619 of 633 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book--truly helpful!
This book does a very clear job of defining emotional blackmail so you can begin to easily spot emotional blackmailers in your life. It then concludes with telling you specifically how to deal with emotional blackmail, that is, how to keep your energy, resources, and sometimes your very soul, from being stolen by them.
Something that was particularly important for me...
Published on December 28, 1999 by Kate McMurry
80 of 93 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well written, not enough on dealing with super manipulators
This is a well written and well thought out book on dealing with manipulative people. Most people are going to find this to be very helpful.
I am looking for advise on dealing with a well practiced manipulator who lies and uses multiple techniques of control. This book simply did not give me enough information to deal with an extremely practiced manipulator.
Published on June 1, 2001
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619 of 633 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book--truly helpful!,
This review is from: Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You (Paperback)This book does a very clear job of defining emotional blackmail so you can begin to easily spot emotional blackmailers in your life. It then concludes with telling you specifically how to deal with emotional blackmail, that is, how to keep your energy, resources, and sometimes your very soul, from being stolen by them.
Something that was particularly important for me personally in the book was the part at the end where she talks about not emotionally blackmailing *yourself*! What an insight! I realized that even when rigid, controlling people are not around to inspire guilt, fear and shame in me to get me to do things that are hurtful to me for their selfish benefit, I have a "voice" in my head that does the job for them, telling me that whatever I do that doesn't fit the world view of past and present blackmailers is "wrong," "selfish," or even "evil." So I beat myself up on behalf of my blackmailers even when they are not around to do it.
I also was impressed by the insight that not only does it "take two to tango," that no one can blackmail me if I don't let them, but that it is also possible for me to actually "train" people to blackmail me. This is particularly, true, I think, for those of us raised in rigid, controlling homes with emotionally blackmailing parents. Thereafter, we are, so to speak, fertile ground for any future emotional blackmailers.
I had rather been realizing these sorts of things the past few years now that I'm in my 40s (the middle years when we suddenly reevaluate our whole life), and gradually eliminating emotional blackmailers from my life, without exactly using that term. (The term I used was ridding myself of people whose presence felt like "being nibbled to death by ducks.") This book has validated my innate human "right" to not be eaten alive by the selfish demands of others.
Kudos to Ms. Forward!
233 of 242 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearls of Wisdom for Everyone,
By A Customer
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This review is from: Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You (Paperback)I have done a pretty thorough reading of books dealing with control, cults, emotional abuse, etc. I feel like I could write a thesis on this stuff by now. This was the best all around. I am a third party observing a loved one in a controlling relationship. There isn't a book out there that really addresses my situation, but I have gleaned wisdom from many. What I love about this book is that it gives very concrete strategies for dealing with controlling people. The strategies are very well laid out, lots of examples of phrases that neutralize the offender. As a therapist, she also addresses the discomfort many of us would likely encounter when trying to put these strategies into practice. In addition to the concrete information on strategies, she describes why it might be hard to recognize that you are in an unhealthy controlling situation and how to know for sure. She helps clarify the personal damage victims of control sustain. I have become much more aware of people in my life that may be using unhealthy methods of control and have used the advice to stop, think and strategize to help me. It even helped me become a little wiser to ploys of friends of my kids. This book shows us how to resolve unhealthy control without necessarily having to end the relationship. With these techniques everyone might just come out a winner.
109 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We are not victims,
By A Customer
This review is from: Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You (Paperback)We are not victims of manipulation. We allow manipulation to happen to us and with careful observation we can neutralize it. This is what Susan Forward believes. I don't know if I agree because I haven't yet had a chance to practice her techniques in earnest, but I needed to comment on the content itself of the book, "Emotional Blackmail".
It is impossible for an author to address every specific detail of every reader's personal situation. But this is as close as you can get. Forward gives stories and testimonials of people she has worked with who have used her techniques with success. Unlike other authors that do this, however, Forward does not simply apply the techniques to those situations and expect that you'll be able to apply it to a scenario of your own. She separates the stories from the guidelines. She provides some fantastic exercises for further clarity of the techniques she describes.
One of the techniques I especially enjoyed reading about was "buying your time". Don't respond immediately to your blackmailer. Give them time to "stew". In other words, try to avoid snap decisions when dealing with blackmailers. She groups manipulators into different categories. "Tantalizers" are the group I deal with most often. They are the ones who get you to do what they want by making it appear there is something incredible in it for you. This may sometimes be the case, but it's important to realize that your needs are not the manipulator's true motivation. Forward explains and clarifies this beautifully.
This is a very well-written book and I recommend it highly.
94 of 99 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This can be a life-saving book!,
I had such a loved one in my life, who was manipulating me with her own pain, keeping me from growing up, keeping me from being a man and doing what I needed to do.
I won't go into the details, but you know if you are a victim of manipulation by this "emotional blackmail". Does someone threaten to write you out of their lives if you do such and such? Does someone break down and cry or get sick every time you bring up a certain subject? Does someone make you "walk on eggshells" around them, around certain subjects?
If any of the above ring true, then you are a victim of emotional blackmail and should read this book.
I read it, and it made so much sense to me, it was like I was seeing clearly for the first time in my life.
This, along with therapy for only a couple months, really helped me change my life, release me from this blackmail, and in the end, the blackmailer "got over it" and I now have just as good - actually much better - relationship with her than before.
My therapist read the book and is now recommending it to other people like me.
Thanks to Susan Forward for writing this book! Do yourself a favor and read it!
77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the clarity I've needed,
The only problem was, the entire first part of the book was about...me!
I had no idea how many patterns of manipulation and guilt I had been using with my ex, and others before that. I caught several mind games I've been using on people without even knowing it. After wading through my shame, I learned so much about myself.
Later in the book, some extremely useful information is presented where you write out a contract to yourself. For a week, you repeat the phrase "I CAN stand it." You think about the ways your blackmailer has tried to steal your power. You picture saying this to their face without fear. "I CAN stand it." It helps you detach, not take their words or games personally, and not react emotionally.
After just 3 days of doing this, I used the technique before I needed to talk with my ex. Some of my things are still in the garage, I need them back but have been afraid to have any contact. I pictured how it would go, had no fear, didn't take it personally when snotty things were said, said thanks, and got everything I asked for with no drama on my end.
Besides the work this book has helped me do for myself, it has left me feeling EMPOWERED. Some people are really smooth at using fear, obligation, and guilt, so sometimes it's hard to recognize when that's happening. Once you do, it changes everything about how you communicate with these people.
I keep quoting this book to another friend of mine, who wants to borrow it but can't find it locally. She saw that I was nearly done, and said "oh good, now you can loan it to me." I told her she still needs to buy a copy, because when I'm done I'm going to read it all over again. I'm going to highlight what I need, and that's something I almost NEVER do in a book!
If you feel at all weak, confused, or taken advantage of, get this book and you'll also get some clarity.
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So THAT'S what it's called!,
By A Customer
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic!!,
This incredible book delivers with clarity HOW we are manipulated, the different types of manipulators and how to take back control from these emotional predators. Once you are able to recognize their tactics you will be more able block their self serving agenda.
This book is a blessing and I give thanks to the author.
55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. . .,
116 of 128 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quit being a victim!,
From her clinical experience, Forward shows us plenty of situations of what she has come to call "emotional blackmail" and many of these will probably mirror your own experience or that of someone close to you. Many times reading this book, I found myself shaking my head, trying to get rid of that nagging feeling that "I knew these people."
My only criticism of this book is that with few exceptions, blackmailers are described as such, and they can come across sounding like monsters. Forward spends a little time exploring their motivations and insecurities, and she does point out that often we can turn into blackmailers ourselves, but perhaps not enough.
By and large, she speaks only to "blackmailees," and this book certainly makes them feel good about themselves, perhaps at the cost of dehumanizing the blackmailer.
As long as you can keep in mind, though, that this book aims to build constructive dialogue and not to destroy your connection with the blackmailers in your life, it is a most valuable tool to reasserting your own needs in any relationship.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps The Best and Most Useful Self-Help Book I've Ever Read,
The book is laid out by first introducing the reader to the idea of emotional blackmail. Forward uses case studies from her own practice to illustrate the instances of blackmail that several of her clients have experienced. One or more of these should relate to your life, and the ones that don't are actually still relevant to the reader because they teach us what emotional blackmail is and the different forms in which they appear. Emotional blackmail is another word for manipulation, those who play on your soft feelings, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses in order to get their way. This unhealthy pattern often causes the rift in a relationship and if the manipulated party involved does not know how to spot it and protect themselves from it, they will end up ultimately unfulfilled, or worse, badly hurt by this manipulator. That is if the relationship lasts, and this dynamic most often does not help those chances.
It's important to note that this book is not about becoming hostile and defensive toward these manipulators. It does not try to have you break contact with them or see them as enemies. The approach is much more healthy and nurturing. After first identifying the instances of emotional blackmail, Forward details the different methods that manipulators use to get their way. She uses the acronym FOG, which stands for Fear, Obligation, and Guilt, to describe them. Later chapters talk about the traits and disposition of the victims of manipulation and gives you reasons not to fall prey to those styles of thinking. The end of the book deals with the ways in which we can break free from emotional blackmail and teaches us personal exercises we can do before approaching the blackmailers in our lives.
The book focuses on dating, family, friends, business, money, and many more topics and it is a really fascinating and compelling read. I honestly was very deeply engrossed in the book and internalized it as much as I could. I've used these techniques already and they've helped tremendously, and I intend to continue referencing this book whenever I find myself slipping from my objective and giving in to others too much.
I'm really interested in this subject matter and for anyone who is also interested, I recommend reading P.M. Forni's "The Civility Solution: What to Do When People are Rude" as an accompaniment to this book. Forni's book details a multitude of common situations in which people act rude and provides the reader with helpful, civil responses for handling them. While Forward's book is the best because it goes in much more depth and is much more psychologically pressing, Forni's book is a practical guide that will also prove to be beneficial.
I really appreciate Susan Forward for writing this book. It really can help people who have this sort of problem and it is a problem that many people have in one form or another. The book made me realize the pervasive role manipulation plays in relationships or dealings with people, and how I've overlooked so much of the blackmail in my own experiences and have let people do their tricks on me. Forward reminds us that the blackmailers may not even see what they're doing as blackmail, and so neither will we. The information here is really so interesting, and I urge you to read it as soon as possible.
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Emotional Blackmail by Donna Frazier (Unknown Binding - 1997)
Out of stock