Understanding your partner can become so daunting sometimes. i often hear partners complain how frustrating relationships can be. Naturally, it is not so easy understanding the opposite s3x, especially when the one you are in a relationship with decide to introduce mind games into the relationship.
Mind games refers to a series of loose and hurtful manipulative behaviours people engage in with an intention to gain advantage over another person. It is a known fact that couples who play mind games often suffer strain in their relationship. So why do people play mind games at all?
Psychologists say we play mind games because it helps us feel powerful, in control, and allows us avoid taking responsibility for our feelings. There are numerous reasons as to which people play mind games, whether its to manipulate, to be in control or just to test your partner. They all have one major outcome sooner or later which is to put a dent on a meaningful relationship. Mind games never really allow you have an authentic relationship, as there is always a disconnection between you and your partner.
No matter what you do, here are some manipulative mind games that kills a relationship and you should never introduce into your relationship:
1) SENDING MIXED SIGNALS:
This can also be referred to as hot/cold messages. Does this sound familiar; you meet someone new or maybe you are already in a relationship with that person. Some days he/she seems so loving (hot) other days, he/she seems cold and not so loving. This continues on and off and you are now frustrated and keep wondering if he/she truly loves you. This can be very confusing as they tend to keep the relationship in a confused state and sends the recipient of this mixed signal mind games into deeper confusion.
2) INSTIGATING JEALOUSY:
This game is to keep you having that jealous feeling. Although jealousy is a natural healthy emotion as we all get jealous at some point, but it can lead to disaster if not properly monitored. Its a very common mind game used by partners to make their other half compete for affection and attention by making them feel there is someone else in the picture. it could range from ; flirting with other people, talking about your ex or communicating with your ex and even verbally stating it out that there might be someone else in the picture amongst other range of behaviours.
3) LEADING ON:
This refers to acting like there could be something in going for you and someone else when truly you are there isn’t. So you string them on or breadcrumb them making them feel there might be a potential when there truly isn’t . I see this happen between couples, the manipulator playing the mind games, raises the hope of the recipient on an imaginary relationship only to drop them on the long run. This is considered truly deceptive
4) GUILT TRIPPING:
In this situation, the mind game is quite simple, “if you love me, you would do this and that for me, else you don’t love or care about me”. Sounds compelling right?. The one who plays this mind game often play the victim and the recipient is being coerced into going extra miles to prove their unending love for them. This often turns out to be disastrous for the recipient as he/she is willing to do whatever it takes to prove their love.
5) SHAMMING/ NAGGING/ BLAMING:
All these are categorized into one, because they all share the same thing in common which serves a purpose of making the recipient feel insecure, inferior, guilty or at fault thus lowering their confidence level. If your confidence level is reduced, it often leaves you emotionally open which makes this particular mind game very toxic. Its not just a verbal abuse, it leaves a scar on the recipient whom may have to live with the shame or guilt you made them feel for a long time or even a lifetime. This mind game is so toxic that if when introduced into a relationship and it continues for long, that relationship is on a clear path to doom.
6) PLAYING HARD TO GET:
Although, this is mostly associated with the female gender, i believes even the male also exhibit this mind game. it may range from behaviours of being unavailable, not committing or simply being unnecessarily tough emotionally to your partner or who seems interested in you just to be sure or feel like they really are working hard in the relationship or they worked hard for you. Some may argue why this particular mind game made this list, however, it should be noted that this mind game should not be used excessively.
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7) NO COMMUNICATION / SILENT TREATMENT:
What is a relationship without communication?. communication whether verbally or non-verbally is used to express and pass information within ourselves. The no communication/silent treatment is a control tactics that has been in existence for a long time. It refers to ignoring your partner , excommunicating from your partner or withdrawing all communications thereby increasing the recipient’s anxiety level. its almost like guilt-tripping because it makes the recipient feel guilt on whatever it is they may have done wrong so they become worried and therefore become open emotionally and desperate.
Have you ever been suddenly cut off from a relationship? or maybe you met someone new, everything was going quite well but you were being cut off without communication or explanation. This term is being referred to as Ghosting whereby the recipient is being cut off without any explanation from the one playing the mind game. Its a very toxic behaviour and leaves a detrimental psychological effect on the recipient, it leaves the ghosted in a state of confusion and keeps him/her wondering what he or she must have done. This is very toxic. I don’t encourage this kind of behaviour between couples.
9) NONCHALANT/ I DON’T CARE:
I often hear people in relationship say “i don’t care whatever he/she wants to do”, “i don’t care what anybody says” and so on. Although this attitude can be important if it helps you grow better, but in a relationship , a nonchalant/i don’t care attitude may just be considered inconsiderate or insensitive. This attitude sometimes feels good and lets the one dishing out this as a mind game feel powerful as we feel we are in control of our emotions if we do not care so much about others. Many relationship have failed when this is used as a mind control tactics. The game is to see if the recipient can keep fighting for the relationship. This can cause disasters, as it is very important to care about the feelings of your partner.
10) EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL:
You would agree emotions are very powerful feelings. It is the drive behind most of our actions; hence, others may say “Emotion is a powerful tool”. The game of the emotional blackmail is to manipulate the recipient, emotionally holding holding him/her down by threats, fear, guilt, anger, obligation or demands to get what you want. The tone of the one who uses this mind game is “if you don’t do what i want, how I want it exactly at this particular time, there would be consequences”. This type of mind games occurs in deep relationships. It is a typical type of mind game that is considered psychological abusive to the victim
In order to build a healthy long-lasting relationship, it is not advisable to play mind games on your partner especially the ones listed here. Whatever reasons you may have for playing the manipulative mind games, you should know that too much of it is a recipe for disaster as in the long run the recipient often catches up with the game and gets to find out its deceptiveness.
By Paul Utieyione
Photo credit: Freepik
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