The Playbook Of Deceit: 11 Narcissistic Games Used To Torment You

Narcissistic Games Used To Torment: Playbook Of Deceit

Have you ever encountered someone that made you question your own sanity? Or found yourself caught in a web of manipulation, unsure of how you got there? If so, then you may have encountered a narcissist and have been a victim of narcissistic games.

Narcissists are masters at psychological games. A charming smile hides their darker agenda as they play several mind games to control and exploit you. These mind games narcissists play can be psychologically damaging, without you even realizing it at times.

In this article, we’ll unravel 11 narcissistic games, exposing all their tactics, so that you don’t fall for their lies and break free from their clutches. So, are you ready to know all about the games narcissists play?

Related: The Silent Manipulator: 11 Covert Narcissist Behaviors To Look Out For

Narcissistic Games: 11 Twisted Techniques Of Emotional Manipulation

1. They gaslight you.

When it comes to games narcissists play, gaslighting has to be at the top of the list. Gaslighting is when a narcissist manipulate you into questioning your judgement, memory, and even reality. For example, let’s say you told them to do something they probably forgot.

Instead of admitting that they’ll say that you never told them to do it in the first place and that you’re only imagining things. You’ll feel hurt and confused and will questioning yourself. This is called gaslighting.

The goal of this type of narcissistic games is to make it seem like you’ve got mental health issues and need serious help. When that happens instead of recognizing their emotionally abusive behaviour, you might start to feel like it was all in your head.

Narcissistic games - gaslighting

2. They always pass the blame onto you.

It seems that no matter what the situation might be, narcissists are simply incapable of saying “I’m sorry, it was my fault” or “I made a mistake”. Nothing can ever be their fault. If you call them out on something horrible they did, then they’ll find a way of projecting the blame onto you or someone else.

Research shows that narcissists have the tendency to play the victim rather than taking responsibility for their actions and for doing something wrong.

So don’t be surprised if after calling them out on something, they twist the situation and show to the world that you are the bad guy.

3. They use your past traumas and wounds against you, in order to humiliate and control you.

This is probably one of the cruelest narcissistic games to exist.

As difficult as it may be to accept, some narcissists actually enjoy rubbing salt on your wounds just to see how much they can taunt you. That is why they will use previous traumas, insecurities, and fears that you’ve disclosed to them against you.

For example if a narcissist knows you come from a broken family, they will pass insensitive jokes regarding that, but will never say anything negative directly to you. Or, they may make callous “jokes” about an insecurity you’ve told them about, only to claim they were teasing you or that you are too sensitive.

Regardless of how sensitive a topic may be or how cruel these tactics may seem, they will exploit any vulnerabilities they are aware of or suspect you have.

Related: 17 Manipulative Mind Games Narcissists Play To Disturb Their Victims

4. They desert you during tough times, and struggles.

Narcissists are known to abandon their loved ones when they’re going through difficult times. Whether it’s during a health crisis, death in the family, a pregnancy scare, or even just an anniversary or graduation, they’ll abandon you whenever things get tough.

Survivors of these situations often find themselves traumatized in ways that are hard to express.

Some narcissists will go as far as to abandon you when you most need them because they know that’s when they can milk your pain and vulnerability and make themselves the centre of attention.

Whether it’s by sitting back and watching while you hurt or simply leaving the second you have a breakdown and need to rely on them for emotional support.

5. They use triangulation to manipulate you even more.

Triangulation is one of the most horrible narcissistic games there is. With triangulation, narcissists aim to gain and maintain the upper hand in a relationship, and it can take many forms.

For example, they may randomly bring up their ex and say that you don’t treat them as well as their ex did.

Or they’ll tell you that their ex wants them back and can’t understand why they ever left. This is meant to remind you that if you stop enabling them, they’ve got someone waiting for them so you’ll start to cave into their demands for fear of losing them.

Narcissistic games

6. They subtly isolate you from your close friends and family.

Isolation is one of the most conniving games narcissists play. How better to control someone than by turning all of their friends and family against them — leaving only the narcissist as their sole social and emotional support system?

They also know how to charm your family first so that later on, they can say things about you to create a misunderstanding between you and your family. Narcissists know very well what to say to you and how to behave, when it comes to steering you away from everyone else.

And the sad part is, most of the time, you might not even realize what they are doing before it’s too late.

7. They ruin your holidays, achievements and every positive and happy occasion in your life.

Narcissists love messing with people during special occasions and holidays. Which is why they’ll suddenly start raging right before Thanksgiving, or become the Grinch during Christmas, spreading negativity everywhere they go. There’s a reason for every action.

That is why they’ll diminish your accomplishments or even compare you to someone else so that whenever you think about your accomplishment — it’s this degrading comparison that comes up instead of it just being about your own success.

The same goes when it comes to anything positive happening in your life.

Whether it’s making crazymaking accusations before a holiday party so that when you attend the party there’s all these imaginary thoughts running through your head distracting you from having fun — or comparing yourself to others just to make yourself feel smaller once again.

Related: 9 Clever Mind Games Narcissists Play In Relationships

8. They are always playing the victim, and don’t know the meaning of accountability.

Playing victim is one of the mind games narcissists play that clearly shows how entitled and toxic they really are. Narcissists always feel they deserve attention, and special treatment, even though they’ve done nothing to earn them.

They then use this belief to manipulate others, especially those who are highly empathetic, to provide assistance or leniency. Falling for their stories can make it difficult for you to cut them off because you fall for their victim persona even if it’s fake.

9. They love ghosting people.

Another one of the major narcissistic games is ghosting.

After convincing you that they’re head over heels in love with you and making grand promises, the next thing you know is they’re nowhere to be found. You have no clue what happened and start asking yourself if you’ve done something wrong or offended them in any way.

You don’t find them on social media anymore. They don’t respond to your calls or texts; it’s as if they have disappeared into thin air. They have cut you off from their lives without telling you anything about it, and you literally don’t know where they are and why they have done something like this. It’s like they are a ghost, hence the term, ghosting.

There’s no way to know for certain if the narcissist will be back or not. They may come back and create some excuse to justify their narcissistic games, if they believe it will grant them something.

Narcissistic games

10. They flirt with other people in front of you, to make you feel jealous and disrespected.

How do you cope with a narcissist when they keep finding new ways to mess with your head? Well here’s one: they make you jealous by showing how “desirable” they really are.

Narcissists flirt openly or subtly with others to make their partners jealous and also to disrespect them publicly.

But this isn’t where the emotional manipulation ends. If their open or subtle flirting bothers you enough to question them about it, they’ll deny it, then say that you’re jealous and imagining things as usual. These sorts of narcissistic games gives them even more ammunition for manipulating you.

11. They never show you any affection.

Another one of the most hurtful narcissistic games used to control and manipulate you is withholding love and attention, stonewalling, or giving silent treatment. This makes you feel like you are guilty for everything, and this way the narcissist can get whatever they want from you.

They may stop having sex, holding hands, or even wanting anything to do with you altogether while having no problem interacting with others in front of you since people with this personality disorder lack empathy.

This gradually takes a toll on you, and your mental and emotional health goes for a toss. No matter how much you try to talk to them, they keep on ignoring you.

Related: Signs Of A Narcissist Playing Games With You

Manipulation is like an old jacket to a narcissist. They know which buttons to push and vulnerabilities to exploit. But all hope is not lost! With this knowledge at hand you’ll be able to build resilience, set healthy boundaries, and eventually, break free from their control.

You’re a strong person capable of doing great things in life. And with that strength, you need people who will uplift and support your well-being because everyone deserves dignity and respect.

These games narcissists play, have you ever been on the other side of them? Have any of your friends or family members played such narcissistic games with you? Do let us know in the comments down below!

games narcissists play

— About the Author —


  1. Charity Rose Avatar
    Charity Rose

    The man I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with broke up with me a day ago. We were together nearly 2 years. In the beginning, I was “love bombed”, I was convinced this is was the most incredible love I’d ever experienced. The world was ours, ppl told us they wanted what we had constantly! The last few months my world was turned upside down out of nowhere! I was accused of doing him wrong, he started stonewalling me, withholding affection, every time we had an argument it was started by my “constant complaints”, every issue in our relationship was 100% my fault. He refused to take accountability for anything!! He never once apologized to me for anything. He used most of these “games” daily. He started the worst of these when I found out my sister is dying of terminal cancer, my daughter walked out on her child, and he decided right then that we weren’t gunna work and our relationship had been over for awhile! I’m such a lover, all I want is to make him happy like I used to! So here I am, crushed wanting to know what I did to make him stop loving me, why wasn’t our relationship important enough to him to want to fight for. He’s not the first narcissist I’ve dated,maybe one day I’ll find a genuinely good man that wants the same things I do. I’m still hopeful!

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