Emotional Terrorism

When I was first contemplating the term emotional terrorism, I caught myself and began reflecting on whether or not I was putting hyperbole into action as I explore this avenue of thinking. So, I did some research by, first, looking up a few words in the dictionary, the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition to be precise.

emotional:
1. of or relating to emotion 2. dominated or prone to emotion 3. appealing to or arousing emotion 4. markedly aroused or agitated in feeling or sensibilities
terrorism:
the systematic use of terror esp. as a means of coercion. 
terror:
1. a state of intense fear 2a. one that inspires fear b. a frightening aspect c. a cause of anxiety; worry d. an appalling person or thing 3. REIGN OF TERROR
[this is as it appeared in the text] 4. violent or destructive acts committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands. 

I'm not sure if many (or any) of you are into reading dictionary definitions (we can't all be nerds), but I've found that understanding all the meanings of a word or words really sheds a great deal of light on how you can/should use the word(s) you took time to more fully comprehend. It also sheds light on the depth and severity of a situation when you know more facets of the words someone chooses to use when describing a situation or whatever the context may be without needing to know every unsavory detail.

That said, I believe there is something to this concept of emotional terrorism. It is not hyperbolic to relate a long-standing pattern of treatment that is peppered with narcissism; lying by omission; agitating in order to cause unnecessary anxieties; intimidation; appealing to emotions with intent to manipulate; and so on and so forth as being emotional terrorism. In fact, I believe it is aptly chosen when describing situations involving emotional wreckage inflicted outside of the power of the receiver to avoid or change. Whether witnessing as a third-party observer or being party to such treatment either by giving or receiving, it is rational to suppose that most people would agree these behaviors fit the mould as described within the aforementioned definitions. Albeit, the antagonist most likely would not readily admit to being such a character, but it would be true, nonetheless.

Emotional terrorism is a difficult thing to escape because emotions have been appealed to, loyalties have been secured then breached on many occasions in some instances, and there is always the chance that there is a hope for the person to one day turn things around and stop it.

But we must remember that there are no true victims here, once the situation is recognized for what it is: terrorism of the heart. One must take responsibility for cutting ties by not buying into lies, manipulation, half-truths, half-efforts, small tokens of care, and above all else, not giving unearned trust. Take responsibility for your emotional health.

As for me, I have realized that I have been soft-hearted and made a fool, and more. Due to realizing my part in adding to the unpleasantries now plaguing my life, I have adopted an official policy on emotional terrorism:

I have no room for emotional terrorism in my life; I will not negotiate with emotional terrorists of any kind no matter who you are.

inspired by Ronald Reagan's statement on terrorism


My vote has been cast, and emotional terrorism is officially uninvited for reelection!

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