Ultimatums and Blackmailing

Whenever you say “If X doesn’t happen, Y won’t happen” – or for that matter, “If X happens, Y will happen” – then you have issued an ultimatum.
That isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes you really won’t let the kid play video games until their room is clean. Or you won’t sign the contract unless it is amended. Or you will break up with them if they keep smoking crack.
But make no mistake – you have issued an ultimatum. You have stopped negotiating. You are no longer rounding up. You are not giving the benefit of the doubt. You are making demands and forcing others to meet them.
That can be good. It can be healthy. It can also be destructive.
When you find yourself making ultimatums, ask yourself if this is really where you need to make a stand.

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