They love playing games and pushing buttons. It’s good to know the games but then forget about it. What I found works well is if you take them for real and keep respect unless it gets too absurd. It is tempting to react to the communication under the radar in whatever way. But this is exactly where you gotto block. They hope you pick up on it and dock.
It is similar to being unconditioned to their stuff. As if you were naive. Just that it is too late for that. But it isn’t. You just block it out because you may have enough of it, find it lame. The one thing that may keep you from doing this is because you may feel you look dumb or so cause they really make it obvious and they know that you got it.
A mindset for that would be: I know you play games, I know your games. I’m tired of it. I chose to not let it happen in my reality. Effectively it is reverse gaslighting side-effecrt wise. This way you communicate higher vibe, just not with words cause they lead into games. And you would communicate that you know what they do but you find it lame yet atst that’s also a reaction which is rather subtle though.
On top of it you could even give them your reality, treating them with respect and genuine. Now to them you look like a huge fool, so don’t look at yourself through their eyes. It is about that we do need to express who we are in order to stay connected to ourselves. Since your communication includes at the basis “It’s lame” or “do not want+plus respect ” it loses its foolish touch when you would i.e. genuinely thank them for something. For some things this is better done assertively other things it may work being totally genuine. Who knows, this way they may even remember who they were or actually feel foolish for playing these games. One just doesn’t have to expect anything cause then you would get disappointed. It is all done from a mature attitude and framed like this.
Lets take an example:
You do know what *obvious thing* is do you? (often prior to that you asked them to explain something that didn’t make sense and now they attack to defend)
reaction 1: surprised, falls for the suggestion, playing dumb or justifying
reaction 2: Of course i do (biting back), maybe a mix of fear and anger, leads into their game
reaction 3: feeling attacked, hit but acting as if not…they realize that and take that as a hit/food
reaction 4: genuine unbiased anger or speaking up, deals with emotions, liberates, not always best choice but also underused
reaction 5: looking at them genuinely surprised because you set your mind to taking them for real and reply Of course with an understood intonation. But it doesn’t have anything of Are you stupid ? in a biting back way in it. It just makes them feel like it as a side-effect. They may think that you are actually playing them when you are not doing that.
You can see them being upset when something they tried failed, which is proof they tried it in case you were not sure.
or whatever else reaction, like maybe something more assertive: Look!, … .
Now it my sound easy but it takes practice and especially through imagination, situations from your past or anticipated ones. And I don’t recommend trying the genuine thing in the beginning. It just matters to block that under the radar communication. It includes things as not laughing when laughing would mean to get something underneath, then not to feel bad for not laughing and also to not fall for feeling like you play them and smile undernearth it. That would actually be them playing you then.
Surely it’s normal to communicate on both levels in fact the actual communication of course is between the lines BUT they have 2 different things on both channels. Well actually this can also be playful but they act as if they are not communicating on one channel, actually robbing one of the actual important interaction where you would otherwise feel eased up and trusting. And all that could go as healthy anger into the attitude to have counter energy.