Are you aware of the emotional, manipulative, and toxic Games that narcissists play? Have you been in a relationship with a narcissist? Then you might be mindful of the tactics they play just to receive attention and control.
Everything is going well, and all of a sudden everything is slipping, going down the drain. What has changed? You might be wondering! Your partner would adjust pin it on you, that you have changed or your interest is gone, whereas it is them because you know not even one percent of you has changed.
Then what is the problem? You might even start doubting your self or you might get negative thoughts all of a sudden. Do not let your self-worth get affected, because the problem here is not you, it is your partner, who might be narcissistic. You might have come across many red flags, but your heart and your emotions just told you to ignore those, as your love for them was above all those red flags.
If you just take a few steps and acknowledge yourself more about narcissism, you might find some shocking revelations that might match your partner’s behavior and personality descriptions. Narcissistic people are just like parasites, who feed on your emotions and feelings just to weaken your self-worth and importance in the relationship.
They do this, by playing mind games, tricks, and tactics, that you can only wonder about. You might be shocked when you come to know that they can be so manipulative and use you as a mere pawn in the relationship to get what they want. They might just ignore you once they are satisfied with you, and you might just sit there pondering upon unnecessary thoughts and doubting your self-worth. While they might have already moved on to a new relationship you might be condemning yourself.
If you are also going through such a phase in your relationship with the narcissist, then take a breath of relief, as this article is all about the mind games that narcissists play. There are games that a narcissist would play with you to gain control which you may totally be unaware of.
Let us get into the details.
What are the Mind Games that Narcissists play?
When referring to Mind games, these games are psychological and include strategic planning and scheming against someone to deceive, control, and baffle them. These games are often played to gain power and control over someone or some unwanted situation. These games can manipulate the thoughts and emotional responses of a target and can also force them to do as one says.
These mind games are more than enough to put someone in a tight spot and confuse them until they start feeling that they are losing their sanity. As the name suggests, these mind games manipulate the target’s thoughts with some manipulative tactics like guilt-tripping, blameshifting, gaslighting, creating a faux reality, and emotional gambit.
Manipulators often use these mind games to gain an upper hand in the situation, to take advantage of someone or just to maintain control and authority over the target or the targeted situation.
Mind games are usually played in relationships to control the partners, and at workplaces to outmaneuver colleagues or acquaintances, deceive superiors, and alter social contexts to gain profit. Mind games can have a negative impact on a person’s mental and emotional health and also disrupt one’s well-being.
It is also important to remember here, that not all people who play mind games are narcissists, but all narcissists are capable of playing games with their victims up to some extent. It all depends on the degree of narcissism and the individual characteristics and personality traits of a person.
Why Do Narcissists Play Mind Games? – Reasons
There are several reasons why a narcissist might play mind games,
To gain power and control
Narcissists crave control and power in order to feel superior to others. They often like to engage in manipulative tactics, power struggles, mind games, and such cunning behavior just to gain power and control.
Ego- Boost and Validation
Narcissists seek validation not just to prove their superiority but also to maintain their self-esteem. Maintaining their self-esteem provides them with an ego boost. They need validation to sustain their self-esteem which also helps them in maintaining their grandiose self-image.
Emotional Manipulation is one of the concrete tactics to create drama, conflict, and chaos in a given situation. When narcissists cannot make their way they often choose to scheme people emotionally. They seek adoration and validation along with attention by manipulating others.
Manipulation is the key characteristic of a narcissist. They often gain what they want by manipulating others using tactics like gaslighting, projecting, playing mind games, blameshifting, hoovering, and much more.
Narcissists do not like when someone draws a boundary and thus they often control or break boundaries using mind games just to see how much people are ready to endure. They often test their target’s patience and limits by using boundaries.
Games that Narcissists Play with their victims
Narcissists have a tendency to use people for their needs and desires. They just seek attention and control. They believe the world revolves around them and they are entitled to have whatever they desire. Hypocrisy is their go-to trait. Selfishness is in their true nature, and they would do anything to seek benefit from you. Thus they might involve you in several games,
Associating with a narcissist is itself challenging. You have to keep up with their unrealistic expectations, their tantrums, toxicity, and peculiar traits. One such thing is texting with a narcissist. They can just quill you in their words, dishonest actions and an artificial made-up would of their own.
Narcissists would either be texting too much or no texts at all. Sometimes it’s a long paragraph often manipulative, deceptive, or accusing sentences; while sometimes it’s just a word reply like K, hmm, ok, .., thumbs-up, or something of this sort. For example, when you are busy and not replying to them they would be sending multiple texts like “Hey! Let’s catch up”, “What are you doing?”, “Why are you not replying?”, “Are you cheating on me?”, “Why can’t I reach you?” and so on. They will be sending an immoderate amount of texts.
Their texts are toxic when they want something from you. They can even blackmail you when you do not meet their demand. For instance, “Do this for me, and your secrets are safe with me.”
Narcissists always want quick replies from you even though they never do so. When a narcissist plan out something, wants something from you, or needs favors, they would be asking several questions like, “When can I expect this from you?, “Can you do this for me?”, “Why can’t you do this much for me?”, “When are you giving this to me?”, “Why are you not replying?”, “With whom are you talking?”, “Why have you not replied to me yet?”, “Are you ghosting me?”. They have all sorts of conclusions in their mind without knowing the situation.
Thus these are a few instances of a narcissist’s texting games.
Not everyone who plays text games is a narcissist, and not all narcissists play text games but commonly they do. Manipulation is their strong pursuit hence they can do anything in their power to manipulate, be it through texts, calls, or apologies and persuasion. When you have a relationship with a narcissist toxic behavior and treatment can be a normal part of your life. Narcissists have toxic texting habits, some of which are discussed below,
Toxic Text Games or Toxic Texting Patterns of Narcissists
- There is an invisible pressure that you feel to reply to them instantly
- They would avoid your texts when you need them but make a bond so strong that you might willingly do everything for them
- They would be using their narcissist mirroring trick to get through to you
- They would text you at unreasonable times and for unreasonable times
- They would be manipulative digitally
- Love Bombing Texts
Break Up Games
Narcissists are people who follow a certain pattern of dating or have an autopilot dating cycle. They are creatures of habit, so if the first attempt at a relationship does not work out with someone, they might repeat the same dating cycle with the next person too.
What is the dating cycle of narcissists?
There are 3 phases of dating a Narcissist:
1. Attraction or Idealization Phase
The Attraction or Idealization phase is the step where they spot you and grab your attraction, like spotting a target or their victims for obtaining their supply.
2. Devaluation Phase
Once they gain your complete trust, this is when they start playing with your feelings and thoughts by using their manipulative tactics. This is the phase when they would suck the positivity out of you and drain you.
3. Discard Phase or Rejection Phase
The Discard phase is nothing but the time when a narcissist uses you completely until their satisfaction like their puppet, and when they no longer need you or find someone else they just discard you like something unimportant. This is the phase when they usually start cheating on you or probably leave you for someone else and this cycle keeps on repeating like it’s a loop. In this, they degrade or devalue you like from the most important person in their life to the least important person.
They would be so into you at the beginning of the relationship that they would idolize you, but as sson their purpose is served, they discard you. If they cannot find another source of supply they might still keep you in the loop by hoovering.
Narcissists try to hoover around their exes and victimize them again, as they cannot let go easily. Hoovering is always intended for the emotional ex-partner that a narcissist tries to regain. It is the vulnerabilities that the narcissist takes advantage of.
When a narcissist feels that they have lost interest or you might be thinking of moving forward, they would drop breadcrumbs in the form of love-bombed sweet texts, emojis, comments, or even calls, just to lure you back in. They would have hidden, trustworthy, coy, selfish agendas behind breadcrumbing you. They do this just to keep you as one of their backup options for obtaining their narcissistic supply.
These are some ways that a narcissist might involved in relationships and break up as if nothing happened. All of this is just a part of their manipulative game.
Narcissists block their partners or even their exes to watch make you efforts to gain them back, to seek pleasure, or to teach you a lesson. Blocking you is a part of their toxic blocking games to seek pleasure from seeing you suffer because of them.
Narcissists block you for many reasons,
- Narcissists often block you to feel validated, powerful, or just feel their control over you
- When they have found a new source for obtaining their narcissistic supply
- To establish their control over you
- To punish you
- To redirect their anger which is caused by someone else or something else
- To prove a point
- To spice up the relationship
- It is just a choice made by solely the narcissist to feel powerful and it has nothing to do with you
- When a narcissist feels that you can provide them with what they want
When there is an inconvenience or a displeasing situation created by you in the relationship, narcissists tend to either try to teach you a lesson by blocking or cutting the means of communication with you or sometimes they simply want to have control and sadistic pleasure by harassing you and making you worried by blocking all sources of communication even though the issue created by you is just minor and can be sorted without involving the drama or blocking and unblocking and all the manipulation of emotions.
Social Media Mind Games
Narcissists’ social media mind games totally depend on which stage of relationship you are in the resent.
If it is the initial stage, then they would be posting pictures of you with positive captions like, “Lucky to have you”, “Made for each other” and so on.
But as time passes and when you have disputes with them they might start displaying their passive-aggressive side to you. From posting about you, to ignoring your presence in their life, they might just post about their achievements, their hard work struggle, and all.
They may also keep liking and commenting on other people’s posts. They might make flirty comments just to make you jealous. They might be texting and chatting with other people, probably who are likely to replace you in the relationship. They would be using these social media games as a part of triangulation to make you feel insecure and jealous.
They just love to hoard attention publically. Social media is one such source to gain ample attention, adoration, and validation. Narcissists are just hungry for all these as these feelings provide them narcissistic supply.
Narcissists’ social media games may include blocking-unblocking games, hot and cold games, commenting games, and much more.
Narcissists have a deeper connection with money than they have with people around them. This may sound ironic, but it can soon be revealed once you get involved with narcissists.
Are narcissists obsessed with money control? Do they spend money on you? The answer to these questions is Yes and a big yes! Narcissists and money are directly proportional to each other. Money brings power or is a tool for expressing power.
Money commonly opens up a passage for opportunities, possibilities, and comfort. So a narcissist is head over heels for money. Narcissist loves anything that gives them power, and thus they are connected closely. Some common expressions that relate narcissists and their obsession with money are,
- They will be talking about their financial conditions more often obtaining self-pity and financial assistance.
- They would be providing you with expensive gifts but would make it a point that they remind you about that more often.
- They will stress you out about their financial struggles.
- They can be stingy at times.
- Overspending, seeking loans, or just not spending a nickel can be very commonly observed behaviors of narcissists.
Narcissists and their obsession with money
Who does not love money? Everyone loves that power, fulfillment, and achievement when their bank accounts are making the “CHA-CHING” sound. But narcissists have a little different perspective and connection with money.
Narcissists may have a better relationship with money than with you at times which can be unhealthy. They might even have a malignant desire for money that can ruin your relationship.
Narcissists would not even mind spending your hard-earned money on their unrealistic desires but would hoard their money. They can even ask for lending them and you might never get your money back. They may even embezzle money during difficult times. They would always ask you to pay everywhere, and they would ask you to fulfill their desires at whatever cost.
They like to detrimentally earn even at the cost of other people’s loss, and maintain their shiny image even if they are at the edge of going bankrupt, they can also stoop low using their entitlement card with you.
All a narcissist cares about is attention, supply, shiny high-end portrait, money, and control above all. So until they have all this, they would not be bugging you extremely, but as soon as one of the things starts deteriorating they can make such a fuss, which makes you question your life choices.
Narcissists are usually materialistic and obsessed with everything which makes their social image lustrous. Money is one such factor that can fulfill all their materialistic desires, thus they can be consumed by money.
They might even take control over your finances or even the family money, just to have an open spending hand. Narcissists can be obsessed with money or you can say they like money. But more than that, they like the premonitions that come attached to money like power, appreciation, esteem, respect, and attention from others. They like money because money is the medium through which they channel or manifest all they want.
And thus they can play any games, where money is invested. For instance, if they have a pending loan, or if they have borrowed money from you, they might just pretend that it is their money officially, as you are their partner and they would refuse to pay it back.
Can you Beat the Narcissist at their Games?
The best way to beat them at these games is by either disengaging or just ignoring them. Instead of being a part of their toxic games, just give them a cold shoulder and win the situation just by feigning ignorance of their manipulation. Either try to go no-contact or just find a safe exit from the toxic relationship.
Once you get involved with a narcissist, you are most likely to be a part of their manipulative mind games. But do not get worried, as there are ways to just not be a part of it. Take the lead and leave such a toxic relationship if you feel burdened.
The relationship with narcissists leads to a narcissistic cycle of Abuse which may lead their partners to experience emptiness, deep scars, and a long-lost connection with the world. Narcissists have a very negative impact on their partners and thus their partners find it hard to recognize genuine feelings once they are out of the toxic narcissistic cycle of abuse.
In a relationship with a narcissist, you constantly feel that they overpower or sabotage the relationship already. But as if this was not enough, they also decide to discard you without giving much consideration to your feelings and your perspective.
So the best way to beat a narcissist at their own games is by ignoring them or just leaving the toxic relationship.
Always remember, that you are not alone in this so reach out for help to others like therapists, family, friends, or anyone trustworthy and helpful and disclose what you are facing with an open mind and surely you will get many solutions for your problem.