Don’t be fooled, you are not the exception.

How will you know if you have a toxic person in your life? Let me introduce to you the three most common mind games of toxic people and feel free to judge for yourself.

Please, make sure, once this person proves to be toxic, not to convince yourself you can change him or her. Because, unless you are a professional therapist, it’s hardly unlikely for you to impact his behavior.

They have personality and mental disorders and they need professional help. The last thing you need is to ruin yourself by trying to figure out him/her and giving your all in order to help them.

Now that we have that clear, here are the three mind games toxic people play with you.

 

Game #1: Gain, Preserve or Acquire Control

Toxic people are all about control—if they don’t have control over other people, they have nothing.

If they can elicit a particular response from you or move you to do what they want, this gives them the feeling of power that they are looking for. This makes them feel like they are in control over the situation and it also gives them the feeling of power over you.

What’s the story behind this? Toxic people need to have control everywhere, but if they can’t get it wherever they want it, they’ll double the dose on you. So if they can’t have control at work, they’ll search for it elsewhere—ergo they’ll make up for it with you.

Pay attention if you’re purposely giving the control to satisfy the person playing the mind game or are you being manipulated?

 

Game #2: Guilt-Tripping

Toxic people need to have you inferior since that’s the only way to make them superior. By making you insecure, they feel more confident.

Unless you do what toxic people want you to do, they’ll make you guilty. They’ll call you names and they’ll be able to bring you down or to make you believe that you’re doing something wrong.

Instead of openly saying: I have a problem with you doing that, he can accuse you of being frigid in order for him to get more sex or she can accuse you of being sexist in order to make you behave the way she wants you to.

Either way, it’s an unhealthy way to express feelings or emotions and you don’t want to be the victim of such a mind game.

See also: 5 Things Toxic People Do To Destroy You

 

Man leaned against the wall smoking and woman leaning on desk

 

Game #3: Shaming and Disqualifying

Toxic people heal their complexes by bringing other people down. They only feel good if people they’re surrounded by feel miserable and they’ll do everything to build such an environment for themselves.

People who play shaming mind games try to express their anger by looking to catch you doing something they consider inappropriate. They’re just waiting for you to make a mistake so they can shame you or point out how what you’re doing is wrong. If you mention something related to religion, for example, it could be that’s all they’ve been waiting for to make you feel ashamed of your beliefs.

Also, they are very good at disqualifying people. It’s a method of saying something hurtful to someone and then, when they become hurt, doing a double-whammy by making it seem as if they didn’t at all mean what you thought they meant. It’s often followed by “Sometimes you’re so over sensitive.” or “It was just a joke, chill.”. They are disqualifying you at first and after that, they’re insulting you. It’s like they purposely hurt you twice.

Are you sure you want to handle these things or be surrounded by this kind of people?

Although you may be a victim of a toxic person, don’t forget there is a huge possibility that a toxic person is a victim of another toxic person and it just goes round and round. You can’t change them, but you can try to help them because they truly need help. There are people qualified to deal with such issues and the best you can do, if you don’t feel like losing that person, is to hold his/her hand during the process of realizing they have issues.

But, if they don’t want help, don’t stick around long enough to be intoxicated by toxic people. You owe yourself much more.

See also: 4 Elegant Ways To Get Rid Of Negative People