Have you ever thought about what is wrong in your relationship? Is your partner behaving differently than you would like? They manipulate you, cheat, humiliate you, make fun of you, and constantly make you feel guilty. Most likely they are playing mind games in relationships.
Mind games meaning in relationships: in psychology, this is called one of the types of manipulation, in which one of the partners has a sharp change in mood and range of emotions. The problem often indicates somatic or psychological health problems. Such games with a partner turn into negative consequences for both parties.
How to recognize the signs of mind games in your stage of a relationship, how to find out their cause, and how to deal with it? You will discover the answers to all these questions later in the article.
What is “Mind Games in Relationships”?
Mind games are a destructive pattern of behavior in which intimacy is constantly replaced by alienation. Sometimes one of the partners behaves in this way unconsciously. But more often, they do it on purpose.
- Manipulation of the self-esteem of the loved one. People with low self-esteem are easier to manage. A stronger partner constantly inspires an emotionally weak partner that without them you can do nothing. The victim begins to sacredly believe in this and becomes dependent on their partner.
- Use of fears. Manipulators put pressure on pain points, especially in disputes and conflict situations. They point to obvious and imaginary shortcomings. Statements are fixed in the subconscious and periodically reminded of themselves. The victim cannot end the relationship for fear of being alone.
- They are belittling the feelings of a partner. The partner devalues the sentiments of the other person. They often say that the partner reacts to their words and actions in an unreasonably exaggerated way.
- Complete ignore personal boundaries. The partner establishes absolute power over the psyche and emotions of the victim.
- Hints without concrete promises. Some phrases the victim of games of reason perceives as confessions. But this is far from the truth. So the partner is trying to hook the victim into a long-term relationship without obligations. “I want to come, I want to go out. But they will wait for me because I gave hope for a brighter future”.
- The partner uses mind games, making themselves a victim to inspire guilt and destroy your self-esteem.
Signs of Mind Games In Relationships
The most important symptom of a relationship in which one of the partners uses mind games is constant anxiety. You are dependent on the mood of your partner, and constantly blame yourself. What other signs of mind games people play in relationships are there?
1. Manipulation of self-esteem
If you have low self-esteem, you are easy to manage. How do mind games work? Every now and then you hear about the following in your address: “ It’s good that I exist, you couldn’t do anything without me.” They really believe that their destiny is to meekly obey a partner. They are rejoicing at this moment. They perfectly manage to keep the victim on a short leash.
2. Devaluation of emotions
This is when a partner allows themselves to claim that their experiences are nonsense. Well, think about it, yelled at you by accident. Examples of mind games in relationships: as soon as you ask them to communicate with you more gently, you hear in response: “So it is necessary for you.” They believe that all your negative emotions are evil and taboo and that only they have the right to be angry.
3. Emotional swing
Coldness and ignorance are replaced by confessions of great love, which makes the victim wait for moments of enlightenment. This exhausts the victim and makes them need approval.
4. Nitpicking and depreciation
The partner finds the sensitive points of the victim, complexes, and vulnerabilities that destroy their self-esteem. This makes the victim believe that they, their life, hobbies, and work are worthless, and their partner, continuing the relationship, is doing them a favor. Such a partner may also humiliate the victim in public.
5. Social isolation
Men who play mind games in relationships seek to establish complete control over the victim and make them refuse to communicate with people who can influence them: friends, relatives, colleagues. At the same time, the partner presents this as guardianship: “I know better what is useful for you, I will save you from bad influence.”
6. Guilt manipulation
The partner transfers responsibility for all problems, quarrels, and their own actions to the victim, making them eternally guilty. They even explain violence by the fact that the victim “provoked” it. Often, the partner uses threats and blackmail to make the victim feel guilty: “If you don’t do it my way, I will hurt myself, and it will be on your conscience.”
7. Ridicule, criticism
Are ridicule, constant irony, and jokes familiar situations for you? Toxic partners have a peculiar sense of humor and a desire to criticize from scratch. It does not look funny at all, but rather cruel provokes stress and reduces your self-confidence. Don’t look for excuses! If this is repeated regularly, think, is it necessary to build a relationship with such a person?
If your partner is playing mind games in relationships, your self-esteem will undoubtedly suffer and fall to the very bottom. The partner violates your personal boundaries, downplays you and your achievements, and also does not respect your plans at all. They believe that there are only their plans and their ideas, and everything else does not matter.
9. They don’t want to hear you
Examples of mind games in relationships: your partner does not react in any way to your desire to talk about problems, dismisses or laughs it off, and does not want to hear that something needs to be changed. Or they say that everything suits them, they are quite comfortable, and you pump it up, exaggerate, make an elephant out of a fly. Or considers you an alarmist. In all these cases, a sense of impasse is created, and communication becomes uncomfortable. Not wanting to hear the other is a sure symptom of a toxic relationship with mind games.
10. They overstep personal boundaries
It is important to understand that no one has the right to violate your personal boundaries, even the closest people: parents, children, and your lover. Of course, in a couple we build personal boundaries differently than with unfamiliar people: we can forgive a partner when we would not forgive a colleague or friend. But if you feel that you are uncomfortable with some of the words and actions of your lover, it is definitely worth discussing, and not enduring because of the fact that it is accepted in couples.
Why Partner Is Playing Mind Games In Relationships?
Without understanding the reasons and purposes of using the emotional swing, it is difficult to understand their essence. Although a person often does not evaluate their actions as manipulative, their actions have certain reasons.
1. Desire to constantly remind about own importance
A person who is accustomed to narcissism takes pleasure in the thought of how much another needs them. It doesn’t matter that their soulmate suffers from separations – such a person doesn’t care about the partner’s feelings. Nevertheless, they, as manipulators, value these relationships, because the emotional swing gives them pleasure, especially in moments of reunion and reconciliation.
2. Desire to make a partner feel weak
Almost all manipulations in relation to loved ones are aimed at making them adapt. Doing something painful, sometimes pleasant, an egoist playing mind games in relationships breaks a partner, suppresses their own will, and makes them obey in order to avoid parting.
3. Striving for permissiveness
If the manipulator is aware of the ugliness of their actions, then they are trying with all their might to inspire the victim with an inferiority complex and guilt. As a result, the victims constantly forgive their offenders, and they always go beyond what is permitted.
4. Unconscious manipulation
It is not uncommon for a partner to set off a mood swing in a relationship for fun, they want to play “thrill”, and they do not care at all that they hurt their partner with their sudden disappearances.
5. Intentional use of “technique”
Mind games are used by lovers of such a seduction technique as a pickup truck. Most often, these are people who start a relationship for a short time to have a little fun, or even for the sake of one-time sex. With the help of mind games, it is easier to find a victim for such purposes.
How to Cope With the Negative Influence of Mind Games From a Partner?
- Stand up for personal boundaries. Relations between a man and a woman should be built on mutual respect. When a partner says that you have to stay at home and not communicate with friends, this is not normal. But on your part, too, there should be no manners of a manipulator.
- Stop blaming yourself. Perhaps, it is the main advice from experts if your partner uses mind games. Many people tend to skip all conflicts by themselves. They express their dissatisfaction with the partner, and then regret it – they say, they should have kept silent. And if you are constantly silent, then you can get a very insidious disease – a depressive disorder.
- Love yourself. With this step, sometimes a journey of a hundred miles begins. Put yourself first, not last as you used to. Yes, some partners may not like it but you have a chance to start from scratch.
Remember, it’s always important to take care of how you feel in a relationship, with your partner. Don’t discount your feelings and emotions. If you are not happy with your partner’s behavior, talk to them to find out the problem. In the case there is no result, think about whether you should continue to build relationships with this person.