There are psychological games we play in our everyday lives. These games can be as simple as the power struggles that exist between parents and children or the more complex dynamics of romantic relationships. Everyone plays these games of influence, even if they don’t realize it! Let’s explore some of the most popular games people might not be aware they’re playing.
What Is Psychology?
The definition of psychology is the study of the behavior of humans and animals, the mind, and emotions. It is a scientific discipline that deals with the systematic study of mental processes and behavior. Psychology is one of the largest and most diverse fields in social science. It is also one of the most popular undergraduate majors. There are many different areas of specialization in psychology, including clinical psychology, counseling psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology, and sports psychology.
What Are Psychological Games?
Psychological games are any interactions or behaviors we engage in that are used to manipulate or influence the thoughts, emotions, or behavior of others. They can be subtle or overt, and can be used to achieve a variety of goals, such as gaining control, getting what we want, or even punishing someone we perceive as being “bad.”
Many times we play psychological games without realizing it. We may think we’re just being friendly or trying to be assertive, but in reality, we’re using these games to get what we want.
Symptoms Of Psychological Games
When we play psychological games, there are often certain behaviors or red flags that can clue us into what’s going on. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Feel like you’re always “walking on eggshells” around the other person.
- Always needing to please the other person or feeling like you can’t say no.
- Feel like you’re constantly in competition with the other person.
- Constantly feeling like you’re being watched or monitored.
- Feel like you can never do anything right in the other person’s eyes.
- Frequent arguments or tension between you and the other person.
- A feeling of being trapped or suffocated in the relationship.
- Having to justify your every action to the other person.
- A feeling of constantly being judged or criticized by the other person.
- Feel like you’re walking on eggshells around the other person.
Types Of Psychological Games
There are many different types of psychological games that we play in our everyday lives. The most common psychological games people play are as follows-
1. Silent treatment
Abusers or narcissists usually play this game to punish their victims. It involves refusing to speak to the other person, isolating them from friends and family, and making them feel like they’re not good enough.
2. Control game
This game is often used by parents or authority figures to get children or subordinates to do what they want. It involves using threats, punishments, or rewards to control the other person’s behavior.
3. Guilt trip game
This game is often used by parents or friends to get the other person to do what they want. It involves making the other person feel guilty or ashamed for not complying with their wishes.
4. Empathy game
This game is often used by therapists or counselors to get their clients to open up and share their feelings. It involves showing genuine concern and understanding for the other person’s situation.
5. Diversion game
This game is often used by salespeople or politicians to get people to focus on something else instead of the main issue. It involves changing the topic of conversation or distracting the other person with something else.
6. Sympathy game
This game is often used by friends or loved ones to get the other person to do what they want. It involves pretending to be in need or vulnerable in order to make the other person feel sorry for you.
7. Push-pull game
This game is often used by lovers or spouses to get the other person to do what they want. It involves alternating between giving the other person attention and ignoring them, making them feel like they can’t win either way.
8. Distraction game
This game is often used by children or spouses who don’t want to do something. It involves doing something else to distract the other person from what they’re trying to get them to do.
9. Blaming game
This game is often used by children or spouses to get the other person to take the blame for something they did. It involves making the other person feel guilty or responsible for something they didn’t do.
10. Testing game
This game is often used by parents or spouses to see how much the other person will put up with. It involves pushing the other person’s buttons to see if they will react.
11. Triangulation game
This game is often used by lovers or spouses to make the other person feel insecure or jealous. It involves bringing in a third person to create drama and tension between the two of them.
12. Love-bombing game
This game is often used by abusers or narcissists to control their victims. It involves showering the other person with excessive amounts of love and attention in order to make them feel dependent on them.
13. Idealization game
This game is often used by abusers or narcissists to make their victims fall in love with them. It involves putting the other person on a pedestal and making them feel like they’re the only one for them.
14. Devaluation game
Abusers or narcissists play this game to break down the other person’s defenses. It involves gradually wearing down the other person’s confidence and self-esteem until they’re no longer able to resist.
15. Gaslighting game
This is a game where abusers or narcissists try to control their victims. It involves making the other person doubt their sanity or reality by constantly questioning their thoughts and memories.
16. Walking on eggshells game
Victims of abuse or narcissists who are trying to avoid triggering their anger play this game. It involves tiptoeing around the other person, never knowing what they might do or say next.
17. Control game
This game is often used by abusers or narcissists to maintain power and control over their victims. It involves using threats, punishments, or rewards to control the other person’s behavior.
18. Love-fraud game
Sociopaths or narcissists play this game to con their victims into thinking they’re in love with them. It involves creating a false persona and using charm and manipulation to get the other person to trust them.
19. Hoovering game
Abusers or narcissists play this game to suck their victims back in after they’ve tried to leave. It involves bombarding the other person with apologies, pleas for forgiveness, and promises of change.
20. Power struggle game
This is a game where one person tries to dominate or control the other. It can be played between parents and children, spouses, or even friends.
21. Victim game
In this game, one person plays the role of victim and the other person plays the role of rescuer. The victim often gets sympathy and attention from others while the rescuer gets to feel like they’re helping someone in need.
These are just a few of the psychological games that abusers or narcissists can play to manipulate their victims. If you’re in a relationship with someone like this, it’s important to learn how to spot these games and protect yourself from them. And if you think you might be playing any of these games yourself, it’s time to take a step back and reassess your motives.
Causes Of Psychological Games
There can be many different reasons why people play psychological games with each other. Some of the most common reasons include the following. People do it to-
- Manipulate or control the other person
- Get revenge or make the other person pay for something they’ve done
- Make the other person feel guilty or responsible for something they didn’t do
- Test the other person’s limits or see how much they’ll put up with
- Make the other person feel insecure or jealous
- Make the other person fall in love with them
- Break down the other person’s defenses
- Control the other person’s behavior
- Get attention or sympathy from others
- Prove that they’re smarter or better than the other person
If you can identify why you or the other person might be playing these games, it can help you to break the cycle and resolve the conflict.
Benefits Of Psychological Games
Psychological games are beneficial to people in a number of ways. Some of the benefits include:
1) Improved mental health– playing psychological games can help to improve your mood and make you feel happier. This is because they allow you to express your emotions and feelings in a safe and controlled environment.
2) Increased creativity– psychological games can help to increase your creativity by giving you the opportunity to think outside the box and come up with new ideas.
3) Improved problem-solving skills– playing psychological games can help to improve your problem-solving skills by teaching you how to think logically and rationally.
4) Increased self-confidence– playing psychological games can help to increase your self-confidence by giving you the opportunity to test your abilities and skills.
5) Better socialization skills– psychological games can help to improve your socialization skills by teaching you how to interact with others in a positive and constructive way.
6) Increased intelligence– playing psychological games can help to increase your intelligence by providing you with a mental workout that helps to improve your cognitive abilities.
7) Improved memory– playing psychological games can help to improve your memory by forcing you to focus and pay attention to the details.
Effects Of Psychological Games
Playing psychological games with someone can have a number of negative consequences for both parties involved. Some of the most common effects include. It can
- Damage or destroy the relationship
- Lead to feelings of distrust, resentment, and betrayal
- Cause the other person to feel insecure, anxious, and depressed
- Lead to verbal or physical abuse
- Leave the other person feeling confused and overwhelmed
- Cause the other person to feel like they’re going crazy
- Lead to a power struggle or dominance dynamic
- Waste time and energy that you can save for better spent on healthier relationships
If you’re in a relationship with someone who regularly plays psychological games, it’s important to seek professional help. The games can be damaging and destructive, and they’re not likely to go away on their own.
How To Avoid Psychological Games?
If you’re in a relationship with someone who regularly plays psychological games, it can be difficult to know how to stop them. But there are some things you can do to protect yourself and break the cycle.
Recognize the signs
Recognize the signs that the other person is playing a game. Some common signs include: using threats or punishments, playing the victim role, making false promises, and using charm and manipulation to get what they want.
Don’t give them attention
If you see that the other person is trying to manipulate you, don’t give them the attention they’re after. Stand up to them, and don’t let them dominate or control you.
Don’t take the game personally
These games are often about control and power, not about you personally. So don’t take the things they say or do to you personally.
If the other person is trying to cross your personal boundaries, make sure you set clear boundaries and stick to them. This will help to protect you from further harm.
Talk to a professional
If you feel like the games are having a serious negative impact on your life, it’s important to talk to a professional. They can help you to understand and resolve the conflict.
There are some things you can do to protect yourself and break the cycle of psychological games in your relationships. If you can identify the signs that the other person is playing a game, don’t get stuck into the drama, and maintain boundaries. Then you’ll be on your way to a healthier and happier relationship.
How To Stop Playing Psychological Games?
If you find yourself engaging in psychological games, there are a few things you can do to stop them.
First, become aware of when you are doing it and what the purpose of the game is. Often, we play these games to get something we want or to avoid something we don’t want. Once you are aware of your motivations, you can work on alternative ways to achieve your goals.
Another thing you can do is practice assertiveness. When you are assertive, you communicate your wants and needs in a clear and direct way. This can help reduce the need to play games in order to get what you want.
Build healthy relationships
Try to build healthy relationships based on trust and honesty. When you have relationships like this, there is no need to play games because you can simply communicate with each other openly and honestly.
When it comes to psychological games, it’s important to be aware of what you’re doing and why. If you can work on developing healthy relationships and being assertive, you’ll likely find that you don’t need to play games as often.
This article tells a lot of information on psychological games. And what they do to the other person playing them and those around them, as well as some tips for stopping or preventing these games. If you’re looking for more detailed guidance on this topic that goes beyond just blogs posts, we have an excellent resource available in our team of experts who can help to stop people from playing psychological games.
A Word From Therapy Mantra
Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Therapy Mantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.