Rule #39 - Don't Get Caught Up in Emotional Blackmail

As is true with a lot of Eastern parents - total obedience and compliance is expected from their children whilst growing up - in the name of 'good child rearing', children are taught to be overly obedient.

A big mistake that Eastern parents make is to devote their whole life to their children - especially their sons. They want their sons to be successful, well educated, and make many sacrifices for their children. These two ingredients: a demand for total obedience plus sacrificial parents are a recipe for disaster!

The end-product are parents who made so many sacrifices for their children and now expect total obedience and compliance from them, and if they don't get it - havoc wreaks! Emotional blackmail is almost always used to make the grown-up child feel guilty for having any personal needs or rights that don't comply with the wishes of the parents - after all, they sacrificed their personal needs and right for their kids - they want a good return for their investment!

Unfortunately - they made a big mistake - it is not acceptable for parents to emotionally blackmail their children, just because they sacrificed their own needs for them. It was very nice of what they did - and grown-up children can show their appreciation in other ways - spend quality time with them, take them out places, buy them gifts. What happens however, is due to the emotional blackmail, grown-up children often feel so suffocated and debilitated due to their parents, that they "hear and obey" their parents - but the love and tenderness has gone. They do it out of obligation - not to show their appreciation for their parent's sacrifices.

If your parents/in-laws are trying to emotionally blackmail you, continue to breathe! Remain calm, keep your manners in check; validate what they are saying, (Rule #10 - Agree with Their Perspective) but eventually drum up the courage to do what is best for you as an adult, and as a family.

Stay strong and develop new methods and techniques to get the most out of your life - you can have the cake and eat it too, if done with wisdom!

If you do this - there is light at the end of the tunnel. When you wont feel resentful and suffocated from emotional blackmail, you will be able to communicate with them from a place of love and appreciation. And even though they don't know it - this is what they ultimately want: To be appreciated for all the hard work they did when you were young.

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