Mind games

Playing mind games (also power games or head games) is the largely conscious struggle for psychological one-upmanship, often employing passive–aggressive behavior to specifically demoralize or dis-empower the thinking subject, making the aggressor look superior.[1] It also describes the unconscious games played by people engaged in ulterior transactions of which they are not fully aware, and which transactional analysis considers to form a central element of social life all over the world.[2]

The first known use of the term "mind game" dates from 1963,[3] and "head game" from 1977.[4]