Here are eight games that are lots of fun for one of the players: the narcissist who initiates them. And like the overgrown babies they are, if you refuse to play or appear to be winning their game, they will pout, whine or throw a tantrum until you concede or let them win. This is a humorous yet serious look at the many games narcissists like to play, from the website The Narcissistic Life. Don’t play these games. Let them sulk and whine all by their widdle selves. Take the ball and go home.
Games Narcissists Play
Written by Alexander Burgemeester
Narcissists are masters at playing mind games. They play to win and take no prisoners. They are poor losers and if they don’t win they will often react in a fit of rage and stomp away like a little child. The only way for the other person to win is to not play. You really have to be “on top of your game” to avoid them though.
Here are some of the more common games that narcissists play:
When a person begins to understand how a narcissist works, he or she realizes that it’s a bit like playing ping-pong. Anytime a narcissist has to self-reflect about anything, they will immediately throw the ball back to the person they consider their opponent. Narcissists will always throw the ball back to the other person. They do this in the expectation that they won’t have to take responsibility for their behavior. Narcissists hope that by not taking responsibility for their own actions (by using blaming, shaming, projection, denial, etc.) their partner will do what they have always done-forgive the narcissist, make excuses for the narcissist’s behavior, claim the narcissist couldn’t help himself because he was having a bad day, and so on.
The narcissist is a moving target and you are always on the firing line. To get away from them (or expose them), you always have to keep an eye on the ball i.e., their actions and motives for playing their games with you. You have to stop wanting to play.
You can stop catching the ball and put it back in the narcissist’s court by setting boundaries and making him aware of his actions. He then realizes he has no one to play with anymore. He will either drop the person like a hot potato, try to punish the person, or run away.
The narcissist can be a master of phony empathy. He appears to take you in, appears to understand what you are experiencing, and appears to genuinely be able to put himself in your shoes. These acts cause you to let your guard down; just when you think there is a genuine give-and-take in your relationship, he pulls a fast one on you-a “gotcha”- most often when you’re at a low point. He will suddenly tell you about his extraordinary new career move, a luxurious trip that he’s taking, or a huge shift in financial status that will make you feel even more diminished. Narcissists perfectly execute an unexpected psychological pounce; their purpose is to grind you down, to humiliate you, and make you feel small and inferior.
[My addition to this: Covert narcissists like to play the mirror image to this game: when you’re doing well, have good news, and are in a great mood, they’ll be a Debbie Downer and tell you all about how depressed they are or about how they never get any breaks or all the awful things that have happened to them. Or they might “caution” you about why you shouldn’t be too happy–the intention is to ruin your mood].
#3 Crazy Eights:
This is a favorite game of narcissists…YOU are called crazy anytime you try to confront them, bring up past issues or behaviors, or expose them when they’re doing something appalling. The game goes like this: you are told that you have an overly active imagination, you don’t know what you’re talking about, they have no idea what you’re talking about, or that you’re simply making things up to cause problems. They’ll tell you that it’s obvious that you are the one who is crazy (and tell you that everyone around you agrees with them about you being crazy).