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19 Mind Games Men Play (And What You Can Do About It)

Last updated on June 14, 2022 by Sonya Schwartz

Have you ever noticed that the men who complain the most about women playing “mind games” are the SAME people who play those games the most often?

It's typically insecure men that play mind games with women because they ultimately want control.

If you’re playing along with his mind games and you’re always on the loser’s side, your man is dominating your mind.

But why do men so desperately want control over what we think?

My personal experience has been that men play mind games when they’re hiding something and they don’t want us to know about it.

It’s in a man’s best interest to keep his woman in the dark so that he can have his cake and eat it too.

I know it sounds harsh, but sometimes that “cake” is another woman who he is seeing behind your back.

The best way to figure out what’s really going on is to quickly put his name in a tool like this that instantly tells you everything that needs to know.



You may be shocked by the results you get as it digs up what he's been up to while with you.

Things like any dating profiles he's created, girls he's frequently texting and communicating with, and a whole lot more...

But if none of that is true, and your man is just acting suspicious, there may be some deep-rooted insecurity or ego that he’s scared of being exposed in the open.

It’s about time that you figured out how to beat your man at his own mind games and that you have the information to do so!

Once you've ruled out that there's actually not something more sinister behind the mind games he's playing with you, it's time to move on to the next step.

19 Mind Games Men Play

The same men that are constantly complaining that women play mind games usually happen to be the same men that play mind games. Men are notorious for playing mind games, whether it’s waiting longer to text you back or employing every strategy they can to make you think about them more. 

Some mind games have a malicious intent while others tend to be geared towards getting you to like them more. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the games that men play. 

Not all mind games are bad, just like not all men are bad. Sometimes, men play mind games because they really like you or they’re nervous. Other times, he’s simply not interested and doesn’t have the courage to tell you. These are the most common mind games men play, and what you should be doing in return. 

1. Blaming you

This is one of the most common mind games you’ll come across. Every time something happens, he’s quick to place the blame on you. If you mention that he seems distant, he blames it on you not texting as often. When you point out that he forgot something, he blames it on you because you should have reminded him. 

Men play mind games like this because they don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions. They may want to avoid conflict. More than anything, they want to simply move on from the situation. Instead, call him out. Let him know that it’s not okay to consistently play the blame game. 

2. Sending mixed signals

Boys tend to play a lot of games when it comes to attracting women, and this is one of them. It can be hard to determine if he’s interested or not. He texts you one day and then doesn’t say a word for four days. 

Men don’t always play games like this because they are entertaining several women. In fact, he might just be busy. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to come off as needy or clingy and push you away. Another reason is to make you chase them. Simply follow his lead. If he doesn’t text you, don’t bother texting him.

3. Making you feel guilty

This is a classic game that men will play to gain control in a situation. When you have a problem with something, they are quick to blame you. Guilt-tripping refocuses the argument onto you so that they don’t have to deal with it. It’s another way to shift things away from them and make it so that they don’t have to accept responsibility. 

Mind games like this one are common in insecure men or men that want to be in control. You’ll notice this one a lot in men that tend to be passive-aggressive because they use it to avoid conflict. 

4. Focusing on your failures

Men do this for a few different reasons. Successful men might pay more attention to your failures in life because they despise failures. Insecure men may do this to make themselves feel better. Either way, try not to let it bother you, and remember that you deserve a supportive partner. 

Instead, have a mature discussion about how his comments make you feel. Ask him to stop. He should respect your feelings and not do things that make you feel bad about yourself. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

5. Talking to other girls

talking to other girls

You’ll see men play mind games like this for a variety of reasons as well. Some men just want to talk to as many women as possible to stroke their own ego. He might be a player

On the other hand, this is a common practice, especially in the world of online dating. He may be talking to more than one woman to see who is best for him. It’s common for men and women to not be committed to just one person during the talking stage. 

Have an open conversation with him to make sure that you are both on the same page. 

6. They act flawlessly

These dates are simply perfect. While it might seem like this mind game is great, you need to remember that is just another of the mind games that men play. It’s because he likes you, and he is probably nervous. Let him know that such behavior isn’t necessary, and you want to be around him being himself. 

7. Using the silent treatment to win wars

When the two of you have a disagreement, he goes ghost. You won’t hear from him at all until you’re ready to apologize. Men tend to do this because they are manipulative, and it gives them the upper hand when you are in emotional pain. Let him know that you think he’s a great guy, but that the two of you need to work on using effective communication. 

8. Playing with your emotions

During the dating phase, he was the perfect guy. Then, as soon as you change your relationship status he goes from being a hopeless romantic to giving you the cold shoulder. Some men do this sooner and start to change as soon as you start to have feelings for them. 

It’s important to have a discussion with your man about this behavior. Ask him what he is looking for in a relationship. Inform him that you do not care to be in a relationship with someone that plays mind games. Carefully consider whether it’s better for you to change your status back to single. 

9. Attacking your appearance

Maybe he says negative things or tries to lead you on a guilt trip so that you’ll feel bad about yourself. This is a classic thing that most men with low self-esteem do. He’s insecure and probably threatened by your appearance. 

Tell him you think he’s a good guy, but moving forward you would appreciate him not saying things that hurt your feelings. Express that you think you are wonderful. 

10. He’s too much of a nice guy

hes too much of a nice guy

Have you ever met the fake nice guy? The one that’s just so nice to everyone and everything that happened was because of his ex-girlfriend. 

This is a huge red flag. Men like this like to play games because they are insecure, they want you to like them, and it’s a huge red flag that he could be abusive later on down the road. 

He wants you to feel bad for him so you’ll pay attention to him. Fake nice guys always have an agenda. Instead of showing interest in his sad stories, just walk the other way. 

11. He pretends to be an adventurer

His online dating profile will read that he’s a free spirit. He has some profession that is more than likely in the arts or somehow leads to him traveling the world. 

Men like this will plan the perfect date, but it’s all more than likely because they want to be laid. Girls slow things down with a guy that’s husband material, so he’s instantly avoiding that. 

To deal with this guy, have a conversation about what he’s looking for from the beginning. Don’t tell him what you want first so he can’t copy what you say. 

12. The qualifications game

This is when men play games that involve them acting like you don’t meet their qualifications. He might say that he only dates brunettes, for example. He’s trying to make you chase him. 

Instead, turn things around by stating that you heard brunettes tend to also prefer brunettes if he’s blonde. Sound sweet and endearing. Then, he will take the bait and start to prove himself to you. It’s a great way to turn the tables. 

13. The copycat game

This is also referred to as the chameleon game in the world of dating. This guy pretends to be everything that you are or that you want. If your past relationship was abusive, this guy is kind and sweet. If your past relationship was boring, he’s exciting. When you like something, he loves it. 

This is a more common game that you’ll see when men want to have sex with a girl. To see if it’s one of the mind games that men play or if you really have a lot in common, throw him a few random questions. Tell him you love a band, and when he agrees it’s a fabulous band, ask him what his favorite song is. 

You may also be interested in: 3 Easy Ways to Find Out If He's Cheating On You

14. He gives you everything you want

If you’re interested in seeing a new movie, he’s ready to buy tickets. He’s got the perfect date planned out in his head. Anything that you need, he’s ready to be your knight in shining armor. 

Men who play this game are doing it for a reason. It’s because there may be an unspoken IOU. Most women will feel obligated to return the favor by giving men what they want, which is typically sex. 

15. Pretending to have connections

pretending to have connections

Boys do this with girls to act like they have something to offer. For example, a guy that is interested in a girl who happens to be a songwriter might pretend that he has connections in the music business. 

Then, the girl will chase him. Most girls might fall into thinking that they will make their way to the top if they give this guy sex. In reality, he has no connections. 

If you meet a guy that is playing this game, avoid talking about a relationship. Don’t get nasty with him. 

Instead, stay in contact just enough that you should have access to those connections to see if he’s legit. Men that are genuinely interested in talent won’t be focused on sleeping with you. 

16. Ultimatums

Guys that play mind games with women are notorious for having ultimatums. He doesn’t do this to hurt you, but men who play this game don’t seem to care if your feelings are hurt. 

They are doing this to have control over the situation. Instead of a rational talk with you, it’s their way or the highway. 

Don’t engage with men who play this game. Let him know that you would like to work on communication and being able to compromise. Avoid giving in to his games. 

17. Pretending to leave

During dating, this will involve talk of him thinking you should see other people. In a relationship, it will consist of breaking up or threatening to break up. 

Don’t fall for their trap. Instead, let them know that if they are not happy they are more than likely to leave. This is just a game that they are using to keep them in control of the relationship, and that’s not what you want. 

If you notice that you seem to keep falling for men who play games like this, check out this article to find out why. 

18. Comparing you to his ex

While some men do this because they are still in love with their ex, it’s far more common for men to do this to keep you in a place of fear. You’re scared that he still has feelings for her, so you chase him. You do everything possible to keep him. 

That’s what he wants, and why he plays this mind game. 

Instead, let him know that you agree with him. His ex is very pretty, smart, etc. Then, resume your daily routine. The less bothered you are, the sooner he quits playing this game. 

19. He needs help

We all know of women that play the victim role so that a man will do something for them. However, there are also plenty of men that play this game. They are sick or injured to make your maternal instincts come out. These men need your help and are willing to manipulate you in order to get it. 

Avoid this man. You can’t build empires with someone that is just dragging you down, and that’s exactly what this guy will do. 

FAQs

How do you know if a guy is playing mind games?

When a man is playing mind games, you’ll find yourself feeling emotional and confused. You don’t know what he wants, or where you stand. Perhaps you feel angry and confused more often than not. Boys play mind games to make you feel this way so that they can get what they want. 

Do guys play mind games if they like you?

Yes, men do tend to enjoy playing games if they like you. In this situation, mind games are games to get you to pay attention to them or chase them. They might be playing mind games to get sex, even though they still like your personality. 

What are mind games examples?

There are tons of games men play that you will run into. They play hot and cold to string you along or talk to multiple women. There are mind games insecure men play that are designed to control you, such as being mean or saying negative things about your appearance. 

How do you play mind games with a guy?

Play mind games with a guy by not telling him what you want, and by sending him confusing signals. Make him feel guilty when you do something wrong. Give him the cold shoulder and refuse to communicate. He’ll either leave or you’ll gain control. 

How do you tell if a guy is playing with your emotions?

Pay attention to his actions instead of his words. His actions will tell you whether he genuinely cares about your feelings or is just telling you what you want to hear in order to achieve his hidden agenda. Then, trust your gut. It won’t lead you astray. 

In Conclusion

Mind games that men play tend to be geared towards making you want them, controlling you, or making you chase after them so that they can have the power in the relationship. What are some other mind games you’ve seen men play?

How to Finally Fix Your Relationship

Since your relationship is unique, the most important thing is that you use a tailored approach to tackle your relationship issues.

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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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