20 thoughts on “Mind Games People Play

  • January 16, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    ‘Guilt-Tripping’ is an all time favourite used by our mothers, that we all love 🙂

    However, and now I am feeling ‘guilty’ by referring to said form of manipulation.

    Be that as it may its effectiveness is well known by all.

    Kind regards,


  • January 20, 2016 at 11:37 am

    My Mother is the queen of the persecution complex. I am the least favorite of her children and she lets me know it by persecuting me rather than just coming out and saying it. She will not say anything if I do something she doesn’t like but she will get me back indirectly usually at Christmas time by sending me gifts that are the wrong size with no receipts to exchange them, Sending me clothes from Railroad Salvage that smell like kerosene or just junk no one would ever wear, again without a receipt so you can bring them back. She recently sold off her estate so the nursing home or hospital wouldn’t get it. She left homes to her favorite children and got one set up with a business. I got a truck full of old dirty dusty Christmas decorations from her boyfriends garage. That was my inheritance. I have also been disowned because I would not take the blame for my brother in law making a pass at me. I did nothing wrong and would not own it. So my siblings are told to not communicate with me and my Mother is the only one who does. She would come and stay at my house a couple times a year to visit me and her grandson but I was not allowed to visit her at her home. This way she keeps control over me. I finally stopped taking her calls a few years ago after deciding I just had enough feeling of her games.

  • January 20, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Reading this makes me feel even better about my personality.

  • January 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    It’s tough to “Stay away from those who play these games” when the person doing these things is my wife & mother of our kids.

  • January 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    My Mom used to do the guilt trip thing, but one day when she tried I called her on it. I explained that I wasn’t going to beg her to go with me on an errand. I knew she would ordinarily enjoy going with me, as I would be stopping at the bookstore. I think she hoped I would beg and plead but I told her I wouldn’t. If she wanted to come along it was her decision, not mine. She learned not to do it, she hasn’t done it again, and we actually have a more honest relationship now.

  • January 20, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Your thoughts…I was once accused of ‘guilt tripping’ someone. At the time my motivation was to help and befriend this women. A neighbour and I were chatting and she was saying how busy and stressed she was. And her washing machine had broken. She said she was driving 20 mins away to go to a laundromat and having to sit there for hours, then drive back; twice a week. Machine wasn’t going to be fixed for a while; waiting for a part. I offered the use of my washer in the unlocked basement and easily accessible from outside anytime. She declined – with a “no no I couldn’t do that”. I responded saying “it’s no problem – we only use it a couple of hours a week rest of the time it’s just sitting there, just go on in and use it whenever you need to”. She declined again….and here is the crunch line. I then said ….“Please borrow ours, it’s not a problem…I’ll be offended it you don’t”. I was honestly trying to help. But some time later her husband casually accused me of guilt tripping her….was I??

  • January 20, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    what about teasing as a form of mental abuse? My boss use to tease me about my wrinkles in front of other people all the time.

  • January 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    What is it when someone tells you that you hate them and do bad things to them and you know you don’t. Then they get crazy at you. It’s doing my bead in. My sister insists she knows my thoughts and intentions. I don’t li e in the same country as she does therefore we don’t see e h other often. Most of the time I don’t really think about her as we were never close A children. However she was here last week and it was really unsettling. I haven’t Benn able to sleep a d when I do I have nightmares. The drama that unfolded was ugly and it was aimed at me. But she said I caused it because I am angry at her and hate unconsciously.

  • January 23, 2016 at 8:33 am

    When you said it would “offend you,” if your friend didn’t use your laundry, what was a kind of guilt-tripping. I know your intentions were good, but you weren’t accepting her “no.”

  • January 27, 2016 at 8:40 am

    I would have liked constructive alternatives to the “games” included in your article.

  • January 27, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Dr. Schoenewolf,

    Stating that we should avoid people who play mind games isn’t always easy, since it takes time; months or years, to realize what someone is doing. That’s my story with my wife. She’s been emotionally and verbally abusive, unempathetic and played games regarding our love life. We were both in our 40s when we met and neither one of us had ever been married but we were worldly, though I wasn’t wise. Now, at 65, I’m emotionally damaged and, along with untreatable bipolar illness, seemingly stuck in this marriage, since I’m too sick to work. How could I have seen this coming? And I’m angry that I didn’t leave, early on.

  • January 27, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Lin, in addition to what Dr. S said, please keep in mind that many women, myself included, can feel defensive and even at times fearful when a man insists on something over and over after the word “no” has clearly been said. In your case, you were offering a favor, she declined, and you should have left it at that. Insisting someone accept any invitation turns the invitation into a demand, and thus will make the other person very uncomfortable. Her husband probably didn’t know how to articulate it to you because he wouldn’t have felt the same way, so I just wanted to give a possible female perspective. It was very nice of you to offer to help someone in need though, so don’t let one negative experience keep you from being the kind soul you are!

  • January 29, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Thank you so much Gerald for this exceptionally well thought out piece. It has clarified for me a number of disconcerting experiences I’ve had with what I once thought was a close friend

  • July 31, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    It’s the pretender that gets me. He/she is angry with their lives, loves or simply bad choices. They manipulate your feelings and energy to boast their ego. Often times you don’t see it coming until a friendship is lost.

  • June 30, 2017 at 4:45 am

    thank you fr the post really interesting….very informative.

  • June 11, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Great source of information to know how and why people play mind games with others…Not a good thing to do, because these mind players are the ones with their messed up mind!

    • July 18, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      That isn’t entirely fair. We use our brains in different ways after all, we are all different. I agree when mind games are used for self-gratification but what about people who only know to communicate this way and are actively seeking to change that?

  • July 18, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Please can you write this for someone who is aware they are doing much of the above but completely unconsciously, and trying to stop.

  • July 28, 2018 at 9:00 am

    My adult step son called himself “punishing” us by keeping the grandkids away. Our crime….being retired and not wanting to spend all our waking moments babysitting his kids. Without prior notice on top of that. Don’t get me wrong, I love those kids, and have fun when I have babysat. I just never appreciated anyone feeling entitled to my time, and forcing their aganda on me. After a two year “ghosting”. my step son and his wife brought the kids back around. When their mother said to them …

    “go give your granddaddy a hug” at a family event, the kids ran to my brother. My step son later said to me how “hurt” he was that his kids did’t know their grandfather. Well, I said to myself, that’s the collateral damage sometimes in playing mind games.

  • April 14, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Someone is stealing from me and has been for 2 years. I can’t find out who it is by any means even with help from neighbors and my therapist. I call it mind games because “they” continue to steal personal sentimental items, they take “one” of 2 items, such as matching shams for my pillows 3 times, one shoe twice, put fingernail polish on a jacket, and when I got the polish out, stole that. Then items appear later. Another stolen jacket ended up in my back closet, along with shower curtains, towels, and curtains, after they were gone for over a year. There have been many such incidents. I can’t afford a smart phone or camera and can’t learn to use one. I am an artist. They steal my artwork. People think I am misplacing things. I am not . What kind of person does these things? Do they want to “drive me crazy”? Do they want me to leave my home? Do they want me to commit suicide?Are they on drugs really bad? My anxiety level is high from all this. I have put a $150.00 dead bolt on the door they are coming through.


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