As human beings, we have all probably dabbled into a little psychological manipulation at one point or another in our lives. And that’s okay. It’s almost instinctive, really. It’s essentially all a part of self-preservation. We try to get the things we want by milking whatever we can out of the people we interact with on a daily basis. Sometimes, this manipulative behavior can be done consciously; and sometimes, it can even be done unconsciously. And it’s important that you make yourself aware of this behavior before it can potentially become toxic.
There are no limits to the kinds of people you can victimize with your mind games and psychological manipulation. Sometimes, you can manipulate people who you barely even know and people who are closest to your heart. You can manipulate people who you interact with on a daily basis; and people who you might never even see again for the rest of your life. Sometimes, this manipulative behavior can be for the common good and it can help uplift the strength of a relationship. But sometimes, especially when left unchecked, manipulative behavior can be very detrimental and toxic for the relationship and the individual being duped.
The thing about psychological manipulation is that it is mostly ever really beneficial to one party and it can be potentially traumatizing and harmful to the other. It can generate an air of mistrust and deceit in a relationship, and it can really mess up the dynamics of the relationship. It can create instability and that’s not good for any kinds of long-term relationships. A lot of times, we can get so lost and caught up in these little games that we play with one another, that we end up obsessing over the trial aspects of the relationship; and we lose sight of all the essentials. You fail to give notice of all the important things that are going on in your relationship because you focus too much on the semantics of the psychological games.
So why is it that people continue to play these kinds of games in relationships? And how do you develop the self-awareness that you need to know that you are playing people or when you are being played? What is it that drives people to play these stupid and childish games in the relationship in the first place?
Well, the answer isn’t really all that complicated: It’s that people can get something out of being manipulative. There are so many benefits that are still up in the air. Some of these incentives cover security, control, confidence, self-esteem, and other such personal benefits. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that the psychological tormentor is the only player in the game. As they say, it takes two to tango. And if you’re being victimized by someone, then you really need to make sure that you don’t allow things to escalate. You don’t want to take a passive role here.
The best weapon you can have here is knowledge. You need to make yourself aware of everything that is going on between the two of you, and part of that is arming yourself with the necessary information that you need to keep yourself guarded. The more aware you are of the various mind games that are commonly played in relationships, the more equipped you will be to actually spot them should you ever find it in the relationships that you’re in.
Here are the common types of games that are played in relationships:
1. The frigid person.
This is when one person in a relationship dismisses sexual advances by accusing the victim of making it “all about sex”. But the truth is that this is only one person denying sex because they are too afraid of their sexual insecurities betraying them.
2. The “If it weren’t for you” technique.
This is a common game that weaker people tend to play in their relationships. They tell the more dominant person in the relationship that their dominance is the reason that they are forced to deal with something bad.
3. The blame game.
This is a common technique that is used by immature people who are incapable of taking ownership of their own actions. They look to blame their partners for everything that they might get wrong in the relationship. They don’t want to be responsible for all of their screw-ups.
4. The button pusher.
This is a game that one may use in a relationship to elicit some kind of blowup in the relationship. The victim may be potentially in a bad mood, and the player is going to push those buttons to get them to do something bad – so that they can be guilted about it later.
5. The “I’m independent” game.
This is a common technique that people play to get the other to feel like they’re not doing enough in the relationship. They will make it seem like they’re doing too much work on their own to the point that the other isn’t being useful anymore.