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Breaking Free from an Emotional Terrorist

Updated on April 12, 2008

An emotional terrorist is an individual who derives power, pleasure and/or other benefits from inflicting emotional and psychological harm upon others. Emotional terrorists can be male or female, young or old, well-to-do or struggling financially, and can be a member of any race, creed, color, ethnicity or religious affiliation. An emotional terrorist could be your spouse, your lover, your parent, your sibling, your boss, your coworker, your neighbor or even the person you consider to be your very best friend-in other words, an emotional terrorist could be anyone you have a personal relationship with.

What Motivates Emotional Terrorists

Emotional terrorists are tyrants, bullies and sociopaths. They thrive on the control they are able to exert over others. These narcissists are titillated by their perceived power and their ability to instill fear and anxiety in their victims. They are highly manipulative and have Machiavellian personality types. They are completely incapable of empathizing or sympathizing with others.

Emotional terrorists are desperate to maintain dominance over their victims and will go to any length to achieve that end. Emotional terrorists feel they have a right to destroy others in order to make themselves feel important. Emotional terrorists are truly dangerous and destructive individuals.

Tactics Emotional Terrorists Use to Hold Their Victims Hostage

Isolation, alienation, blackmail, threats, and emotional and psychological abuse are emotional terrorist's weapons of choice.

Emotional terrorists will attempt to make you their captive by cutting off your contact with family, friends and others. They will act angry and jealous when you attempt to interact with others. The emotional terrorist will act hostile toward you, give you the silent treatment or ignore you to punish you for daring to have relationships with anyone other than them.

Emotional terrorists will monitor and sabotage the efforts of anyone who tries to develop or maintain a relationship with you.

Emotional terrorists will inform you of their intention to blackmail you by revealing embarrassing information about you if you challenge them or threaten to leave them. Emotional terrorists routinely use humiliation and shame to keep hostages from attempting to escape.

Emotional terrorists will constantly threaten you with physical harm or the prospect of humiliating you as a control mechanism. The emotional terrorist does this in order to menace or intimidate you into submitting to their demands.

Emotional terrorist will betray you by using things you confided to them to belittle and demean you.

Emotional terrorists will deliberately say things and do things to hurt your feelings, and will go out of their way to make you cry.

Breaking Free from an Emotional Terrorist


The longer you are in a relationship with an emotional terrorist, the more difficult it is to walk away from it. But this is exactly what you must do. It won't be easy, but it can be done and, when it is over, you will be so glad you were able to free yourself from this monster's clutches.

The first thing you need to do to free yourself from an emotional terrorist is to recognize that you are a victim of an emotional terrorist. Once you have acknowledged the situation, you need to make up your mind that you can and will get out of the situation immediately. Next, you need to commit to doing whatever it takes to extricate yourself from the relationship.

Your next step is to recite this daily affirmation aloud every day until you have freed yourself from your tormentor: "I am a human being, and I have the natural born right to be treated with respect. I deserve to be loved, valued and appreciated, and I both expect and demand to be treated in a manner that acknowledges my worth and honors my contributions. The Holy Spirit will strengthen me and guide me on my journey. Each day I will undertake some action, great or small, that will propel me toward freedom."

Believe the affirmation. Heed the affirmation. Take those tentative steps toward freedom. Document the actions steps you are taking to break free from the emotional terrorist who is victimizing you. It will take time for you to free yourself, heal and rebuild your life...but it will be time well spent.


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    • profile image

      MNM 9 years ago

      Thanks for your feedback!

    • Leif profile image

      Leif 9 years ago from East Coast USA

      Please edit your hub. The bottom section is duplicated.

      I'd like to read more about this. I wish CNN would broadcast it. Having run into a couple of these types of people myself, and seen what real devastation others have gone through, people really need to know. In this day and age, as the light is getting brighter, darkness is holding on with all it's might too. Definitely something to take heed.