Emotional blackmail, walking out, cold silence – sounds familiar ?

Our Bollywood and Tollywood movies are full of it. In fact, they dedicate a full song to manofying a girl when she rootofies. Fun, as long as the guy is also enjoying it. Translate it into real life, and what do you get – lot of fun when when the couple is ‘playing around’ – those cute love games that we do. Not fun at all when women seriously do the sulking silence, as a means of protest and to hurt the other.

Hindi soaps are full of it – emotional blackmails by all females and men just succumb to it, or turn a deaf ear. How many times have you seen that happen all around you – when the lady takes ‘mown wruth'(silence vow) except for venomous taunts, and the husband just keeps quiet, and somehow in ‘keeping quiet’ we assumed that was the wisest thing to do.

Did you know that emotional blackmail and disrespectful behavior are just signs of a controlling personality ? Here are some things that fall under – showing disrespect and displaying a controlling behavior:

  • Walking out of a conversation
  • Hanging up the phone when angry – just cutting it off
  • Showing anger by ‘not talking’ for hours or even days 
  • Cold shoulder treatment (act of disregard)
  • Yelling when there is a disagreement (cos you do that to take control of the argument)
  • Victimizing oneself during a serious discussion or disagreement (so the focus becomes YOU)
  • Wanting to always ‘know it all’

In our premarital counseling, it was re-inforced again – all the above are a BIG NO if you want to have a healthy marriage. I always believed in ‘not hanging up on people’ and ‘not walking out’ and have followed it quite sincerely, but there have been times when, just to take control of the situation – I would try these tactics. When we were dating, oh my, especially in the initial days, when I did not say yes, yet – I would just hang up when I was hurt, upset or just angry. And Mark allowed that for sometime, but not for long.

He would gently tell me when I’ve calmed down that – he loves me – but he would not let me behave disrespectfully in this manner and he would not accept it. Then we kinda made it an unsaid rule – no hanging up, no walking out – no yelling.

It is always better to set some healthy standards right at the beginning of a relationship, but its never too late also. I find that most women think it is OK and very ‘womanly’ to do these things, and the only thing I hold against the men is their stupid silence when they need to speak up and put their foot down. Will the real men please stand up???

How is emotional blackmail controlling? Because when you do that, you are trying to control a response or quicken it. When you hang up on someone, you are saying “I said what I have to. I don’t care about what you want to say.” When you walk out, it is the worse thing to do – it drips with disrespect. Ladies, if you know anything about men, respect is a need for them. It is not an option, it is a need. We’ve heard it a million times – women need affection and love, men need respect.

Disrespect is a put off ! Don’t think that it gets your man to run around the trees to find you and woo you back. He can, maximum, do it for one song, not for a lifetime.

Men, don’t rejoice now – the same rule applies to you! It’s like a thumb rule for healthy relationships – with anyone – family and friends alike!

I think we all have learned from what we have seen for generations – in our families and society, and we somehow think it is acceptable behavior. We’re so familiar with it that we think it is normal. Well, it is not.

I remember, recently, we had a disagreement, and I just wanted to storm out of that room, and Mark stopped me. “You are not walking out love” he said, firmly, and I sheepishly walked back, trying to keep a neutral expression (I hate that part).

“I just want to think and come back – want to be alone,” I said (obviously lying)

“No, I know you are clearly walking out in anger. If you walk out, I won’t call you back in and I won’t talk.”

“See you’re doing emotional blackmail – not allowed”

“And what are you doing? Walking out?”

And then we just laughed, and you won’t believe it just took few minutes of ego crushing, and open talking, and we were back!

I love marriage:) It breaks you, builds you and then makes you happy like nothing else can! But it takes two of you to ‘make happy’

If you’re not married also, this is a great habit to develop in the relationships you already have – to get rid of emotional blackmailing and such other controlling and manipulating tactics. Do a reality check with your closest friend and start working on it.The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace – and surely anything that comes in the process or delays the process of peace-making should be eliminated !

Unless, of course, you’re starring in Uttaran or some other soap!




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