Mind games in the sense of the struggle for prestige appear in everyday life in the fields of office politics, sport, and relationships. Played most intensely perhaps by Type A personalities, office mind games are often hard to identify clearly, as strong management blurs with over-direction, healthy rivalry with manipulative head-games and sabotage. The wary salesman will be consciously and unconsciously prepared to meet a variety of challenging mind games and put-downs in the course of their work.
The serious sportsman will also be prepared to meet a variety of gambits and head-games from their rivals, attempting meanwhile to tread the fine line between competitive psychology and paranoia.
In intimate relationships, mind games can be used to undermine one partner's belief in the validity of their own perceptions. Personal experience may be denied and driven from memory; and such abusive mind games may extend to denial of the victim's reality, social undermining, and downplaying the importance of the other partner's concerns or perceptions. Both sexes have equal opportunities for such verbal coercion, which may be carried out unconsciously as a result of the need to maintain one's own self-deception.