Mind Games in A Relationship: Reasons, Signs, Deal

You know you are in a toxic relationship when your partner plays unnecessary mind games with you. Giving in to their wickedness will take a toll on your mental health and lead to ugly fights in the future. Here’s everything you need to know about mind games in a relationship.

Reasons why your partner is playing mind games:

They want things from you.

If your partner is playing mind games with you in the relationship, they want a specific response from you. Instead of saying it directly or expressing what they need, they try to make you realize their expectations yourself. That way, they get what they want without even asking for it.

They love manipulating and misleading you.

Your partner loves it when you get very upset about something they want you to react to. Watching you respond to their cunning mind games gives them a sort of mental satisfaction. This is extremely unhealthy and will eventually ruin your mental peace if you don’t address it right away.

They want to believe that they are in control.

Your partner plays mind games because they want to believe subconsciously that they are in control of this relationship. You do as they say, you think how they want you to, and they can manipulate you whenever and however they want to. They know that they have a firm hand.

They want to make you feel submissive.

They are playing a mental challenge in this relationship that you aren’t even aware of. By playing mind games and knowing that they can easily manipulate you to suit their needs, they feel dominating and always try to make you feel weak. This leads to poor self-esteem and low confidence.

They want to feel important.

Most people who play mind games suffer from insecurities. By playing hard to get for no reason, manipulating others, and taking control over their partner in a relationship, they just feed their ego and make themselves feel important. This is neither good for them nor for the people around them.


Ways to make someone feel important:

  • Tell them directly that you adore and respect them.
  • Give them a warm hug when they are feeling low.
  • Compliment them when they do something nice or deck up.
  • Make active gestures to show that you care a lot.
  • Always have time for them.
  • Be a good listener and hear them out.
  • Be interested in their life and what they want to discuss with you.
  • Follow up with their daily life.
  • Tell them that you believe in them and that they are doing great.
  • Be their biggest supporter and help them achieve their goals and passions.

Signs of mind games in relationships

They will confuse you.

A manipulating partner will always keep you doubting about the relationship and what they feel about you. No matter how much you guess, there is no correct answer. They like to know that you are always unsure and, therefore, are most likely to seek constant validation and appreciation from them.

You begin doubting yourself.

The most alarming sign of your partner playing mind games is when you start doubting your capabilities or underestimate yourself. They make you think that you are not good enough to deserve them or you are not committed enough to this relationship. Therefore, you are constantly trying to please them.

They always blame you for everything.

This is another mind game strategy. Your partner will blame you for all relationship issues or even their personal issues. They will make you think that it is your responsibility to own up to the mistake and fix it. They are not only being unsupportive but also ruining your self-confidence.

They don’t hesitate to make you feel bad.

You know that your partner is playing mind games when they don’t hesitate to question your capability or make you feel bad. These people will definitely misuse your vulnerabilities to establish their dominance in this relationship. You will never have their support and motivation when you need them the most.

They will hurt you deliberately.

To satisfy their ego and believe that they can manipulate your emotions anytime, they will hurt you intentionally. They relish the fact that something they said or did makes you feel bad. This kind of sadistic approach is very common in people who constantly play mind games in their relationships.

They manipulate you through other people.

Your partner will not often play mind games directly. They might do it through other people so that they don’t look like the villain. They will talk behind your back with your close friends and loved ones, knowing that whatever they say will ultimately reach you, and you’ll feel hurt.

They will make you a liar in the relationship.

Manipulative partners don’t hesitate to accuse you of things you haven’t done or said and then make you appear as a liar when you don’t agree to it. This is all a part of their constant psychological battle in this relationship, and they want to control their thoughts and emotions.

They are jealous of you.

Instead of being proud and supportive of your good qualities and achievements, they are jealous of you. They don’t want you to be the bigger and better person in this relationship and, therefore, start playing mind games to ruin your success or break your confidence so that you give up.

They draw unrealistic comparisons.

A manipulative partner will constantly try to establish that you will never be capable of being the perfect partner for them. Therefore, they will compare you with other people and make you feel bad. Instead of embracing your unique personality, you will start to hate yourself for never being adequate.

They are always at the center of attraction.

This relationship isn’t about two people, and it’s always about them. Only their opinions and feelings matter because they are the dominating partner. Such people play mind games to place themselves at the center of attraction. So, instead of focusing on your own growth, you are constantly devoted to them only.

They influence your decisions.

If your partner is constantly playing mind games in this relationship, you will eventually never have an opinion of your own. They get to make decisions for you, and even your feelings are influenced by them. You no longer believe in yourself and only trust their judgment in all matters.

They are always playing hard to get.

Your partner gets upset and plays the silent game with you, and you have to keep pestering them to open up. Sometimes, they are deliberately doing this because they are playing hard to get. Knowing that someone validates you and would do anything for you kind of feeds their ego.

They never discuss themselves.

If you notice that your partner always wants to know everything about you but never reveals too much about themselves, know that this is also a part of their mind games. They are not letting their guard down because they want to establish their dominance over you in this relationship. 

You don’t belong in their life.

Your partner goes to important events and parties without you and then takes you out on a romantic date. This is a clear sign that they are trying to manipulate you. You become confused as to what this relationship means, and they get a chance to mess with your mind.

They try to make you feel envious.

Manipulative people love to have attention. So, your partner might be playing mind games to have constant validation that you are completely dedicated to them. So, they will make you feel jealous by flirting with other people or avoiding you for no reason. They just want to test your commitment.


Signs someone envies you secretly:

  • You can feel that their praises are fake.
  • They try to imitate everything you do.
  • They try to shift the limelight towards their achievements.
  • They constantly try to mislead you.
  • They try to make you feel uncomfortable by asking weird questions.
  • They are relieved when you mess up.
  • They make excuses for their inappropriate behavior.
  • They have a constant inner competition going on with you.
  • They are experts at judging your decisions.
  • They try to take credit for your achievements.

How To Deal With Mind Games In A Relationship

Express your feelings openly.

It’s important to let your partner know that you are aware of their mind games. Expressing that their behavior hurts or offends you helps you understand if they are doing that intentionally or not, giving you the closure you need to decide if you want to stay in this relationship.

Address their mind games directly.

Beating around the bush and waiting for your partner to realize that they’ve hurt you is useless. Let them know that their mind games and manipulative strategies only make your relationship toxic. Put them on the hot seat and don’t let go until they own up to what they do.

Take advantage of awkward silences.

When your partner is trying to manipulate you verbally, create an ambiance of awkward silence so that their words sink in and they realize how hurtful or insulting they are being. This is a great way to reveal to your partner that you see their manipulation, even without saying anything.

Reciprocate their body language.

Sometimes, you must take severe measures to take your stand and point out to your partner that they can’t treat you rudely. Try copying their body language; mirror their actions and behavior. This will help you be comfortable in a situation that they deliberately want to be toxic and difficult.

Stay away from them for a while.

If confronting them or having peaceful discussions doesn’t solve your problem, create a distance from your manipulative partner. Stay away from them, and let them feel the physical and, most importantly, the emotional distance you are consciously maintaining. This way, they know that you are aware of their mind games.

Prepare your way out of these mind games.

Dealing with mind games is a tricky business, and it’s not very busy to come out of a manipulative relationship. You have to be patient while making important decisions and dealing with a controlling partner. Don’t rush into the process; simply create your boundaries and avoid being influenced by them.

Consult with a therapist.

If your partner refuses to work on his manipulative nature or stop playing mind games, they probably have a twisted personality, something you can’t deal with alone. In such complex cases, you must go to a professional therapist who will help your partner open up and deal with their issues. 

Always be careful about people who make you question yourself.

How can you be around someone who criticizes you enough to make you doubt yourself? Creating self-doubt is one of the prime strategies of mind games, and it can ruin your self-esteem forever. So, always be street clear of someone who is trying to influence how you think and feel.

Always be alert for aggressive behavior.

If your partner’s mind games lead to physical or emotional abuse, you have to protest against it immediately. You cannot let someone victimize you so that they can satisfy their ego. No matter what, an abusive attitude should never be tolerated, even if it is from a very close one.

Identify the most trivial form of mind games.

We often neglect the manipulative behavior of our partners because we love them and are committed to this relationship. But if you overlook the trivial mind games, they will lead to bigger things because your partner starts taking you for granted. Recognize the minutest manipulative behavior and protest against it.


Nobody wants an unsupportive and motivating partner whose contributions to this relationship are mind games and blame games. If you want to protect your mental peace and not be in a toxic relationship, you have to protest against such manipulative behavior and let them know that you won’t accept ill-treatment.


Signs that a guy is being honest with you in a relationship:

  • You can tell that he has comfortable body language around you.
  • His actions match his words.
  • He maintains eye contact while talking.
  • He will never dodge your question about something.
  • You have a gut feeling that he’s good.
  • He is transparent about his life.
  • He is willing to talk about his weaknesses too.
  • His language is free and truthful.
  • He is never vague about things and answers specifically.
  • He is not afraid to open up about his feelings or express his opinion.

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