Whether it’s unnecessarily mean or manipulating another person, all signs of mind games in a relationship center around having power over others.
Have you ever been confused by your partner’s or date’s behavior? Does it feel like your partner is sending mixed signals?
Today, they seem enthusiastic about your date but turn cold when you eventually meet. Or has it gotten to a stage where you keep playing different scenarios of how the evening will go because of their unpredictability? These are signs of mind games in a relationship.
Mind games are actions insecure people use to be the alpha in a relationship or on a date.
Although people who play mind games tend to be males, some females are skillful in displaying signs of mind games in a relationship.
So, why do people play mind games, or why do they exercise signs of mind control in a relationship? What does the word mind games mean? Keep reading to find out more.
What are mind games in a relationship?
Mind games are psychological tactics used by someone to manipulate or intimidate another person. People play mind games because it makes them feel powerful and in control. Also, it allows people to avoid taking responsibility for their actions and feelings.
Some examples of mind games in relationships include playing hard to get, being mean for no reason, leading someone on, or controlling attitudes. These are some of the common signs of mind games in relationships.
If these signs sound familiar to you and you want to know how to tell if someone is playing mind games with you, continue reading this article.
5 Reasons why do people play mind games
There are different reasons people play mind games, but the end game is to gain power over others.
Check the following reasons people show signs of mind games:
1. They want something
People who play mind games want a specific response from their partner or people around them. However, instead of requesting politely or telling others what they wish, they achieve their aim through mischievous and manipulative acts.
They relish playing games with emotions rather than speaking out. For instance, a person who plays mind games might want you to care for them. Instead, they make you uncomfortable and grumble when you show care to others.
2. They want to manipulate you
People who play mind games do so to manipulate you into doing something for them. Their needs may include the following:
To boost their self-esteem
Everyone asks for the above list one way or the other, people who show signs of mind games only go about it wrong.
One may want to ask, “Why do people play mind games exactly?” There is no other reason for people who play mind games than to make others weak. To them, it is a challenge where they alone become the winner.
Meanwhile, the signs of mind control in a relationship come from low self-esteem and cowardice. Instead of solving these problems, they would project them onto others.
5. They need to feel important
Closely related to one of the signs of mind games in relationships is playing hard to get. That usually happens in intimate relationships or a donation. People with signs of mind games want to feel unique and essential to you.
As such, they send you mixed signals to confuse you so that you can be persistent. They like the rush it gives them when others beg for their attention.
Now that people show signs of mind games in relationships, it is vital to be well acquainted with typical symptoms of mind control manipulative people use in relationships.
15 Signs of mind games in a relationship
So you are not sure if your partner is playing mind games with you or not?
Read on to know how you can find out. Here are some obvious signs that your partner is playing mind games or manipulating you.
1. They confuse you
Confusion is one of the common signs of mind games in a relationship. People who play mind games in a relationship leave you doubting the relationship and their feelings. You are unsure of how they feel and where you stand with them.
For instance, they might be cheerful today with you but suddenly become mean the next day. They might be very hot and cold or sometimes suddenly turn on you for no apparent reason.
If you question your position and feelings all the time in a relationship, it is a sign your partner is playing mind games.
2. You doubt yourself around them
One of the signs of mind control in a relationship is when you doubt and question yourself whenever you are with your partner. People who play mind games in a relationship make you question your ability to make certain decisions.
That’s because you don’t know how they will react. For instance, you find it hard to tell them about something you did days earlier because you are unsure if they will condemn it or encourage it.
Watch this video to know how to build your confidence:
3. They blame you all the time
Another tactic of people who play mind games in a relationship is to blame. They blame you on every occasion, including those that are not your fault. For example, your intention may be to tell your partner of an incident just for fun.
However, they will still blame you for acting in a particular way. Being perfect and knowledgeable is a crucial trait of people who show signs of mind games in a relationship.
One of the signs of mind games in a relationship is when your partner puts you down to make you feel bad. What happens out of envy for what you have or because you are better than them at something.
So, instead of encouraging you in some unpleasant situation, they put you down to make you feel better. Your present awful feeling is a win for them.
They may also make nasty remarks about you or your dressing in front of others. It is all about power play and the need to feel better than you. So, you can see the problem is with them and not you.
5. They intentionally hurt your feelings
As strange as it may sound, some people relish making others feel bad about themselves. They might shout at you for helping them, even when they didn’t ask for it.
Also, they enjoy playing mind games by making rude comments about you and your friends. These signs of mind games in a relationship leave you feeling bad about yourself.
6. They use others against you
You think your partner should have your back, but you will be surprised by people who play mind games in a relationship. After several unsuccessful attempts to make you feel bad, they turn others against you.
They do this by engaging in conversations they know you hate with others. Also, they make rude and nasty comments about you in front of others. They intend to make everyone desert you, so they can appear like the only one who stays.
7. They tell people you are a liar
In psychological mind games relationships, people who play mind games call you liars.
They start by falsely accusing you of making things up or exaggerating when you talk. Then, they might begin to tell other people that you’re a liar or that you are not pleasant.
Such a situation may force you to defend yourself endlessly and explain what’s going on to them.
8. They envy you
If you want to know how to tell if someone is playing mind games with you, study their reaction when you own something new. Often, they can’t hide their emotions.
Deep down, people who show signs of mind games in a relationship want the things you have, including a college degree, a stable career, a family, and material items.
Thus, they make you feel bad or transfer aggression when you buy something new.
9. They compare you with others
Another way of playing mind games in a relationship is to make baseless comparisons. Comparison is a fundamental commandment of people who show signs of mind control in a relationship.
Your partner might tell you that your friends are more beautiful than you are. Also, they always find a way to compare you with their exes in a conversation or an argument.
10. They make themselves the center of attention
Have you ever gone out to an occasion where you invite your partner to, and they make themselves the focus? For instance, they take your chance by introducing themselves when you should be the one.
Even when you leave them to enjoy the party, they need to take your glory when speaking with your friends.
11. They control your decisions
One leading sign of people who play mind games in a relationship is controlling their decision-making. They want to be the only competent person who knows all things. Hence, they dissuade you from following your guts and replacing your ideas with theirs.
They even cite how the situation might go wrong if you don’t follow their advice. When their suggestion fails, they say it’s your fault. These are signs of a mind game in a relationship.
12. They make you come to them
Playing mind games in a relationship includes forcing others to come to you without making any effort. If your partner plays mind games a lot, they will never call or text you first. They don’t set up dinner dates or movie nights.
Instead, you’re the one texting and begging them to make the relationship work.
13. They never talk about themselves
People who show signs of mind games in A relationship never let their guard down in conversation. While you talk about your vulnerabilities and weak points, they listen attentively but never reveal anything about themselves.
When your partner doesn’t talk about themselves to you like you do, you will be left wondering if they value the relationship you both have.
14. They shut you out of their lives
If you feel like your partner shuts you out of their lives every time, it is one of the signs of mind games in a relationship.
For example, if someone regularly blocks you from their special events, they want to confuse you and keep you guessing about what’s going on.
Sometimes, people who play mind games do this to know how much you care about them. They want to see how far you will go to get their attention. The chase gives them trills.
15. They make you feel jealous
Some of the signs of mind games in a relationship include the need to make others feel jealous. People who play mind games like attention, so they improvise to make you feel jealous when you don’t give them.
Making others feel jealous is a classic manipulative act many people use. It comes in different forms, including your partner posting pictures of others on social media or flirting with other people or their ex. These behaviors will make you question their intention towards you.
It can be confusing and overwhelming dealing with people who play mind games. However, if you still value your relationship with them, you can use strategies to make them better people.
Express yourself clearly and precisely, explaining how their actions make you feel. Remember to back your case up with relevant examples of mind games.
Ensure they apologize and promise to turn over a new leaf. Note that it may take some time for them to change, but it’s worth the wait if they make some effort.
If your partner refuses to accept responsibility for their action, it may be time to decide. Staying with them and hoping they will change may mean it will take time.
Similarly, if you choose to move on with your life, talk to friends and families to provide a robust support system around you. Also, you may speak to a coach or therapist to help you through the moment.
Signs of mind games in relationships make you feel sad, replaceable, and worthless. People who play mind games do so to gain control over others.
Recognizing the signs of mind control in a relationship can help you decide if the relationship is worth it or not. Besides, you feel fulfilled and worthy.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.