Like a restaurant refusing to take Amex or Discover anymore, I have stopped letting people blackmail me emotionally. I have learned through the years that people use emotions as currency and I can fall easy prey to emotional blackmail. Thankfully there are those around me that help keep me sane and remind me that people do not have power over you, you give them that power.
Guilt is a powerful tool used by many to get their way. I am sure we have all been victims at one time or another of someone making us feel guilty about an action or situation. The worse kind is the one that attempts to make us feel guilty about the way we feel.
Many people do not understand that emotions are involuntary. While many of us have learned to control our emotions in certain situations, we are not able to fully control everything that we feel. Emotions are thoughts that carry feelings, and they steer them inside our brains at speeds that are times are impossible to stop or even slow down. They come crashing into our heart and make us, happy, sad, desperate or elated.
When we give people the key to our hearts, we open a door for them to look inside and see what feelings have more power than others on that emotional highway. They learn that maybe family overrules career when they are both racing towards a decision. They can use that knowledge to support our decisions, or use it against us to hurt us where it will cause the most pain. However it was our fault when we get hurt because we are the ones that let them take a peek inside ourselves.
I am not saying that we should be guarded, but rather to learn to take what people say for what is really worth. Sometimes those close to us say things that might hurt, but we need to learn when to let words hurt us because they are trying to make us see something we have overlooked and when it is plain emotional blackmail.
We must all learn to live life for ourselves and not for others. God’s greatest gift besides love is free will. We can make decisions and learn to know what to listen to and what to hear. It is important to learn to discern between what is tough love and what are emotional bombs.