What Are Mind Games?
Human psychology is complex, but certainly not unfathomable. As social animals, we tend to have a greater intricacy of thought and judgment, a trait unshared by any other species. Our brains have helped us conquer planet Earth, form communities that are more elaborate than any other in the kingdom of animals, to live in ever-changing civilizations, and function differently. This greatly developed brain of ours might have given us all the advantage we needed to qualify as the most superior species, but it comes with a price: we are more prone to sins, evil, and committing misdeeds against our fellows.
Mind games are psychological warfare at a micro-level. It lends the player the satisfaction of having leverage over their victims while continuously inflicting them with emotional and mental abuse. Sadly but without an ounce of doubt, most of these psychological games are played between people who share a bond of love. The mantle of fake affection masks the real, ulterior motives of the abuser and the victim continues to be subservient without ever being fully aware of the injustice being done to them.
These games are the reasons why people break-up, marriages are ended, families are torn apart and the number of clinically depressed patients is continuously increasing. They undermine your self-worth and make you question everything you once thought to be true about yourself. In time, your abuser dominates you to the point where your own identity has been completely obliterated due to the constant gas-lighting and discouragement.
You start to accept maltreatment as an integral, rather pivotal part of the relationship and find pleasure in pain because it is the only thing that ties you to your abuser. Things get worse when the same tactics are applied in other facets of life, including professional and mechanical domains. These players are apt at wordplay that paints of them a rather amiable picture but hides their actual hideous self. So, even when a victim tries to call them out on their behavior, no one buys it.
Why Do Some Men Play Mind Games?
Ingrained patriarchal values dictate that men have power over women and that in any walk of life where a woman equals a man is a disgrace for the latter. It might have started with limiting women to their domestic roles, providing men with the edge of being the breadwinners and hence the head of finances in what was to be a capitalistic world, but it ended up in giving men a sense of superiority so inflated that they could not even bear the thought of equality.
The same rule applies to relationships. Men deem themselves to be the more logical and sensible of the two partners and entitled to calling the shots in the relationship. They would rather want a woman who would be at their beck and call than an empowered female who knows how to set boundaries. A loud woman is a big no for them.
When such men encounter a female they know they cannot restrain, they take it upon themselves to cage them. They are attracted to them like a bee towards a fertile flower, only to deprive the latter of its sweet nectar. This is where their words help them. They make sure they come off as very sophisticated, well-behaved, decent, modern, and open-minded to allure women who they find hard to get. They play their cards right. Once the girl is right where they want her to be, these pathetic men start by disapproving of her ways and rattling her till she is doubtful about herself.
The burden of the relationship is dropped right on top of her shoulders and for even the slightest problem, these men blame their lovers to make them feel guilty and try harder even when the women are doing whatever they can to maintain the bond. This gives them a sense of power, to know that their partners are finally accepting that they are responsible for securing the relationship and that they now have someone to blame for their own wrong-doings.
How Would You Know If He’s Just Playing Games With You?
In the early days of the relationship, you might not even realize that you are being emotionally manipulated and mentally abused. The butterflies mask everything and your man might even act like they are doing it for your sake or for the sake of what you two share. However, as time passes by and you observe how drastically you have changed in the time that you have been with your partner, you might come face-to-face with the fact that your partner is playing with your head.
If it is not you, it might be one of your closest friends or your family to hold up the mirror for you to start looking at things as they are. Till then, here are some of the red flags that you should be looking for to identify a psychological criminal guided as your lover:
1. Expression turns into argument
Whenever you try to talk to him about his behavior, he switches to a defensive mode and a serene conversation turns into an altercation instead of communication. It seems like even if you had the best words at your disposal, you could never get your message across because he would rather fight than understand.
2. Hollow but loud
An unequal fight in a relationship is a troubling sign. If he gets louder and abusive when you two are not on good terms, it is the first stage of him trying to undermine anything that you have to say.
3. You are the one apologizing
If you have said sorry more times than you have heard it from him even when an apology is due, it is time to reconsider your choice of partners. They have gas-lighted you so much that you are forced to own up even for his mistakes and be the one going after him instead of it being the other way round.
4. It’s a roller coaster
Your relationship has taken a toll on your mental health and you don’t know what to expect the next morning after a fight or a love-making session, because lately, you get to see polar opposites of your partner.
How Can It Affect You If A Guy Is Just Playing With You?
Get ready to get super-drained emotionally, mentally and physically if he is up to no good. It will affect you forever. You will feel your confidence seeping out of you, your courage to start-over dwindling and an augmenting self-loathe. It might take months of therapy and years of rebuilding yourself to finally be at peace with who you are and what you want if you continue to be with a man even when you can fully see that he is just playing mind games. The best time to end such a toxic relationship is now to save your esteem and heart from being marred with the venom for an eternity.
Should I Continue Talking With A Guy Who Doesn’t Appear Serious Enough?
The answer to this is straightforward and uncomplicated: NO!
Even though the media portrays romantic relationships as being fundamental to our lives, this is not entirely true. The notion that you need to find a partner, get married, and start a family is a false definition of being settled accomplished.
You are the most important person for you and the only one who is going to be there through every thick and thin. Self-love is irreplaceable and finding a partner is an add-on, not an essential. You can be happy alone rather than being in a relationship filled with mind-games, where every passing day is a living hell no one should be put in.
Take the leap only when you are content with yourself and can see clearly through the person you want to share your life with. Where lies are non-existent, secrets are not a thing and you can talk about anything, anytime, that is the kind of place you want to be in. The moment you find a guy like that, take your time to trust them with yourself. Do not rush into a relationship because everyone is in one!
How Do I Cut Off A Guy Who Is Playing Games With Me?
If you are an unfortunate victim of a head player, be very careful when calling it quits. Such people do not handle rejection very well. They might even resort to assault. Take your time to plan an escape. Take into confidence your closest people, acquire legal aid if needed, and slowly cut them off without making it very obvious.
We all have been a victim of mind games at one point in our lives or another and it is OK. There is no lesson better than the one learned by experience. Do not stay in a toxic relationship for long, for your own sake.