Sometimes you just simply don't see it coming. Your happily playing the game, unaware of the dark forces hiding, changing and controlling in front of you. The brain can be easily tricked and disoriented, interfering with your way of seeing. It happens in the work place, in society, in politics and in your personal relationships when someone is trying to manipulate your perception of reality. The colloquial term used to describe this systematic psychological manipulation of a victim is 'gaslighting' (taken from the 1938 stage play and 1944 film with Ingrid Bergman). The abuser uses persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction and plain old fashioned lying in an attempt to destabilise you and sow the seeds of doubt in your beliefs. The abuser's goal is to make the victim second guess their every choice and question their own sanity. The abuser wants all control of your feelings, thoughts, or actions. They can abuse you emotionally in an hostile, abusive or coercive way. A tactic I have experienced is designed to degrade and target self-esteem, where the abuser will ignore, then attend to, then ignore again, so that you lower your personal bar for what constitutes affection and love resulting in a sense of being less worthy of affection. This isn't as simple as a kick to the head, a random act or a spur of the moment outburst. This is highly systematic, deliberate, well organised, a targeted method of interpersonal control which is designed to manipulate and shape the behaviour of others. Pre-longed exposure to these narratives which falsify realities can result in long lasting psychological disorders and even illnesses such as depression or a nervous breakdown. It is damaging to the brain, your identity, self-esteem, and self-worth, put simply it is a form of abuse an assault on your very being. So whether its gaslighting from Trump, Brexiters, colleagues at work, the media or your spouse, look out for the dark souls who play mind games.