Stop the madness! The game of Life and Love is far too short to spend time on one who devalues you. Think twice before teaming up in any kind of relationship with an insecure man who plays one of these three mind games.
Three Types of Mind Gamers To Avoid
1. Blame. Words can hurt as much as the proverbial sticks and stones, especially if these words are frequent and yet unpredictable. People point the finger to get the upper hand, much like they keep a poker face in a card game. Blaming and projection may be largely subconscious, but that makes them even more dangerous to a relationship. Blamers lack self-esteem, yet they don’t want to admit it, so they must find fault with you instead of looking at themselves. Chronic words of blame start a game that will only produce two losers, although the person blaming the other thinks they’ll come out the victor.
What to do if someone is blaming you for everything: First, get some perspective. Take time alone or talk to a friend, coach, or therapist about what part you may be taking in all of this back and forth name-calling. How much are you responsible for? Are you more often the blamer or the blamee? If the latter, then act like a scientist and gather concrete data on when the blame happens. If it’s when you’re trying to get closer, or when you’re feeling especially great about yourself or having a really good day, have a talk with your friend or partner. If the conversation produces more blame from them, it’s time to leave.
2. Shame. A close, more subtle cousin of blaming, shaming is on the rise these days, especially on social media. However, shaming in a relationship can become toxic. People can shame you without any action on your part. They can call you and insinuate you’re even breathing wrong. Shamers are often co-dependent. They want to tear you down to build themselves up, and they shame you to manipulate you since they’re afraid to lose you if you discover that you’re better than them at something.
What to do if someone is shaming you in a relationship: Don’t buy into shame, just walk away. The shame game is a very poor relationship tool. It means we’re not owning our own stuff. It comes from a place of desperation and fear. Shame also creates a vicious circle of co-dependency. We become too afraid to leave our partnership, office or friendship, while they continue to make us feel less-than so we won’t leave. Don’t engage! If the shaming is chronic, permanently distance yourself, emotionally and physically.
3. Fame. Often the people who blame and shame us are quite successful because their own self-blame results in perfectionist tendencies. Their external glitter is what attracts us in the first place. Blamers and shamers don’t want to fail, and their self-esteem is often so low that they can’t admit it. They may lie, make excuses, and throw their problems at others — all so they can keep these festering feelings of inadequacy a big secret.They feel like impostors up there on their starlit stage, and they will do anything not to fall off the pedestal we — and probably many others — put them on.
What to do if someone is using you to boost their own ego: You may sense the sadness and underlying angst in people who want to blame and shame us. You may want to help them because you care. You may make your own excuses for them. You may make suggestions, and they may intermittently reward you with a shower of attentive affection. If you’ve told friend or partner how their actions make you feel, saying something like, “When you yell at me, I feel disrespected,” yet their hurtful actions continue, especially if you begin to feel you’re being manipulated, their low self-esteem is chronic, they need some serious help that you can’t deliver.
Bottom Line: If your boss treats you this way, start looking for another job. If your friend or partner refuses to look in the mirror and stop playing these mind games with you, you MUST let go. And years from now, your life will be lighter and happier so you’ll be glad you did. All that will remain in your heart is your shared love and the self-love and self-respect you’ve regained.