5 Types of Emotional Blackmail that Harm Your Health

It's up to you to identify them and prevent yourself from emotional blackmail so you don't damage your well-being. Remember that your health is the first thing you should take care of.
5 Types of Emotional Blackmail that Harm Your Health

Written by Lorena González

Last update: 26 May, 2022

There are many ways of hurting someone to get what you want. In this article, we’ll show you 5 types of emotional blackmail.

Unfortunately, blackmailing is an action that compromises the other person to bring some people satisfaction. Many times the person doesn’t hesitate to employ different types of blackmail to get what they want, whatever the cost may be. When one person has the tendency to do this, they trample the other one.

It should be emphasized that emotional blackmail could come from anyone, whether it be a family member, spouse, child, co-worker, friend, etc.

In this article, we’ll show you a list of different types of emotional blackmail that could appear in your life and affect your health and well-being.

Emotional Blackmail

The 5 Types of Emotional Blackmail

1. Blame

This is one of the most common day-to-day types of emotional blackmail.

The manipulator makes themselves look like the victim to generate the feeling of fault in the other person. It seems like a tongue twister, but that’s what happens. It’s common for the blackmailer to act like they’re punishing themselves,  feeling suffering and pain, in a way that those around them feel bad for them and give in to what they want.

This situation can happen at work, at home, in the community or with your partner. The feeling of fault causes worry and anxiety and affects your health, which lowers your defenses.

2. Gaslighting

Another type of common emotional blackmail comes from the cinematographic world.

It’s the blackmail where a person makes someone belief that they’re delusional and should consult a psychologist, making them feel weak and full of doubt. It’s the perfect scenario to be able to act as they want and take advantage of the person.


What makes this type of manipulation dangerous is that it’s difficult to identify and that it’s usually done by someone very close to the person. In the majority of cases, it’s your partner. They could do this either without being aware of it or in a premeditated way.
Gaslighting consists of making you doubt your perception of reality. It makes you doubt everything. The may say sentences like, “It wasn’t me. You should have done it yourself”, “I’ve never said such a thing”.

It’s a way of discrediting your judgment to the point that you begin to doubt yourself. It makes you disoriented, frustrated, and affects your mental health.

3. The “Elephant in the Room” or “Cover the Sun with a Finger”

This is a figure of speech that is used to refer to obvious things that represent real problems, but that are avoided as if they didn’t exist. They say that there’s an elephant in the room or covering the sun with a finger because both things are impossible. You can’t ignore an elephant or block the sun.

By refusing to face the problem, those involved suffer a lot of tension. As time goes on, the tension builds. Therefore, if you think there’s something you need to talk about, do it. Don’t leave it for later, and don’t let the manipulator evade it. Put an end to the situation. 

4. Overprotection


This is the most common situation for intimate relationships, but also occurs in relationships between parents and their children.

In this type of emotional blackmail, one of the people thinks they are the protector of the other person. To a point, this is natural, but when it’s over-protection, it becomes a toxic situation that affects you and makes you unhappy.

This type of blackmail is difficult to perceive at the beginning since it’s supposedly done with good intentions. Over time, however, it becomes a toxic relationship with emotional dependency, and it gets to the point where the victim doesn’t have control over their decisions or their life. They are eventually completely controlled by the other person.

5. Neediness

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A very common situation is seeing a person using their problems and needs to make others feel sorry for them, showing all of their needs, making everyone else feel bad and try to solve their problems for them.

This is a very subtle way of controlling others.

What’s delicate is that the manipulator can actually feel like they’re the victim and not leave the situation because it’s their way of getting attention and other people to take care of them. They are always looking for a way to be the “poor baby”.

The basic problem of the subtle blackmail is that the blackmailer makes the situations seem normal like basic needs, obtaining the solutions to their problems and needs from another person. This constitutes a type of violence that you shouldn’t tolerate under any circumstance.
As you can see, the different types of emotional blackmail can appear in various ways, depending on the situation. It’s up to you to identify them and prevent yourself from emotional blackmail so you don’t damage your well-being. Remember that your health is the first thing you should take care of.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.