17 Psychological Mind Games Narcissists Play To Keep You In Their Grip

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Toxic Mind Games Narcissists Play To Control You

Dealing with a narcissist can feel like navigating a maze of manipulation. Let’s uncover 17 sneaky psychological mind games narcissists play to keep you hooked.

We, narcissists, love to conquer. Nowhere is off-limits to our kind. Your mind is no exception to that mentality. The repeated application of mind games and the impact this had are both consequences that live long in the memory of those who have experienced them as a consequence of being entangled with us.

I repeatedly state that the games are always being played. I doubt few would disagree with that statement. You ought to be aware however that the deployment of mind games, whilst always a factor in the narcissistic relationship, is not as deliberate as you may first imagine.

In the case of the Lesser Narcissist, the mind games are collateral. They are a consequence of his instinctive behaviors, his reactions, and pre-determined methodologies. He lacks the cognitive function to engage in the purposeful mental torment, but instead what arises as mind games is a side-effect of the way that he behaves.

As for the Mid-Range, well the application of mind games will sometimes manifest as deliberate but just like the Lesser, these mind games occur as a consequence of the way he is engineered to think and to behave, through instinct.

It is with the Greater where the true twisted behavior manifests as not only are the mind games a consequence of what we do, we also purposefully engage in them because we know how effective they are at achieving what we want and also because we are excellent at deploying them.

Related: 5 Types Of Psychological Manipulation And How To Deal With Them

The imposition of bewilderment on a shattered and exhausted mind possesses a deftness of touch which is far superior to the brutish application of a fist to a cheek. The conjuring of confusion from the use of words alone is a highlight of the Greater’s manipulative repertoire.

Accordingly, the mind games which arise from entanglement with a Lesser or a Mid-Range arise because of the various defense mechanisms those types of narcissists deploy. The Greater regards the playing of mind games as an essential part of the narcissistic relationship, one which is considered noble, important, and a hallmark of his sophisticated abuse.

These mind games are varied and effective. Anybody who has been on the receiving end of them will testify as to the horrible impact that they have in creating doubt, fear, worry, anxiety, submission, and a sense of helplessness. What are some of these mind games?

17 Psychological Mind Games Narcissists Play To Control You

1. Second Guessing.

The act of making you forget about your own needs because you are conditioned to think about our needs first in order to avoid some dreadful repercussion if you do not so.

You apply your mind over and over to assessing the situation and trying to gauge how you should respond, what you should do next, what you should organize, how you should look, how you should behave in order to avoid some other abuse.

2. Pre-occupation.

By making ourselves so central to your existence and the only thing that matters you find that you are always wondering about us. What are we doing right now? Who are we with? What are we doing? This does not necessarily occur just in the devaluation.

As the seeds of addiction are sown during the seduction, you find your mind is focused on us more and more. This is the laying of the groundwork to have you forget about your own needs and indeed who you are as the focus of your attention becomes all about us.

3. Mirroring.

We convince you that you are falling in love with the most wonderful and fantastic person you have ever met. This is achieved by mirroring what you want in the object of your affection. By meeting this need on so many different fronts, you become helpless to falling in love with what you believe us to be.

Related: The Narcissist and Psychopath as Human Parasites: Are You a Host?

4. Obsessing.

By engaging in the vague, the vapid, and the amorphous we have you start obsessing over us. Once again the focus moves on to us as you ask yourself what did he mean by that comment? Why is he late? Why did he just do that?

You look for clues that are non-existent and seek answers which are not there, reading too much into what are often innocuous scenarios.

5. Gaslighting.

The infamous act of causing you to doubt your own reality and is invariably the cumulative effect of many different types of mind games. You end up doubting yourself and accepting our false reality as the true reality instead.

mind games gaslighting
17 Psychological Mind Games Narcissists Play To Control You

6. Jettison.

The act of having you think that you are about to be discarded. Comments will be made which suggest that we are dissatisfied with you, that we are tired of you, and that we have interests elsewhere. Nothing is said outright, there is nothing concrete, but the signs are there that you are going to be discarded. Aren’t they?

Related: Rationalizing Manipulation: How Narcissists Take Advantage Of You

7. Jealousy.

“But she is just a friend.” “How can I be having an affair when we only meet during daylight.” “You are reading too much into it.”

The appearance of somebody who we talk about a lot, spend time with and appear to admire is designed to bring about jealousy in you and undermine your self-confidence.

8. Mea Culpa.

The complexity and absurdity of our behavior mean that you are unable to fathom out what is actually going on. This results in you needing to find some kind of answer in order to give you peace of mind and therefore since you have no ground to question us, you decide you must be at fault and being to blame yourself.

After all, nobody gets furious for no obvious reason do they? You must have done something wrong to provoke us. It is your fault.

9. Projection.

The movement of our faults and unpleasant behaviors from us to you. The accusation that you engage in the very behavior which we undertake ourselves.

10. Character Assassination.

The unmerited and savage attack on you, criticizing you for any number of things; how you walk, how you talk, your hair color, who your friends are; how you made the coffee this morning. Anything and everything about you will be attacked even though you cannot see the basis of doing so.

11. Blame-Shifting.

The defensive step of ensuring that we are never to blame or held accountable. Anything that goes wrong, any incorrect behavior, any mishap is all down to you. You caused it, you brought it about, you made it happen.

Even though you cannot see any factual basis for the accusation that has been flung your way, this will not stop it from happening.

12. Authoritative Denial.

We do not just deny, we deny with such conviction, determination, and authority that surely only someone who does this is someone who has to be right, yes?

Related: The Gray Rock Method: What It Is and How To Use It Effectively To Shut Down Toxic People

13. Gaseous Smear Campaigns.

You are being spoken about, whispered about and slurs cast against your name, at least you think that is the case. You seem to be receiving strange glances and hear snickering when you walk by certain people, but you never hear anything concrete or certain.

You might be mishearing, you might be misreading, it may just be paranoia. Trying to work out if you are being smeared is like trying to catch a gas with your bare hands.

14. Silent Treatments.

The staple of the narcissistic arsenal. Why is he silent? Why has he vanished? What have you done wrong? When will he speak to me again?

mind games narcissists play
Games Narcissists Play

15. Double Standards.

We are so pleasant and wonderful to everybody else. People speak so highly of us, yet when the front door is closed we turn into a monster with you. Is it real? Perhaps you are taking it out of context and exaggerating or maybe you are doing something which causes this to happen and nobody else does?

16. Amnesia.

We deny having ever done something or said something even though you are positive, well fairly certain, okay, at least reasonably sure, we did say it. It works both ways as we accuse you of having a faulty memory as we tell you we told you last week we would be going out tonight, why can you not remember these things? Are you doing it in order to annoy us? Of course, you are.

Related: 7 Troubling Signs You’re In Love With A Narcissist

17. Losing Your Mind.

We label you as crazy, unhinged, a maniac who is in need of help. Good Lord, everybody thinks it of you and we are a saint for putting up with this behavior for so long. We tell you often, arrange for you to get help, see a doctor or a therapist and accompany you to explain to them how you are losing your marbles.

Are we making all of this up in order to disturb you further, or then again, might you just be losing your mind after enduring all of this?


Written By HG Tudor
Originally Appeared On Narcsite
Republished with permission
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17 Psychological Mind Games Narcissists Play To Control You
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17 Psychological Mind Games Narcissists Play To Control You
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17 Psychological Mind Games Narcissists Play To Keep You In Their Grip

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