The Narcissist Game – It’s Your Move

I often felt as if I was in a real life board game, like some sort of freaky Science Fiction movie where a mad man has aBoardGamesSelection huge board game and moves real people around the board and the players have to figure out who is lying, who is telling the truth and anticipate the other player’s next move.

A combination of:

Poker – You have to have something to invest and be willing to lose it and when you do lose it you invest more trying to win back what you have lost. Many people lose everything they own, their families, jobs, and eventually their self-worth

Clue – You are given a scenario and have to try to prove who killed the butler with a candle stick in the library only in this game you have to figure out who screwed the maid when you weren’t looking and if you got an STD ,

Board_Game_SorrySorry – You move around the board by shaking the dice and hoping you land on a good spot but the opponent has loaded dice and always lands on your square sending you back home. They say Sorry but they don’t really mean it because if they can knock you off your spot they win.

 Monopoly – You get to buy and lose property, go to jail and sometimes even draw cards from the community chest. It can go on for hours and when you land on Boardwalk and buy it you find out he owns Park Place and the new rules say that if you land on Boardwalk when he already owns the other property you must give the property to him. Don’t argue, it’s in the rules, didn’t you read the rules? it’s not his fault you are too stupid to read the fine print. But you say, “I didn’t see any rules, you told me the rules and they keep changing.”

Aggravation – just when you think you have figured out how to play the game the opponent changes the rules of the game and you don’t have any say in the matter. You have put all the clues together and you are sure this time you have solved the puzzle but the opponent denies that is how you play the game, you lose and have to start the game over again. They might even threaten to send you to jail and in this game he holds all the “get out of jail free” cards.

Scrabble – Just to make it really interesting throughout the game you have to try to make sense of words your scrableopponent throws at you. He twists your words or uses a play on words so they have double meaning and you think he said one thing but he swears you misunderstood. When you talk he twists what you say and you say you said one thing but he says; no you didn’t you said this…  The opponent keeps coming up with words and phrases that don’t make sense and you say, ‘That isn’t a real word” but he just laughs and says it is. You start to think you and your opponent must be talking a different language.

The rules of the game are always changing, it’s ok for the other person to cheat and there is never a winner. Like the gambler in a casino that has lost his whole pay cheque and is willing to mortgage the house because he is sure the next roll of the dice will pay off and he is going to win it all back and more; it is all but impossible to walk away.

The game starts innocent enough: it’s a new game to you, one the narcissist wants you to play but you trust him and the rules seem simple, you even go over the rules to make sure you understand how the game is played. It’s similar to other games you’ve played so you figure, “What have I got to lose, this could be fun and if it isn’t, I can always walk away, right?”

You both start off from the same spot and take turns rolling the dice, you must have something to invest in order to play the game but he tells you that he has stuff to invest in the game also and you believe him, he says you get your money back later in the game. But it doesn’t take too long before you realize that every time he passes go you have toring pay him $200 but when you pass go you have to pay him $200. When you point out that it doesn’t seem very fair he gets angry and says to “just play the game, you haven’t been playing long enough to see how it all work.”

He assures you that you will get your turn and if you play well you get the big prize.

You don’t want to be accused of being a poor sport so you continue to play.

As you go around the board you collect the clues (a love letter to another woman “accidentally dropped by him”, a photo of another woman, strange phone calls) Finally you have enough clues you are confident you have figured out the game he is playing so you confront him. But he changed the rules, you aren’t allowed to accuse him of anything, he only did those things to see if you were paying attention. He gets angry at you for not playing fair, you are really confused because you thought you knew the rules and were playing fair but you ask him to refresh your memory; what were the rules again?

He gets frustrated and tells you the rules again, but they are different from last time. You are sure you heard him right but maybe you misunderstood so you start the game again, playing by the new rules. Again you collect clues and you are sure you have it right this time but NO, again he says that you are too stupid to play this game, can’t you understand simple rules? Forget it! he doesn’t want to play with you any more. You say, “Wait! I know I can figure this out, let me play a little while longer, besides you said that I would get my money back if I played long enough.” He rolls his eyes and says, “OK, but you have to play by the rules and now you have to pay a penalty for not playing the game like I told you to. But don’t worry, I am sure you are going to win something soon. Just put another $200 in the pot.”

It doesn’t seem to matter how you play or what moves he makes, you are always losing, he goes to jail you pay $200 to get him out, you pay him to go past Go, you buy property he keeps it, you get to roll one dice, he has two, he gets to move in any direction on the board but you have to stay in one spot or go backwards. It is the craziest game you have ever played but you’ve invested so much money now and he keeps saying you are learning and to try harder, it’s going to pay off soon. Sometimes you make a good move and he is so excited for you, you think well maybe I am getting it, maybe I will win, or at least it will be a tie.

woman pieceSometimes you are sure he has brought someone else into the game, you could swear you saw their game piece on the board, they were the dog. But when you look again they aren’t there, you ask him if he has asked someone else to play and he calls you crazy and paranoid and you think maybe you are. You are so tired and confused by this game, maybe you are seeing things. You tell him you just want to take a break from playing and rest for a while and he says ok but it never stops. If you don’t play he rolls your dice for you and moves your game piece for you so you start playing again hoping to just break even and get the hell out of there.

You realized you are hooked on the game, determined to figure out the rules and put all the clues together and once you do then he will have to admit you played the game fair. But as soon as you have it all figured out he throws the game in the air and rages at you that you cheated, and he refuses to play with you ever again. He can’t believe you did that to him, cheated when all he wanted was to play a nice game, why did you have to make it so difficult?, he has played the game with other people and they always understood the rules why was it so hard for you to just play the game?

go to jailHe is disgusted with you. He is taking his game, (and your money, Boardwalk, and Park Place,) and sending you back home, do not pass Go do not collect $200. Loser!! You just sit there and think about what you did and if you are lucky he will come back and let you try the game again, but you had better play by his rules, he is about done trying to play with you. He has found the perfect partner, she understands the rules and she plays fair, not like you.

You say “Fine, I am sick of this game anyway, just give me my money back and I’ll go away, you can play with someone else.”

He just laughed at you and sneers, “You really are stupid aren’t you? Do you really think you can play with the devil and get your money back? you really are pitiful.”.

You are confused, “You never said I was playing with the devil, had I known that I never would have played.”

He rolls his eyes and in exasperation says, “Exactly! are you dense?, why would I tell you I am the devil, the game wouldn’t be any fun that way.”

28 thoughts on “The Narcissist Game – It’s Your Move

  1. Tracy

    This is such a good analogy. It actually hurts to read some of these examples knowing how long I sat at the game tables scratching my head trying to figure out the ever changing rules to the game and the strategy he was using to collect piles of stuff every time I passed go.

    One of the rules that seemed cruelest to me was the one my ex invented in scrabble where he got double points every time he claimed he never used that word. And even worse yet, he got triple the points for every word I used that he claimed he never heard. The only way I could score any points at all was if he said I used that word, and even though I was shouting them out and tapping at the board furiously like a crazed lunatic, he would stare up at me with those big blue eyes and that innocent childlike face and seem completely dumbfounded at how he could have missed that word, and the one before that and the one before even that.

    There is one game not mentioned, yet it was one my ex particularly liked. It is called Risk. Of course he loved it, it was a game where you attacked other players and took over their countries one by one until you achieved total world domination. I never knew he was playing the secret mission version of this game. I never got any mission cards. In fact I never got any armies, artillery, or infantry either. I had but one strategy available to me and it was one of just trying to stay ahead of his ever advancing attacks. Funny thing was there was never any risk in this game for him. But I digress!

    Thanks Carrie for pointing me to this post. I had not seen it before but I certainly can relate. I love the way you see things and apply them to your experiences! You have a wonderful gift and I am glad to be rid of all these games at last!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Narcissist Handbook | Ladywithatruck's Blog

  3. Mary Langner

    Great article! At the end, I was playing poker, trying to recoup my losses, possessions and self esteem. Total lack of empathy, a mountain of envy and the mind of a six year old and we are the stupid ones! Sure, whatever these slimballs want to think. And all the time I felt sorry for him because he was mentally ill. He knew exactly what he was doing. It is harsh to think someone would treat you with such venom. But they do. If I saw him today I would spit in his freaking face. Just before the police came and arrested him for violationing the restraining order. Educate yourself and WIN!


  4. Pingback: Dealing With A Narcissist Is Not Child’s Play | Ladywithatruck's Blog

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