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How to Tell if Someone Is Playing Mind Games.

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

  • What mind games are;
  • Why people play mind games;
  • How to tell if someone is playing mind games with you; the signs to look out for;
  • And finally how to deal with people who play mind games.

Percentage of U.S. Hispanics aged 40+ who thought select activities were important for brain health as of September 2015. Source: Statista

Percentage of U.S. Hispanics aged 40+ who thought select activities were important for brain health as of September 2015

Exercising the mind is a great way to build and develop mental strength and longevity. The chart above shows some positive and beneficial ways and types of exercise that can promote mental strength and longevity.

You may also like this article on Influences that can affect a person’s life.

On the other end of the spectrum are negative mental exercises that are draining and bad for one’s mind and mental health in the long run. Playing mind games is one of such negative mental exercises that does not do any good. However, for the one playing the mind game, they don’t see it this way and some in fact get a kick out of it. Most people who play mind games of the kind described in this article have a cold heart and are indifferent about the impact and effect of their mind games on the other party.

For the one on the receiving end, however, it could be devastating and emotionally draining and thus not good for their mental health.

If you or someone you know appears to be on the receiving end of mind games, you don’t need to stay on the receiving end of the player of mind games. In this article, we tell you all you need to know about people who play mind games and how to deal with mind games and those who play mind games.

What Is Mind Games In Relationships? 

Table of Contents

Mind games are weapons of psychological manipulation used by people in a relationship when they want to consistently have their way and have the upper hand in the relationship. Whether the relationship is an intimate relationship, a friendship relationship, or even a formal employer-employee relationship, such manipulators abound in all types of relationships.

Why Do People Play Mind Games? 4 Reasons Why People Play Mind Games.

While there can be no justification for playing mind games with people and messing up with their heads psychologically, there are several reasons why people play mind games. Some of the most common reasons are the following:

1. They were hurt by someone else playing mind games on them and by playing the same mind games gives them a twisted sense of reprieve and satisfaction.

As it is usually said, “hurt people, hurt people”. The one playing mind games on you might have been on the receiving end at one point in time. They may even have been hurt and betrayed by the one who played the mind games with them. This made them feel hurt, helpless, and angry. And so they resolve to start playing the same game on other people as a way of dealing with the hurt, pain, and betrayal they feel. Playing mind games becomes a sort of therapy and coping mechanism for them.

2. They want to feel powerful and in control.

People who play mind games for this reason almost always feel helpless and powerless, while for some it is a result of low self-esteem. By playing mind games it gives them a false sense of power and self-esteem. But underneath their actions is a miserable person with low self-esteem and a constant feeling of powerlessness and helplessness.

For more signs of someone with low self-esteem check out our article on What does it mean to have low self esteem.

3. They use it as a weapon to control people and manipulate them to do what they want.

The persons that fall in this category usually start by being very nice to you almost too much. They come on strong and pretend that they are smitten with you and want to build a relationship (of whatever form) with you or want to be your friend.

And the end game is to make you get so attached to them that you almost always cannot imagine not having any relationship with them. And once they have you in this position, the mind games begin, and without realizing it you are being manipulated to do all their bidding even when they don’t treat you right.

4. They enjoy playing mind games and psychologically torturing people.

The persons who fall in this category are usually the dark narcissistic types. In this category are also those who think they are better than you. And so their arrogance makes them feel entitled to play mind games with every other person because they see everyone else as beneath them.

The persons who fall in this category have no reason to play mind games but because they get a kick out of it they keep at the game with little to no regard about how their actions affect the one(s) on the receiving end.

How To Tell If Someone Is Playing Mind Games – 9 Signs He/She Is Playing Mind Games.

If any or all of the following 9 signs defines any relationship you are in, then chances are mind games are been played on you:

1. You are always second-guessing yourself and wondering if you are doing the right things in the relationship to keep the other party happy.

2. You never know where you stand with the other party (or parties).

3. They hurt you and then turn around and make it seem like you are either overreacting or imagining things, and refuse to apologize. And this always drives anyone in that situation over the wall.

Check out this related article on What to do when someone won’t apologize.

4. It feels like you are being gaslighted by the other party (or parties), or in some cases being ghosted by the other party.

5. You feel sometimes like you are the one who is trying hard to make the relationship work and in the process appearing needy or clingy. Or on the other hand they

6. They always find subtle ways to put you down in public or try to make you feel jealous and left out.

7. They shut you out or give you a cold shoulder in public and yet in private act all lovey-dovey and nice, thus leaving you confused.

8. They make snide comments and always resort to backhanded compliments as a way of trying to eat at your confidence and make you feel unsure of yourself.

9. They manipulatively get you to do things for them by suggesting them rather than asking you because they don’t want to look or feel weak and/or helpless and/or needy. And when you don’t give in to what they want, they become passive-aggressive and/or cold towards you.

How To Deal With A Guy/Girl Who Plays Mind Games – 5 Helpful Ways.

When it comes to people who play mind games, you need to understand first of all that most of those who play mind games don’t care about the impact or effect of their actions on their victims. They are indifferent about whether or not their actions are destroying the ones they are playing mind games with.

Check out this related article on Signs someone wants to destroy you for a more detailed discussion of other ways and signs someone may be trying to destroy you.

And this is why the following are the best ways to deal with anyone playing mind games with you:

1. First, accept that they are playing mind games with you and that it is not okay.

This is an important first step because until you accept this, you will keep falling victim to their mind games. Acceptance is an important first step because often victims of mind games stay in denial and convince themselves that the one playing with their minds isn’t doing so. The effect of this denial is that they keep exposing themselves constantly to being played with and getting hurt in the process.

This is why this is a crucial first step to dealing with that guy/girl who plays mind games. Once you can accept it, then you can also start to see that it is not okay that you should be the victim of such mind games.

2. Pay attention to their actions and list all their actions that point towards their mind games (whether mentally or by writing them down).

What this does is to help you know when someone is trying to pull a fast one on you and to not stand for it.

3. Stand your ground and call them out if need be.

Paying attention to their actions particularly when you can see they are trying to play mind games with you would help you in identifying when and in what ways they are trying to play with your mind.

Once you identify these, do not hesitate to call them out on it. If they feign ignorance or try to make you think you are overreacting, make it clear that you are not having any of it or letting them make you think you’re imagining things. Never apologize for the outworkings of their mind games because that would only give them the impetus to keep playing with your mind.

4. Actively shut them out of your mind and ignore them for your sanity.

Do not let them live in your head. For instance for the one who wants you to chase after them and be the one always making the effort to keep the relationship going, ignore them completely. Make no effort to stay in touch because this makes you look needy and desperate for the relationship which gives them that feeling of power and control over you that they crave so much. This step will be easy to take once you have accepted that they are playing mind games on you and that it is not okay.

5. You may need to keep a healthy distance from them and/or end the relationship especially where it becomes toxic and unhealthy.

Understand that you don’t need to stay in a toxic relationship where you are constantly being manipulated and made to feel less confident.

A friend for example who is playing mind games with you is not a good friendship to keep as it would have a negative effect on you especially on your mental health. There are immense benefits to surrounding yourself with good friends and keeping a friend who plays mind games close to you will rob you of these benefits. It is better to be alone than in a toxic friendship/relationship that robs you of your self-worth through persistent mind games.

Check out our other helpful and related article on When should you give up on a relationship for more reasons why it would be in your best interest to end a toxic relationship where someone is playing with your mind.

Frequently Asked Questions.

1. How do you know someone is playing mind games in a relationship?

Look out for the 9 signs listed in the third section of this article. Should you see one or more or all of these signs you should not be in doubt that you are on the receiving end of mind games.

2. What are psychological mind games relationships?

These are relationships where one party inflicts emotional and psychological abuse on their partner through persistent mind games. In such relationships, the partner on the receiving end is never good enough. They always find themselves second-guessing themselves and in constant psychological turmoil.

3. How can you tell if a girl/boy is playing with your emotions?

You know a girl/boy is playing with your emotions when they:

Check out our article on 13 Signs your boyfriend won’t marry you for more signs of a guy who is playing with your emotions and has no intention of settling down with you.

Conclusion.

People who play mind games will mess with your head and make you lose your sanity. Whatever the reason might be for why they play mind games, you don’t have to remain on the receiving end of their mind games.

Allowing yourself to remain on the receiving end will mess with your head and affect your mental health negatively. It is best that once you have identified the mind games tactics they employ, that you take the 5 steps listed in this article on how to deal with people who play mind games.

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