10 warning signs a narcissist is trying to emotionally blackmail you

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Narcissists resort to emotionally blackmailing others because they crave control, attention, and validation. 

They have this deep need to always be in charge and make others bend to their will.

They see relationships as opportunities to fulfill their own needs, regardless of the impact on others. 

That’s why emotional blackmail becomes their go-to tactic for keeping people in line, getting their way, and ensuring they’re always the center of attention.

So, let’s see which warning signs show a narcissist is trying to blackmail you emotionally and what to do about it. 

1) They threaten to withdraw love, support, or affection if you don’t comply with their demands

They use emotional manipulation as a weapon to get what they want. That’s why they’ll threaten to withdraw love, affection, or support unless you yield to their demands or meet their expectations. 

They use threats like “If you don’t do what I want, I’ll stop loving you” or “I won’t be there for you anymore” to make you do things their way.

They leverage your emotions, vulnerabilities, and attachments to exercise control and influence over you. As a result, you’re feeling trapped, helpless, and emotionally drained.

Ultimately, they’re holding your feelings hostage, making you feel like you have to do whatever they say to keep their love and support. 

It’s not healthy at all, and it can mess with your head big time. That’s why you need to recognize this behavior and stand up for yourself, setting boundaries to protect yourself.

2) They twist situations to make you feel guilty or responsible for their problems

They’ll twist things around to make you think you’re the one at fault or responsible for their problems, even when you’re not. 

They have a secret plan, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get what they want. They’ll make you doubt yourself, question your own judgment, and feel guilty for things that aren’t even your fault. 

Their main aim is to control the situation and make sure things go their way, no matter what. 

For example, in situations where they are clearly wrong, the narcissist will often twist the situation by portraying themselves as the victim. 

They’ll exaggerate their suffering, claim that you’re being unfair or unreasonable, and try to get sympathy and support from others.

3) They don’t understand or care about your feelings and only focus on their own

People who try to emotionally blackmail you are emotionally disconnected or indifferent to the experiences and emotions of people around them. 

When you share what’s bothering you, they’ll brush it off, minimize it, or simply not acknowledge it at all.

Essentially, they only care about themselves and what they’re feeling. Your emotions? They couldn’t care less.

4) They distort reality to make you doubt yourself

When narcissists are trying to emotionally blackmail you, they often resort to gaslighting. In other words, they’re playing mind games with you. 

They twist things around so much that you start questioning what’s real and what’s not.

If you’re not aware, gaslighting is a well-known form of psychological manipulation where people distort facts, events, and your perception of reality. 

They deny things they’ve said or done, rewrite history, or even blame you for things that aren’t your fault. 

The aim is to make you doubt your memory, judgment, and sanity, to make you confused, frustrated, and disoriented.

Let’s say you remember a conversation or event one way, but the narcissist insists it happened completely differently. 

They gaslight you by saying things like, “That’s not what happened at all. You must be remembering it wrong.”

That’s because they refuse to take responsibility at all costs. 

5) They refuse to take responsibility for their actions and blame you instead

When things go wrong, they’re quick to point fingers elsewhere, often at you or someone else. 

They refuse to take ownership of their mistakes or shortcomings, preferring to shift the blame onto others to protect their self-image and ego.

It’s frustrating because you’re left carrying the weight of their actions on your shoulders, even though you had nothing to do with it. 

It’s one of the most infuriating aspects of dealing with narcissistic behavior, don’t you think?

6) They act like they’re better than everyone else and belittle those around them

Narcissists always want to be the center of everything and can’t stand not being in the spotlight.

It’s almost as if they’re standing on this pedestal, looking down on everyone else.

They act like they’re the kings or queens of the world and everyone else is beneath them. They’ll belittle people, make fun of them, or talk down to them, all to make themselves feel superior. 

They have this constant need to prove that they’re better than everyone else, even if it means tearing others down in the process. 

It’s really hurtful and disrespectful, and it can make you feel pretty small and insignificant in their presence. 

Regularly dealing with that kind of behavior can really take a toll on your self-esteem and confidence.

7) They try to control what you do, who you see, and how you think

With narcissists, it’s like they want to micromanage every aspect of your life. They try to control what you do, who you hang out with, and even how you think.

They insist on knowing where you are and what you’re doing at all times. They might even demand that you spend all your free time with them and become upset if you make plans without consulting them first.

It’s suffocating and oppressive, and it can feel like you’re living under constant surveillance

They’ll use manipulation tactics to make you feel like you have to comply with their demands, even if it goes against your own wishes or best interests. 

It’s a really toxic dynamic that can leave you feeling trapped and powerless in the relationship.

8) They can go from charming to hostile in a heartbeat

With narcissists, their demeanor can change in the blink of an eye. One moment, they’re all charm and charisma, captivating everyone around them with their magnetic personality. 

But then, just like that, they can flip the switch and become hostile, aggressive, or downright cruel.

The thing is, you never know when the switch is gonna flip, and it keeps you on edge all the time.

9) They shower you with affection and praise to manipulate you into doing what they want

One of the biggest telltale signs of emotional blackmail is when they’re trying to make you feel like you’re the most important person in their world. 

They’ll shower you with affection, sweet talk, and compliments, but not because they genuinely care or love you. 

Oh, no. It’s a slick move to get you to do what they want.

They use this excessive affection and praise as a way to gain your trust, lower your guard, and make you more susceptible to their influence.

They’re trying to butter you up so that when they ask for something, you’re more likely to say yes. It’s sneaky and underhanded, and it can be really hard to see through their act.

10) They ignore your boundaries and push you to do things you’re uncomfortable with

When it comes to respecting boundaries, narcissists just don’t seem to get it. They have this blind spot when it comes to understanding that you have your own limits and comfort zones.

They’ll push and push, trying to get you to do things that make you feel uneasy or uncomfortable without any regard for how you feel. 

They see your boundaries as obstacles to overcome rather than lines that shouldn’t be crossed.

Whether it’s pressuring you to share personal information, invading your privacy, or pushing you to do what you’re not comfortable with, they just won’t take no for an answer. 

It’s incredibly frustrating and disrespectful.

How to deal with a narcissist trying to emotionally blackmail you

To handle a narcissist who’s trying to emotionally manipulate you, make it clear what you’re okay with and what you’re not. 

If they try to emotionally blackmail you, stick to your guns and remind them that you won’t be pushed around.

Don’t go it alone. Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist for support and advice. 

Sometimes, just talking it out can help you figure out the best way to handle the situation and feel less alone in dealing with the narcissist’s behavior.

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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