When I was 22 years old, I was going steady with a girl, but after four years, I wanted to break off the relationship because I could not see it getting any better or moving onto engagement or marriage. But every time I told the girl that I wanted to leave the relationship, she would threaten to kill herself if I did so. As she lived on the fifth floor of an apartment block, she would even sit on the window sill and threaten to throw herself out of the window if I left her, telling me that it would be my fault that she died.
For about a year, I suffered through this relationship, thinking that I would be responsible for this girl's death if I left her. But one night I sat at home thinking about the situation and I realised that I was being thoroughly emotionally blackmailed by this girl. I also realised that every person is responsible for their own actions and if this girl decided to throw herself out of that window and commit suicide, it was certainly not my fault.
I then understood that I had a right to control my own destiny and not be held to ransom in a relationship that I didn't want to be in, by the ploy that this girl used to try and make me accept responsibility for her actions and guilt for her death if she actually did kill herself. So I decided to do something about it.
The next day, I marched straight up to this girl's apartment, confronted her and told her in no uncertain terms that we were no longer dating and that I would never go out with her again. As expected, she walked over to the window, opened it and sat on the sill and told me that she was going to kill herself and it would be my fault.
I just looked at her and told her that what she did was entirely up to her and that I would never ever accept any responsibility for something that I had not done and if she wanted to kill herself, that was her choice. I also told her that I had informed police that this scenario was likely to happen and they told me that there was no way that I could be held responsible for anything that she did. I then walked out of her door and out of her life.
As far as I know, this girl did not carry out her suicide threat and the emotional blackmail that she had been using against me for so long was completely negated. I felt a huge weight lift off me and I told myself that I would never ever again become the victim of emotional blackmail of any sort.
It is most unfortunate that people resort to this despicable tactic and in fact in recent times, it has been often used by illegal immigrants to force Australian authorities to accept them. These illegal immigrants deliberately violate Australia's borders and disable or scuttle their boats to blackmail Australian vessels to pick them up. The inference is that if these people were left to drown because of their own deliberate act of sinking their boats, it would be Australia's fault for letting this happen. These illegal immigrants have even resorted to throwing their children into the sea to force Australians to rescue them.
The Christmas Island disaster in December 2010, where a boatload of illegal immigrants perished when their vessel sank off the coast of Christmas Island is a classic case of emotional blackmail. Instead of sheeting home the blame to those illegal immigrants for conniving with Indonesian criminals to smuggle them illegally to Australia, many of the left-wing loonies in the community blamed Australia for not making it easier for them to break our laws.
The insane politics that are rampant in Australia have seen the Prime Minister Julia Gillard blame the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott for the deaths at sea of illegal boatpeople to emotionally blackmail him into supporting her unworkable Malaysian Solution. Of course Abbott cannot be blamed or take responsibility for people who choose to break the law, go to sea in rickety boats and die. It has nothing to do with him, but it has not stopped Gillard from continually trying to emotionally blackmail Abbott with this issue and that is despicable.
Many unscrupulous people tend to use every weapon at their disposal to get their way and emotional blackmail is one prevalent method. Many businesses give away worthless free items to make potential customers feel as if they owe it to those stores to purchase something. Many panhandlers and scammers will give passers-by a flower or a small booklet for free without being asked, in order to make those passers-by feel obliged to purchase something from those panhandlers or make donations that they otherwise would not have made. This is all emotional blackmail and should be resisted.
Even charities resort to emotional blackmail, trying to make people feel bad if they don't donate to help those in need. Parents do it to their children in many ways, even unconsciously. Many relationships are destroyed by the emotional blackmail by one partner against the other.
In our society, people have this inherent guilt complex that if they don't do what others want them to do, they will carry the burden of the consequences. Well, that's not true. If somebody tells you that it will be your fault if you don't do what they want you to do and something bad happens, tell them to go do it themselves. The trick is to never become a victim. So some people may become angry that you do not succumb to their emotional blackmail, even if it is subtle. Bad luck.
It takes a long time to remove those pangs of guilt that you will get by refusing to do something that you don't want to do when somebody demands it. However, the feeling of utter freedom that you will have when you realise that you are master of your own destiny and not subject to being emotionally blackmailed is marvellous. And this lasts for the rest of your life too. You may lose a few fair-weather friends after you refuse to be used and abused by them, but you will be better off with them out of your life.
Always choose what you want to do and never fall for emotional blackmail of any description. Refuse to accept duty of care for anything that is not your responsibility. People may criticise you for appearing cold-hearted, but then again, why should you be blackmailed into doing something that you don't want to do? To hell with the criticism - ignore it and live your life in freedom and happiness, knowing that nobody is ever going to make you feel bad or accept responsibility for something that is not your responsibility.
So if somebody threatens to commit suicide because you won't do something, that's their choice - wave them goodbye as they fall from that window and good riddance to them too.