Some guys are narcissists, some are self-centered, and some are controlling—even to the point of wanting authority over where you live, eat, and who you socialize with. Some don’t know how to express their feelings or be there for you emotionally. What do they all have in common? They are potentially toxic men, according to Dr. Lillian Glass, psychologist and author of Toxic Men: 10 Ways to Identify, Deal with, and Heal from the Men Who Make Your Life Miserable.
A toxic man is someone who doesn’t support you and makes you feel bad about yourself; he doesn’t encourage you, says Glass. But there isn’t just one type of toxic man, and talking about them isn’t all about male-bashing, says Glass. Rather, it’s about identifying the different personalities out there and helping women determine which ones are toxic for them.
Learning what it says about your personality if you’re attracted to Mr. Wrong is just as important as calling out all the things that are wrong with him (if not more). They come in all shapes, sizes, and aspects of life. And it’s important to realize that what is toxic for one woman is not necessarily toxic for another. For example, some women can tolerate a guy who is narcissistic and controlling, while others can’t:
It’s not just men who are toxic, and I even hate to say that this is a fault. I think we do this subconsciously, it’s something we’re drawn to or we’re relating to something that happened in childhood. Sometimes there is a feeling that we can change a man or our love is stronger than everyone else’s or it will be different this time. Some women can even feel desperate because they don’t have a man. But I really hate to blame the woman. It’s really the relationship that’s toxic, not the man or the woman.
Why do women get themselves involved with a guy who is bad for her in the first place? Many of them are unaware at the time, explains Glass. Some women may say, OK I know he drinks a lot and I know he’s self-destructive, but I’m going to be the one to fix this. Many intelligent women fix things in their lives, whether they’re a teacher, psychologist, doctor, lawyer, etc.
A lot of well-accomplished women get involved with a man who is toxic for them. They feel like they can fix things in their professional life so they should be able to do so in their personal life too.
According to Glass, there tend to be 11 different types of toxic men out there. Here are five of the most common and what they say about the women who are attracted to them:
While it may seem like opposites attract here, Glass says it’s not about that at all.
It’s not about likes or opposites, it’s about what’s toxic to you. Some women don’t want a real emotional guy, so the emotional refrigerator guy is a perfect match. The good news is, if you find yourself in a relationship with someone who is toxic to you, you don’t have to walk away. There are options to deal with him and ways you can handle it.