The meme above shows some mind games that make you feel awful. Mind games may not seem to be a pattern in a loved one or friend. The person who makes you feel awful may claim to be a perfectionist, or a super sensitive person, or a person who feels wronged by life. But what is underneath the behaviors that hurt? Is your loved one insensitive, selfish, a narcissist? Where substance or alcohol disorder creates family dysfunction, this kind mind games may be a form of manipulation to get money for drugs, or to defect the addiction. All of these behaviors are hurtful, but some are downright dangerous.

Mind games that make you feel awful are a form of control

Negative humor may be cultural. Sarcasm, or dry humor, that hurts is common in some cultures, but considered offensive in others. But negative humor can also be a way to break down your self esteem and make you unsure of yourself. When you are unsure of yourself, you can be controlled more easily.

When you’re unsure, you’re vulnerable in so many ways. Gaslighting is a clear way of making you feel unstable, as if you’re sinking in quicksand and can’t get yourself back to the truth. It’s only the other person’s truth that matters. You can’t argue with a gaslighter. A gaslighter, or a person who uses negative humor or temper tantrums will always project the blame onto you.

Can you admit a person you love may be hurting you on purpose and then blaming you for feeling bad? If you can never win, you may be living with a narcissist.

If someone in your life says you’re being hostile and you’re not, you have to defend yourself. If someone throws a tantrum because of…whatever, you’re put in a position of having to placate that person. If that person give you the silent treatment and you don’t know why, you’re off base and isolated.

The ultimate goal of mind games is to control you

Always be safe. Find friends, or support groups, or family members to help you deal with people who hurt you. 100 Tips For Growing Up has simple tips and journaling to help you find yourself again.


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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass became a recovery advocate and co-founder of Reach Out Recovery in 2011, encouraged by her daughter Lindsey who had struggled with substances as a teen and young adult. Learning how to manage the family disease of addiction with no roadmap to follow inspired the mother and daughter to create Reach Out Recovery's website to help others experiencing the same life-threatening problems. Together they produced the the 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World of Recovery, and the teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, distributed by American Public Television. Leslie is also the creator of Recovery Guidance, the information website for those seeking addiction and mental healthcare for professionals nationwide. In her career, Leslie has worked in advertising, publishing, and magazines as a writer of both fiction and non fiction. She is the author of 9 bestselling crime novels, featuring NYPD Dt.Sgt. April Woo. Leslie has has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and as a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation. For from 1990 to 2017, Leslie was the Trustee of the Leslie Glass Foundation.

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