7 psychological games people play to keep you trapped in their web of deceit

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Have you ever felt trapped in someone’s web of deceit? Like you’ve become a pawn in a psychological game?

Let me tell you something.

This isn’t just a feeling, it’s a reality for many people. Mind games are real, and they can be as entangling as a spider’s web if you don’t know what to look out for.

If you’re asking yourself “Am I being manipulated?” or “Am I being played?” then stick around. We’re about to delve into the seven psychological games people play to keep you ensnared in their web of deceit.

Remember, knowledge is power.

Let’s shed some light on these dark tactics.

1) Gaslighting

Ever heard of the term “gaslighting”?

This is one of the most sinister psychological games out there. It’s a form of manipulation where the perpetrator tries to make you question your own sanity.

Imagine this.

You’re sure you remember an event a certain way, but someone insists that you’re wrong. They tell you it didn’t happen like that, and you must be misremembering.

Over time, this constant doubt being sown can cause you to lose faith in your own memory and perception. You start questioning your reality, and that’s when they’ve got you trapped.

2) The guilt trip

We’ve all been there, right?

One of my personal experiences involves an old friend of mine who had a knack for making me feel guilty about things that were not my fault.

I remember this one time – I had planned a weekend getaway after a particularly stressful week at work. My friend knew about this but still asked me to cancel my trip to help him move apartments. When I politely declined, he started saying things like “I thought you were my friend,” and “I’ve always been there for you, can’t believe you won’t do the same.”

I was left feeling guilty, even though I knew I shouldn’t have been.

That’s a guilt trip for you – a classic psychological game where someone intentionally makes you feel guilty to get their way. Don’t fall for it!

3) The silent treatment

Now, this one really gets under my skin.

I once dated someone who wouldn’t communicate whenever we had disagreements. Instead, they would go completely silent, ignoring my calls and messages.

By doing this, they had me wrapped around their finger. I’d find myself heartily apologizing and trying to win them back, even when I knew I wasn’t in the wrong.

A manipulative tool designed to make you feel desperate and willing to bend over backwards for them. If you find yourself facing this psychological game, remember: communication is key in any relationship.

4) Playing the victim

Ever met someone who’s always the victim, no matter what the situation?

This psychological game is cunning and often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. The player positions themselves as the victim, making you feel like the perpetrator.

I once had a coworker who was an expert at this. Every time she missed a deadline or made a mistake, she’d spin a story about how it was someone else’s fault. And somehow, I’d end up feeling bad for her!

Be wary of chronic victims. It’s usually just a ploy to avoid responsibility and manipulate others into feeling sorry for them.

5) Love bombing

This one’s a real doozy.

Love bombing might sound like something pleasant, but it’s far from it. It’s a psychological game where the manipulator showers you with affection, only to take it away abruptly or use it as leverage.

What’s fascinating is that love bombing is often used by cults to attract and control their members. It’s intense, it’s confusing, and it can leave you feeling reliant on the validation of the person bombarding you with ‘love’.

If someone in your life is hot and cold with their affection, beware. You might just be a target of love bombing.

6) Projecting

There was a time when I was constantly accused of being jealous and insecure by a close friend. It was hurtful and confusing, especially since I didn’t feel that way.

Only later did I realize that it was my friend who was dealing with those insecurities and simply projecting them onto me.

Projecting is a psychological game in which people attribute their negative feelings or faults to others. It’s a defense mechanism that can be damaging if you’re on the receiving end.

7) Triangulation

Triangulation is probably one of the most damaging psychological games out there.

In this game, a third person is brought into the dynamic of a two-person situation. This could be in the form of an ex-partner, a friend, or even a family member. The manipulator uses this third person to create rivalry, jealousy, or animosity.

The goal? To gain control and keep you off balance.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where someone is constantly comparing you to another person or pitting you against others, take a step back. It’s likely you’re being subjected to triangulation.

Taking control

If you recognize some of these games being played in your life, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. This is a harsh reality for many.

But here’s the silver lining – understanding these games is the first step to disentangling yourself from them. Knowledge truly is power.

Start by reflecting on your relationships. Are there patterns of manipulation? Do you often feel confused or doubting your own reality? Are there people who consistently make you feel guilty or inferior?

Recognizing these patterns is crucial. Only then can you start to break free from this web of deceit.

It won’t be easy, and it won’t happen instantly. But every step you take towards recognizing and rejecting these psychological games is a victory.

It’s okay to prioritize your mental health and wellbeing. It’s okay to establish boundaries and distance yourself from those who engage in these manipulative tactics.

With time and effort, you’ll find yourself stronger, wiser, and less susceptible to these games.

So take a deep breath, stand tall, and start reclaiming your peace of mind.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.

Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.

With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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