Narcissistic Emotional Exploitation ~ Using Your Emotions to Extract Your Compliance

Dr. Jeanne King, PhD. 03/08/2021

Have you ever experienced yourself giving into something you know that you do not want in order for you to turn off the ache of the emotional stirring triggered to get you there? If your partner is practiced in emotional abuse, I trust the answer is yes.

This partner (male or female) relies heavily on the use of your own inner suffering to yield his/her desired outcome. So let’s say he/she wants you to go to an event that you do not want to attend. You know it is not practical for you to travel to this event, nor do you have the physical wherewithal to participate.

But as you probably know your experience and preference are immaterial to your partner, as their agenda is singularly focused to get you to do one thing: comply with their wishes.

FOG Vehicle as Converter

The FOG is the vehicle that drives you there. It is an acronym representing the emotional composite of Fear, Obligation and/or Guilt (coined by Susan Forward and Donna Frazier).

Many things are typically said to trigger fear, obligation and guilt. It could be statements like this:

  • “If you don’t do this with me, I will get someone else to be my partner for the night.” Sounds like: “If you don’t do this sexual act ‘for’ me, I will find someone else who will…”
  •  “If you don’t accompany me, it suggests to me that you are not a good wife, because ‘good’ wives do X.”
  •  “If you don’t go with me, it proves to me that you really don’t love me, you don’t care about me…”
  •  “If you don’t come with me, I will not succeed and it will be all your fault.”

The ways in which the FOG gets stirred are as varied as the people stirring up the emotional ingredients. The stirring continues until it generates a compliant outcome.

Often times, you will see that the thing sought is minuscule relative to the weight of the FOG. You sit in the blanket of experience…sifting through your fear, your sense of obligation and, of course, your guilt.

The tipping point is when you reach that place in which the pain of the FOG is so severe that you will do most anything—including what your partner is seeking—just to turn the darn FOG off. You get the picture?

If you are entangled in an intimate relationship in which you spend time swimming in fear, obligation and/or guilt as you process your partner’s requests/demands…pause as you could be engaged in emotional exploitation.

You could be on the receiving end of someone using your own inner suffering to manipulate your choices. The long and the short of this life is this… You are chronically running from your own fear, obligation and guilt.

  •  You are doing things out of fear to prevent something else from happening.
  •  You are doing things because you “have to” because your involvement signs you up irrespective of your wishes.
  •  You are doing things out of a moral compass that have no relevance to the act itself.

Once you can get out from under the FOG, you will enjoy the freedom and liberty of making choices expressing your authentic self. For information on breaking the cycle of intimate partner emotional abuse, visit

Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people worldwide recognize, end and heal while in and from domestic abuse.

© Dr Jeanne King — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

2 responses to “Narcissistic Emotional Exploitation ~ Using Your Emotions to Extract Your Compliance”

  1. Vickie Florence Holimon says:

    My grown kids are evil towards me like their dad! Mysogynists and physically abusive! One son sexually abuses me! I need love and care and help! I live alone and in great pain with c shaped spinal cord injuries and a bad spine and broken cracking neck! I was wondering could I be using Fear, Obligation and Guilt to try to get what I need from them or will I die alone? They want me to change! Change to what? I have been hated all my life for having an exstreme sanguine personality, attention getting, bubbly, happy personality! Like their father they shush me and hate attention drawn to them because of me! How I long to be me! The youngest daughter says your pushing us away! One son says I wish you would lose your voice when you come here! Another son tries to murder me every time he sees me and says die bitch die! Another daughter took her 5 kids away from me because of my grandsons sexually abusing each other! Is it because she does not want to look like an imperfect parent? My grown baby girl crosses over and treats me like shit like they do whenever she gets around the other 3 abusive kids as if she is the follower not the leader! She’s a social worker and I expected she would and could help me with my problems! Now I believe I put stuff on her when I shouldn’t have! I told her sorry for that! My oldest daughter horrified my by saying she heard me having sex by her head and she could hear the noise of it! I told her I never chose on purpose for her to see or hear me having sex! I said Jesus will have to fix it! She said you fix it! She waited till her sons were doing things sexually wrong to each other to attack me after I told her about it all and how I felt about their actions especially her oldest son! My oldest son is really sick! He blames all his pain on me! I just died from it all! I wonder if you even care? I want to go missing!

    • Dr. Jeanne King PhD says:

      Very significant intergenerational family trauma issues here. My heart goes out to you. Thank your for sharing your story.

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