8 Dangerous Mind Games That All Narcissists Play

Last updated by Katie M.

People with narcissistic personality disorders love playing games because it reinforces their sense of control and validates their need to pull the strings. Now, the idea of playing games may seem fairly harmless and innocent, but the truth could be further away from the reality when these manipulative personalities are involved. Indeed, narcissists are always one step ahead of the rest of us, which makes it difficult to recognize when they are toying with people. So, to open your eyes to what they are truly capable of, discover the lengths they’ll go to, to remain on top.

8 Dangerous Mind Games That All Narcissists Play

Now, I don’t want to alarm you, but narcissists are among some of the most dangerous personalities you can ever come up against. The stark reality is that they are such slippery characters that manipulation is in their DNA, meaning they can’t resist playing a few devious games to get what they want. (This might be the point where you get scared) They are so good at what they do, that picking up on their toxic behavior isn’t always straightforward.

8 Narcissist mind games these devious bullies use 

1) Victim playing

Playing the victim comes naturally to fully-fledged narcissists and allows them to drum up support for themselves. By adopting the victim mentality, these manipulative parasites believe they can ditch the bad guy label and make themselves out to be the person who has been wronged. Plus, adopting this daring stance will even make the real victim in the situation question themselves and their behavior. This is one of their favorite manipulation tactics and gives them the leverage they need to take control of the narrative. Indeed, it gives them the upper hand and makes them seem inoffensive.

2) Blame shifting

The simple truth is that narcissists never feel guilty for their actions and are completely void of any semblance of empathy. Their innate traits mean that they are certainly not above accusing their legitimate victims of negatively impacting their mental health. No matter what type of relationship you have with one of these deceitful rouges, they’ll never hold their hands up and face up to what they have done. Whether they’ve cheated on you, or broken your trust, you can be sure that they’ll never accept the consequences of their actions, or admit they are in the wrong. For them, the buck always stops with someone else, and nothing is ever their fault.

3) Ghosting

As master puppeteers, these folks love pulling the strings, especially when it comes to dating and romantic relationships. Now, in reality, these people just aren’t cut out to love wholesomely or to enjoy healthy relationships, however, that doesn’t stop them from promising their victims the world. You’ll notice that I chose the word victim above and not partner, well that’s because that’s exactly what narcissists are looking for. After all, finding someone you can toy with makes cutting communication and ghosting them so much easier.

>>> Discover 8 reasons why ghosters always come back

4) Love bombing

Love bombing is a form of covert emotional abuse that those in relationships with a narcissist are often subjected to. Love bombing consists of making people feel good about themselves and showering them with gifts and compliments, with the aim that showing them affection will make them lower the boundaries. After all, when the boundaries are forgotten about, manipulation and control become so much easier to activate.

5) Emotional manipulation

Emotional manipulation is used by controlling people to seize power over someone else. In the case of a narcissist, they are most likely to use this head game to savagely convince people that they have feelings for them and that they love them. Now, they rarely use violence, but their dishonesty and general bad behavior are powerful enough to disarm the folks they have contact with. The bottom line is that they will do, say, and claim anything to get what they want, no matter how ludicrous it may seem from an outsider’s perspective.

6) Passive-aggressive behavior

When it comes to passive aggression, the aggressor will never voice the negative feelings they are experiencing, however, they will always find indirect ways to imply that they are unhappy. This covert mind game will lead to gaslighting and when it is done relentlessly, it could even result in victims believing they are at fault for their puppeteer’s dissatisfaction. This underhand tactic may seem pretty inoffensive, although, in reality, it is one of the most damaging that exists.

7) Self-esteem reduction

In order to keep people around and ensure they don’t escape from their clutches, narcissists play mind games to slash people’s self-confidence. Plus, nothing is out of bounds for them, meaning they won’t hold back in criticizing your weight, your appearance, your dress sense, or your intelligence. Their narcissistic rage means they’ll say anything to completely destroy any shred of confidence you have…

8) Triggering you

Anything goes when it comes to getting a reaction out of you. A narcissist’s ultimate goal is to control, therefore triggering people is a tactic they use to get them to lash out and feel worthless afterwards. Of course, after their victims let rip, they’ll decide to make them feel bad and victimize themselves, as a means to emotionally blackmail. And, they are excellent at analyzing people’s characters, that they immediately identify weak points.

What are the signs a narcissist is playing mind games with you? - 5 Give away indications

Here we are dealing with elite manipulators, who are so skillful and talented in the dark arts that they make acknowledging the reality of their actions and motives very complicated. That being said, despite their abilities to dissimulate the truth, they can’t disguise all of their toxic behaviors, meaning there are some telltale signs that they are toying with you. Here are 5 signs a narcissist is toying with you;

  • 1) You constantly question yourself
  • 2) You never know where you stand
  • 3) Your gut feeling tells you something is wrong
  • 4) Your version of events is always wrong
  • 5) His promises and actions don’t align.

How do you outsmart a narcissist?

When faced with a narcissistic person trying to manipulate you, it's important to remain calm, confident, and in control of yourself. Here are some ways to outsmart and deal with manipulators:

  • Be aware of their tactics: Understand the common manipulative tactics used by narcissists, such as gaslighting, devaluation, and projection. By being aware of their strategies, you can better protect yourself and avoid falling into their traps.

  • Remain firm and assertive: Assert yourself and clearly express your limits when trying to outsmart these devious personalities. These folks may try to destabilize you by questioning your confidence or making you doubt yourself. Stand firm in your convictions and don't hesitate to defend your rights and opinions.

  • Don't engage in pointless debates: These manipulators may seek to provoke you into endless debates in order to manipulate you emotionally. Choose your battles wisely and don't get involved in discussions that won't lead to anything positive.

  • Set clear limits: Set clear limits on what you will and won't accept from the abuser. Be prepared to walk away from the relationship if it becomes toxic.

  • Take care of yourself: Manipulation can be emotionally draining. Make sure you take care of your well-being by seeking support from friends, family, or qualified professionals.

How do narcissists control your mind?

A narcissist can exert control over his or her victim in many ways, using manipulative and abusive tactics. Here are some common examples of control a narcissist can exert:

  • Emotional manipulation: Narcissists are often skilled at manipulating their victim's emotions. They may use flattery, guilt, promises of reward or punishment to get what they want. They can also play on their victim's feelings of fear, insecurity and dependency to maintain their hold.

  • Social isolation: These folks may seek to isolate their victims from family, friends and loved ones. They may criticize and devalue external relationships, sowing doubt and uncertainty in the victim, in order to make them dependent on their own support and control their social network.

  • Financial control: They may seek to exert control over the victim's finances. This can include restricting access to financial resources, controlling spending, manipulating financial decisions and even direct financial exploitation.

  • Emotional isolation: Narcissists may be emotionally unavailable, insensitive or even cruel to their victims. They may ignore or minimize the victim's emotional needs, devaluing, criticizing and humiliating them, which can weaken the victim's self-confidence and self-esteem.

  • Physical control: In the most serious situations, a narcissist may exert physical control over his or her victim. This may include direct physical violence or physical threats to maintain submission and fear in the victim.

How do you know if a narcissist is playing you? - 5 Signs

There are several clues that can help you recognize that a narcissist is playing with you and your feeling. This can be done through actions, or through the favorite phrases of manipulators. Here are the telltale signs to look out for.

1) They target weaknesses

Manipulators know how to spot the other person's weaknesses and press where it hurts in order to take better advantage of the person. They intentionally hurt by playing on weaknesses and negative emotions, such as fear, stress, etc. Weakened, the victim will be even more malleable.

2) They lie

In any manipulation, there is often a cover-up. The narcissist lies by omission or without expressing his real intentions in order to incite or force the other to react as he wishes. For example, he will ask for one thing in order to obtain another.

3) They become a chameleon

In order to seduce and win over his victim, the narcissist goes so far as to melt into his mold. He tries to resemble him in the way he expresses himself, dresses, or behaves. The "victim" will be attracted by this disturbing resemblance. She will let her guard down. The dissembler takes advantage of this bond and this sympathy capital to rush into the breach and exploit the vulnerability.

4) They blow hot and cold

Like the narcissistic pervert, who is a type of manipulator, the manipulation comes subtly after a game of seduction. Charismatic, the manipulator compliments and knows how to seduce in order to attach the person. Then comes the time for criticism. The problem is that this perverse mechanism is presented in such an ambiguous way that it becomes difficult to get a handle on it.

5) They are never clear

The manipulator does not communicate clearly, but in a vague way. He takes circuitous routes to achieve his goal. He/she may even use an intermediary, a third party, or someone close to him/her whom he/she trusts, for example.

Here’s what silence does to a narcissist

Silence will only make a narcissist more determined to tear you down. When you give a narcissist the silent treatment, it will only make them more bitter towards you, plus, it may give them more ammunition in their path towards destroying you. They say that at certain points, silence and distance make the heart grow fonder, however, in this case, that’s simply not true. Narcissists need to be the one deciding to put an end to the communication, otherwise, they’ll completely hit the roof and become even more diabolical. If you want to get rid of a controlling personality from your life, the best way to do it is to be upfront and open about your actions. Being honest will ultimately protect you from these devious personalities, as it will limit their anger.

Editor’s opinion - Boundaries are key!

Setting boundaries is the only weapon strong enough to fight against these malicious games. By establishing where your comfort ends, you’ll send clear signals to potential abusers that you can’t be messed with or controlled for that matter.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy… Let’s do it here and now!


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  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
  15. With Or Without YouU2
  16. HelloAdele
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
  19. WingsBirdy
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

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