Our expert says:
Seriously, it depends so much on the particular circumstances. But just as it is essential in dealing with an ordinary criminal blackmailer to face facts, be prepared to face the consequences, and refuse to pay the cash they demand, so with the emotional blackmailer, one needs to refuse to pay what they demand, and accept that there will be some emotional turmoil for a while.
How to break free depends on the particular relationship you have ; usually its worth having a calm but very firm sit-down chat, and to speak clearly, with clear concrete examples, of the sort of behaviours you find unacceptable and refuse to again accept.
Where you can to some degree understand their neediness, you may choose to specify that while any of their usual attempts to force attention, for instance, will now automatically lead to you withdrawing attention, you will pay them attention, for a set amount of time, when they are NOT demanding it.
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