear and make the changes it suggests?