Toxic people are master game players. To help you spot some of their more common strategies, here are three psychological warfare techniques they like using on their victims.
Gaslighting is a technique where someone makes you believe you’re crazy (it’s named after the play Gaslight). This can involve putting you down. keeping information from you, doubting your version of events, trivialising your opinion or feelings, lying to you and calling you a liar.
Toxic people want you all to themselves. In their warped minds, you can possibly like or devote your time and attention to more than one person. They also need to ensure their control remains intact – and that no one else influences you, and encourages you to have confidence in your own thoughts or opinions.
So toxic people and abusers will often isolate their victims. And they’ll do so subtly and progressively, making it hard to spot.
3) Love bombing
Sometimes a toxic person realises they’ve pushed you too far, and that they risk losing control of you. In these situations they start a love bombing campaign.
This campaign can involve showering you in complements and affection. Doing thoughtful things that show they really care, and make you feel bad for doubting them or considering breaking contact.
They may buy you thoughtful gifts, or arrange trips to somewhere or something they know you’ll like. Love bombing feels heady and makes you feel special to that person; that’s its intention.
However, love bombing doesn’t last forever. Once the toxic person realises you’re safely back in their psychological grasp again, they’ll cease and return to their old abusive ways.