Here are 50 examples of behaviors that could be perceived as “playing games” in the context of relationships or interactions, along with the nature of the strategy, the reason it might be considered as playing a game, and a specific example of what she might say:

  1. Playing Hard to Get
  • Strategy: Acting disinterested or unavailable.
  • Why: To increase her perceived value or to test interest.
  • Example: “I’m really busy this week, maybe some other time.”
  1. Sending Mixed Signals
  • Strategy: Alternating between warm and cold behavior.
  • Why: To keep someone guessing and maintain control.
  • Example: “I had a great time last night!” followed by days of silence.
  1. Flirting with Others to Invoke Jealousy
  • Strategy: Flirting with others in front of a partner.
  • Why: To seek attention or test their partner’s reaction.
  • Example: Laughing excessively at someone else’s jokes while her partner is watching.
  1. Ghosting and then Reappearing
  • Strategy: Ceasing communication suddenly and then reinitiating contact.
  • Why: To gain power by creating a sense of uncertainty.
  • Example: Disappearing for weeks, then texting, “Hey, stranger!”
  1. Withholding Affection
  • Strategy: Intentionally not being physically or emotionally available.
  • Why: To punish or manipulate behavior.
  • Example: “I don’t feel like cuddling tonight.”
  1. Guilt-Tripping
  • Strategy: Making someone feel guilty to control their actions.
  • Why: To manipulate situations to her advantage.
  • Example: “If you really cared about me, you wouldn’t go out with your friends tonight.”
  1. Being Overly Critical
  • Strategy: Constantly criticizing to lower self-esteem.
  • Why: To maintain dominance or control in the relationship.
  • Example: “You’re wearing that? You don’t look very good in it.”
  1. Playing the Victim
  • Strategy: Portraying herself as the victim in every situation.
  • Why: To gain sympathy or avoid accountability.
  • Example: “You’re always attacking me, I can’t do anything right.”
  1. Gaslighting
  • Strategy: Making someone question their own reality or sanity.
  • Why: To gain psychological control.
  • Example: “You’re being paranoid, that never happened.”
  1. Baiting with Anger or Drama
    • Strategy: Provoking arguments or emotional reactions.
    • Why: To create drama or test the partner’s commitment.
    • Example: Starting a fight over something trivial.
  2. Making Unreasonable Demands
    • Strategy: Asking for things that are excessive or difficult.
    • Why: To test limits or establish dominance.
    • Example: “If you love me, you’ll move to a new city for me.”
  3. Passive Aggressive Behavior
    • Strategy: Expressing negative feelings indirectly.
    • Why: To express dissatisfaction while avoiding confrontation.
    • Example: “Fine, do whatever you want.”
  4. Using Sex as a Weapon
    • Strategy: Withholding sex or using it to manipulate.
    • Why: To control or punish.
    • Example: “Maybe I’ll be more interested if you start doing more around the house.”
  5. Over-Sharing to Test Boundaries
    • Strategy: Sharing too much too soon.
    • Why: To gauge reaction or push boundaries.
    • Example: Discussing marriage or kids on a first date.
  6. Feigning Helplessness
    • Strategy: Pretending to be unable to do something she can.
    • Why: To test willingness to help or commitment.
    • Example: “I just can’t figure this out, can you do it?”
  7. Ignoring or Delaying Responses
    • Strategy: Not replying to messages or calls promptly.
    • Why: To seem busy or sought-after.
    • Example: Taking hours or days to reply to a text.
  8. Comparing to Exes or Others
    • Strategy: Frequently comparing her partner to others.
    • Why: To create insecurity or competition.
    • Example: “My ex would never have done it that way.”
  9. Sudden Mood Swings
    • Strategy: Rapidly changing emotions without clear reason.
    • Why: To keep the partner off-balance.
    • Example: Switching from affectionate to distant abruptly.
    • Playing Dumb
      • Strategy: Pretending not to understand something she clearly does.
      • Why: To avoid responsibility or see how much she can get away with.
      • Example: “I had no idea I wasn’t supposed to do that, you never told me!”
    • Manipulating Social Situations
      • Strategy: Acting differently in public to influence perceptions.
      • Why: To control the narrative or maintain a certain image.
      • Example: Being overly affectionate in public, but cold in private.
    • Overreacting Deliberately
      • Strategy: Exaggerating her reaction to test response or gain attention.
      • Why: To manipulate or escalate a situation for her benefit.
      • Example: “You forgot to call me, you must not care about me at all!”
    • Using Ultimatums
      • Strategy: Issuing extreme demands or threats.
      • Why: To force a decision or assert control.
      • Example: “Marry me, or I’m leaving you.”
    • Intentionally Misunderstanding
      • Strategy: Pretending to misunderstand what is said.
      • Why: To avoid addressing the real issue or to deflect blame.
      • Example: “Oh, I thought you meant next weekend.”
    • Shifting Blame
      • Strategy: Redirecting fault to others.
      • Why: To avoid taking responsibility.
      • Example: “It’s your fault I was late; you didn’t remind me!”
    • Pretending to Be Interested in Something
      • Strategy: Faking interest in a hobby or topic.
      • Why: To appear more compatible or to gain favor.
      • Example: “I love football too!” when she actually has no interest.
    • Dropping Hints Instead of Being Direct
      • Strategy: Using indirect suggestions instead of stating needs or wants.
      • Why: To test if her partner can figure it out or to avoid direct confrontation.
      • Example: Sighing over a jewelry ad instead of discussing a desire for a gift.
    • Changing Plans Last Minute
      • Strategy: Frequently altering plans without notice.
      • Why: To test flexibility or to maintain a sense of control.
      • Example: “I know we had plans tonight, but I’m going out with friends instead.”
    • Withholding Information
      • Strategy: Deliberately not sharing important details.
      • Why: To maintain an upper hand or create a sense of mystery.
      • Example: “I’m going out” without specifying where or with whom.
    • Testing Loyalty
      • Strategy: Creating scenarios to test her partner’s loyalty.
      • Why: To gauge commitment or provoke reassurance.
      • Example: “If I got a job in another country, would you move with me?”
    • Exaggerating Emotional Distress
      • Strategy: Overstating feelings to elicit a reaction or sympathy.
      • Why: To manipulate emotions or situations.
      • Example: Crying over a minor disagreement to gain the upper hand.
    • Using Friends or Family as Leverage
      • Strategy: Involving others in personal disputes.
      • Why: To rally support or to put additional pressure.
      • Example: “Even my mother agrees with me on this.”
    • Feigning Ignorance About Technology
      • Strategy: Pretending not to know how to use technology.
      • Why: To avoid tasks or to test patience.
      • Example: “I don’t know how to set this up, can you do it?”
    • Creating Unnecessary Emergencies
      • Strategy: Fabricating crises to test reaction or availability.
      • Why: To assess dedication or to manipulate availability.
      • Example: “I need you to come over right now, it’s an emergency!” when it’s not.
    • Changing Appearance Drastically
      • Strategy: Making sudden, significant changes to her look.
      • Why: To gauge reaction or to reinvent herself for manipulation.
      • Example: Completely changing her hairstyle or fashion style without discussion.
    • Using Children or Pets as Pawns
      • Strategy: Leveraging kids or pets in arguments or decisions.
      • Why: To manipulate emotions or outcomes.
      • Example: “If you leave, think about how it will affect the kids.”
    • Overemphasizing Past Traumas
      • Strategy: Repeatedly bringing up past difficulties.
      • Why: To gain sympathy or to justify current behaviors.
      • Example: “I act this way because of what I went through in my past.”
      • Intentionally Leaving Things Ambiguous
        • Strategy: Being deliberately vague about feelings or intentions.
        • Why: To maintain control and keep options open.
        • Example: “I’m not sure what I want right now.”
      • Sudden Withdrawal of Support
        • Strategy: Abruptly stopping support or encouragement.
        • Why: To destabilize or regain control.
        • Example: “I used to support your dreams, but I’m not sure anymore.”
      • Frequent Testing of Boundaries
        • Strategy: Continuously pushing limits to see how much can be tolerated.
        • Why: To explore weaknesses or assert dominance.
        • Example: Constantly doing things she knows are just on the edge of unacceptable.
      • Demanding Constant Reassurance
        • Strategy: Requiring frequent validation of her worth or the relationship.
        • Why: To affirm her position or due to insecurity.
        • Example: “Do you really love me? Tell me again.”
      • Playing the Peacemaker Role Unnecessarily
        • Strategy: Inserting herself as the mediator in others’ conflicts.
        • Why: To gain a sense of importance or control.
        • Example: “Let me handle this, I know how to make everyone happy.”
      • Frequent Self-Victimization in Arguments
        • Strategy: Turning the tables to appear as the victim during disputes.
        • Why: To deflect blame or criticism.
        • Example: “You’re always attacking me, even when I do nothing wrong.”
      • Subtly Undermining Partner’s Confidence
        • Strategy: Making small, negative comments that erode self-esteem.
        • Why: To maintain an upper hand in the relationship.
        • Example: “Are you sure you can handle that? It seems a bit much for you.”
      • Creating Unnecessary Competition
        • Strategy: Comparing her partner to others to create a sense of rivalry.
        • Why: To motivate certain behaviors or create insecurity.
        • Example: “Why can’t you be more like [someone else]?”
      • Deliberate Miscommunication
        • Strategy: Twisting words or playing dumb to cause confusion.
        • Why: To avoid responsibility or create an advantage.
        • Example: “I thought you meant something else when you said that.”
      • Intentional Public Embarrassment
        • Strategy: Embarrassing her partner in public.
        • Why: To assert dominance or control.
        • Example: Making a derogatory joke at her partner’s expense in front of friends.
      • Constantly Changing Standards
        • Strategy: Frequently altering expectations or rules.
        • Why: To keep the partner off-balance and continuously trying to please.
        • Example: “I liked those kinds of gifts before, but now I expect something different.”
      • Using Social Media to Manipulate Perceptions
        • Strategy: Posting misleading or provocative content online.
        • Why: To incite jealousy, garner attention, or manipulate public image.
        • Example: Posting ambiguous pictures with others to invoke jealousy.
      • Setting Traps in Conversations
        • Strategy: Asking questions or making statements to trap her partner into an undesirable response.
        • Why: To gain leverage or prove a point.
        • Example: “So, you probably think I’m overreacting, right?”
      • In each of these examples, the underlying strategy often involves manipulation, control, or testing boundaries. These behaviors can be seen as “playing games” because they often involve indirect or dishonest methods of interacting or communicating, which can lead to confusion, frustration, and mistrust in relationships. It’s important to recognize that healthy relationships are built on honesty, trust, and direct communication, and such game-playing behaviors can be detrimental to relationship health.

About the author

Shiva Rajaya

Tantrika / Life coach / Activator of new evolutionary codes for the planet and humankind