Signs A Narcissist Is Playing Games And Why


Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a constant need for attention and admiration. Narcissists often manipulate others to meet their own needs and desires, sometimes resorting to playing games to achieve their goals.

In this article, we will explore signs that a narcissist is playing games and the reasons behind their behavior.

Signs A Narcissist Is Playing Games

1. They constantly seek attention – Narcissists crave attention and admiration from others. They often manipulate and game the people around them to achieve this. This can include acting very charming and interesting, boasting about their achievements or possessions, or creating drama to draw attention to themselves.

2. They twist reality – Narcissists are skilled at twisting the truth to make themselves look good or maintain control over a situation. They may play victim or blame others for their own mistakes or negative behavior.

3. They play games of power – Narcissists need to feel powerful and in control at all times. They may pit people against each other, lie to get ahead or use intimidation tactics to get what they want.

4. They use the silent treatment – Narcissists may use the silent treatment as a way to punish or manipulate others. By withholding attention or affection, they can control the behavior of their partners or friends.

5. They lack empathy – Narcissists are known for their lack of empathy and consideration for others. They may not apologize for their own negative behavior or express sympathy when someone else experiences a difficult situation.

Why Do Narcissists Play Games?

1. To get attention – As mentioned earlier, narcissists crave attention and admiration from others. They may play games to manipulate and control those around them and feel important.

2. To feel powerful – Narcissists need to feel in control at all times, and playing games is one way to achieve this. By manipulating others, they can feel like they are in charge of their own lives.

3. To gain control over others – Narcissists often manipulate situations to gain control over those around them. They may play games to keep people guessing or off-balance, which can keep them in a position of power.

4. To avoid responsibility – Narcissists may play games to avoid taking responsibility for their own negative behavior. They may lie, blame others, or twist the truth to avoid taking the blame for their mistakes.

How To Deal With A Narcissist Playing Games

1. Set boundaries – One of the best ways to deal with a narcissist playing games is to set boundaries for what behavior you will and won’t tolerate. This might include being clear about what you expect from them or limiting the amount of contact you have with them.

2. Stay calm – Narcissists love drama and conflict, so it’s important to stay calm when dealing with one. Try not to get upset or angry, and avoid reacting to their negative behavior.

3. Don’t engage in games – Avoid playing games back with the narcissist. Instead, focus on your goals and needs, and don’t get drawn into their manipulative behavior.

4. Seek support – It can be challenging to deal with a narcissist playing games, so seek support from friends, family or a therapist. Talking to others can provide perspective and help you manage the stress of dealing with a narcissist.


Dealing with a narcissist playing games can be challenging, as their behavior can be unpredictable and manipulative. However, setting boundaries, staying calm, not engaging in games, and seeking support can all help manage the situation. Remember, it’s not your responsibility to change a narcissist’s behavior – focus on your own needs and goals, and surround yourself with positive people who support you.


FAQ 1: What are some signs that a narcissist is playing games?

There are several signs that a narcissist is playing games, including:

  • Manipulating situations to gain control over others
  • Using gaslighting techniques to make others doubt their own perceptions
  • Playing the victim to gain sympathy or attention
  • Exhibiting grandiose behavior and exaggerating their achievements
  • Constantly seeking admiration and validation from others
  • Lacking empathy for others and disregarding their feelings or needs

FAQ 2: Why do narcissists play games?

Narcissists play games as a way to fulfill their unquenchable need for attention, admiration, and control. They thrive on manipulating others and creating drama to keep people engaged with them. Additionally, playing games can help a narcissist mask their insecurities and project an image of confidence and superiority.

FAQ 3: How can you protect yourself from a narcissist’s games?

To protect yourself from a narcissist’s games, it’s important to set boundaries and maintain a healthy level of skepticism when dealing with them. Trust your instincts and don’t let them manipulate you into doing things you don’t want to do. Additionally, seek support from friends, family, or a professional therapist who can help you deal with the emotional toll that dealing with a narcissist can take.


1. Bressert, S. (2021). 7 Signs of a Narcissistic Game. Psych Central.

2. Malkin, C. (2020). How to Spot a Narcissist Playing Mind Games. Psychology Today.

3. Durvasula, R. (2019). How to Tell If a Narcissist Is Playing Games or Not Interested in You. Healthline.