5 Signs You’re Dating a Toxic Person

There are many dangerous qualities of a toxic person, but the worst one of all may be their deceptiveness.

They can be so subtle in their manipulation, you may not even realize what they’re doing to you, until you’re in too deep and they’ve completely eroded your confidence.

I’m not going to let that happen to you.

In today’s video, I take you through the 5 signs you’re dating a toxic person so you know exactly what to watch out for…

329 Responses to 5 Signs You’re Dating a Toxic Person

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  1. Penelope says:

    Thank you so much for this video on toxic relationships. You just described what feels like my life! What I have been doing for over a year now is working on myself to discover what it is about me that has attracted toxic partners and although it has been difficult to face my personal demons, I know now that when the next relationship happens in my life, it will be a healthy love.

  2. Selene says:

    That guy… seemed that really enjoyed to put me on the edge, or maybe test my patiente, made me feel like no one could have me because who I am. Then, when I was on that edge, he was the most cuddly man in the Earth… While I “adored” him because he was the only who could accept me…

  3. Clo says:

    Its awesome you always have the right words i need, but thanks for always pointing that we all have flaws and that does not prevent us for looking for a great relationship

  4. Pam says:

    Mathew, I sent this to a friend. He is divorced after 28 years!! She has a boyfriend and still calls him to ask if he misses her. He tells all new women he meets, “I love —–, he can have no female friends including me. He says he is protecting his family. Because of your video he recognized the toxic relationship. STILL WANTS HER BACK. wish you could talk to him or both of them, sssooo painful to watch for years and years.

  5. A says:

    Do you think that a toxic person can change?

  6. N Mason says:

    This I needed badly this morning. I am 2 days out from an 8 year toxic relationship. All 5 traits. I work in the Healthcare field where I take care if people everyday yet in this relationship all he could sat about me as that I was hateful, selfish and insincere. I am known by my family as one of the most giving, courageous and loving people. After 8 years of hearing these terrible attributes I was starting to believe it was me and I just didn’t deserve better. When I got strong enough to start standing my ground on some issues he told me I had to move out. So now I am 2 days out and was feeling pretty down because all I literally had done was voice my opinion on a couple if things and for that I had to leave because I would not cave to his opinions. This video made me see NO! It is not me. It is his toxic ways. I really needed this uplifting reminder of who the real me is. Thank you!

  7. Msbrina says:

    This applies to my ex-husband. I didn’t see it at first but learned as I got older. Especially the last point where they don’t celebrate your successes. he was jealous of what I accomplished in my life. He was also passive aggressive and mistook aggression as assertiveness. Everything was always his way. I got to the point that I felt like I was walking on eggshells, I went to bed crying and woke up with heart burn. I kicked him out 7 years ago. Last year I started dating a guy, after a month similar patterns start to show and i got the hell out of there. Of course I was the bad guy, the bitter woman, the self absorbed one, he was perfect, nothing wrong on his end. I am blissfully single right now.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Ah, such a great topic! I had a toxic friend I stopped speaking to about a year ago. The final straw was she used a compliment I gave her against me (my bad I only said it to encourage more of that kind of positive behaviour out of her, it totally failed), to pick a fight and tell me how I wasn’t a good friend during a time when I was at my lowest. Well obviously. I was told I was a negative, selfish person that needed to seek help during the period (over a year later) and that I wasn’t a supportive friend to her when she was going through her own crisis during that time. This was in a pub, where people were watching and while I was obviously angry and upset she continued to berate me about how she was embarrassed by me in that moment. After I took the high road and decided to try and enjoy the rest of the night, she then proceeded to bitch to me about her current work dilemmas for the rest of the night – approximately 3 hours worth of anger is a lot for anyone to receive.

    We were friends for a really long-time, and while most of the time I tolerated her and believed I didn’t have that much emotional investment in the friendship, when it came time to end it, it was much harder than I thought. I felt obligated and anxious for a while about what she might do (being she’s prone to revenge), and then all of a sudden the cloud lifted and I felt fantastic. The sensation of walking on eggshells disappeared. Immediately I realised it was the best decision I could have made for me, and probably for her if I was really such a negative person to her.

    Honestly most of the things she said during that night a the pub about me, was everything I thought of her and many of my friends who met her thought of her. I took the view that attempting to negotiate with her and feeding back my own criticisms and would seem churlish given they would be the same comments, so doing nothing in that situation ended up being the best strategy. Eventually she unfriended me and moved on. I think deep down I hoped I might have some kind of positive influence on her and she might grow out of it. My advice to you: don’t waste your time. Lesson learned

  9. Krysty says:

    That’s was incredibly insightful….thank you.

  10. Kristin says:

    Hi Matthew,
    I recently experienced this during my engagement to my ex-fiancé. He wanted constant reassurance even though he was dishing out low blows, trying to make me feel guilty for wanting something, like space if I needed time to think and regroup by saying “what about not letting the sun go down on our anger? No communication means no resolving of issues.” A person who wants to cool off before addressing conflict is a wise person. I wanted to ask, what about a person who does not take responsibility for wrong doing and places guilt on another person – isn’t that a toxic person as well?

  11. Starr says:

    Curious, are they toxic to everyone? I am starting to realize that my ex fits many of theses traits. However he said I brought out the worst in him. Is it me?? I would hate to the cause of all evil when j start dating again??

  12. Karen says:

    OMG. The first 3 signs you talked about just hit me hard. It is still hard to let go even though it’s just not working. WOW.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Matthew I started following you about 2 years ago, and I have found your advice invaluable. Even though I’m still single, it’s only because your advice has led me away from making the same mistakes as I have in my past relationships, and that’s a good thing. I feel a lot more informed when it comes to dating now, I am confident that following your advice I will find the right man for me. This video however has really shone a light on my sisters relationship for me….her bf is a dick (pardon my language but I like to call a spade a spade) We were friends before he started dating my sister 7 years ago and I knew he was a bit of a dick then but my sister seemed so blissfully happy that I kept my opinions to myself,and for a while it looked like it was going to work for them. However, of late my sister has been spending a lot of time at my mothers as the relationship is on thin ice. My sister is very private about her business, and well I don’t think she tells me much because she considers me to be a sanctimonious bitch when it comes to life and love… which admittedly Matthew, I can indeed be. But now my mum has told me what’s going on and it is breaking my heart. She already has self esteem issues that she will never admit to, but this guy is emotionally destroying her and I don’t know what to do. I love my little sister so much, she is beautiful, and kind and loyal and loving and this arsewipe of a man is what I would deem to be a sociopath…and yet she keeps running back to him. She has so much to offer in a relationship, she truly deserves to be with someone who sees how lovely she is and spends every day making her see it for herself. He has broken her down so much over the years, she has gained a lot of weight and lost a lot of confidence. I think she truly believes that if she doesnt have him no one else will want her, he has eroded her confidence that much…This is so hard for me because I won’t interfere but what I really want to do is go to him and give him a piece of my mind. She would never forgive me though, and so I bite my tongue even though it kills me. 2 years ago she started chef training, she has a natural gift in the kitchen, she is so talented with pastry and she was given the opportunity to work for a while in a Michelin star restaurant in Paris, I’m so proud of her, and yet in the beginning he went out of his way to sabotage her chances of even going to college. Thankfully on that one she put her foot down. I can clearly see she gets no support or encouragement from him, he is so damn selfish and arrogant and self absorbed…man I have to stop because its making me angry. Anyway,I have sent her this video today…I really hope you can reach her Matthew…I have every faith in you, I just hope she is ready to hear your message. I pray that you can get through to my little sister where the rest of my family have failed, I just want her to be happy. Thank you for making this video as it is short, sweet and very informative. I think you are a legend for what you do , and if it helps my wee sister to realise herself again I will be forever in debt to you (y)

  14. Cindi Greatsinger says:

    I was recently unfriended on Facebook by my male best friend who was so upset with me because I had to cancel taking him out for his birthday because I came down sick that day. When I got better, I called to reschedule and he was nasty/acting like a little kid. He never asked how I was feeling!! I tried discussing why that made him so angry. He hung up the phone and blocked me on Facebook. That was Nov 15 and today is Jan 18!

    • Reese says:

      That’s an extreme reaction on the part of your friend. It makes me wonder if there were other things that had happened that weren’t addressed and you canceling the birthday plans was the final straw for problems that had been long building. I say this because if the friendship is sincere and positive, then he’d understand that you’d only cancel an important event due to an emergency and he’d give you a chance to make it up to him. If you know you’ve been a true friend, that you’ve shown up for this person in their lives and he can’t show you grace or let you explain/apologize then it’s time to reassess the relationship and be ready to let it go.

  15. Jessica says:

    Hi! I heard you on the Elvis Duran radio show this morning. I loved listening to your insights on relationships. When you talked about toxic behaviors, the one where the person shows love when I’m at my weakest hits home for me. My fiance does a lot for us that shows me how much he loves me, but I would like him to be tender with me when things are good, too, not just when I’m a blubbering mess (whether it’s because of how I feel about some of his behaviors or if it’s because I’m down about something like our dog recently dying). All the good stuff about him heavily outweighs this one issue. I have faith this can be overcome. Do you have any suggestions of how to address it with him? Thank you for helping us out with all this love stuff!

  16. Haiho says:

    I wrote those five points down today. I’ve come back to this video many times since its release. I got so preoccupied every time I watched it!

    I’m commenting with a nonsense *name to stay anonymous – sorry.

    For me, this toxic people stuff is much tangled up with my family, the people I grew up with.
    I had to cut ties with them, which is really hard as it robs me of being a person who values family..
    Actually the only person involved, who knows by now what happened and whom I can ask if I’m crazy, is my therapist.
    I was so self-doubtful.. it took me years to realize that I have nobody on my side, and I’m not a bad person for needing that.
    Recently I read a phrase in the sense of ‘How can you want something you can’t imagine/ ask for something you don’t know’.
    I think that’s very true.

    I know by now that I couldn’t possibly have the standards required for healthy relationships as long as I stayed in my family relations.. if I accepted this, I’d get into relations with people who treat me the same way – I’ve been all the way down that road.
    ..huge knot to untie:/

    I cringed when words like ‘problem’ or ‘fault’ in this video came up, soo much..”but I shouldn’t have any problems that need to be solved, ever’
    No.3 was a big one for me..
    When I wrote it down it got to me and I broke crying, as this had been such a normality for me.
    (I didn’t bother anybody with it so it was OK)
    Repeating the first sentence of no.3 at the end is really closing the loop, great speech!

    Last fall, about the same time I found Matthew Hussey videos on YouTube, I read an article from Paul Bloom ‘against empathy’.

    I love Blooms article and still remember it, as for the first time I heard somebody putting the struggle I’d gone through into exact words.
    Well I just wanted to get this out here, and:

    THANKS for what you do, and for talking about all the aspects of human relationships.
    It made me feel more whole.
    For if we don’t look at what is wrong we cannot correct and make it good:)

  17. Lina Bousfield says:

    Thanks Mathew. I was not going crazy..everything you said applied to me. You gave me hope. God bless you

    • Karen says:

      It does feel like I am going crazy. I couldn’t figure out how I went from confident to clingy and insecure. I don’t even know when I list my confidence. Now I know how to get it back.

  18. rebekkah says:

    Amazing video, I have known I was in a toxic relationship for a long time now and have researched so much on it, but I have never found it defined so simply and yet so intensely. I am left truly feeling motivated and hopeful for change in my life finally understanding the full effect this toxic behavior has had on me. I have questioned my own sanity, intelligence and who I am at my core struggling to make sense of how my life become to be what it is today and the rollercoaster that I seem to to never be able to get off of. Finally I’m understanding the role and effect of toxic behavior in my life helps to clearly see the defining line of reality and illusion.

  19. Rena says:

    Aaaand…you just described my father…

  20. cindi mccready says:

    I have a very dear friend, who needs this advice. Are there any suggestions how I can help without being intrusive?

  21. Susanne Mc says:

    Oh Matthew!! “You should be here” ! After watching the toxic video the heart in my throat on the verge of tears feeling eased so much and is diminishing by the second… The toxicity in my relationship was like a leach.. And it sucked me dry and really fast.. He was my dream guy and he’s a good guy but not a good guy for me.. Thank you Matthew… For this advice and guiding me in my quest for the relationship I deserve and the one I still believe exists.. I will find it…

  22. Tricia says:

    Very powerful! Thankyou, Matthew!

  23. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much. I was with a man that “broke” me. It took me many years to stop my dependence on him. I think I actually still have PTSD from this man. He was controlling, criticized me at every chance, and had to call me 3 times at night at work (night shift), just to see what I was “doing”. He drove all of my friends and family away, and blamed me for not looking good or paying bills. We had a child together, and lived with my mother, but soon, he cheated on me and I threw him out. He tried to make himself the “victim”, and everyone fell for it. Then I was the “bad guy”. I have now and then had, anxiety issues and depression. I developed a very irrational fear of weather through the years we were together. I have medications, therapy, and am now married, but this butt-hole is still giving me nightmares.

  24. Sa says:

    Could you please make a video about pathological narcissistic partners? How to spot them before is to late? I understood they don’t change and they are all you want at the beginning. So it really help to learn how to avoid them or not to attract them. Thanks!

  25. Mira says:

    Oh my god, my mom is a lot like this to my dad. :( That makes me very sad and I’ve tried a million times to talk to her and tell her to not lash out at him all the time, to be more supportive and to take responsibility for her mistakes, but nope – nothing is ever her fault, nothing gets through to her. That messes up our relationship and I have all this resentment which makes me treat her worse than I’d want to.

  26. Emily says:

    Thank you Matthew! This made me realize I’m dating a toxic person (not that i haven’t thought about it before), we’ve been together for 6 years and it’s hard to deal with that situation because he has a nice side also. I’m a very confident person, so I don’t let any comments get into my head, but it’s not healthy to be with someone like that. I guess I don’t have the courage to leave him and I don’t know why, maybe I see the good in him. I love him, but I know this not good. I honestly don’t know what to do. :S

  27. Manon says:

    All I want to say to you right now is thank you.

  28. Missy cyr says:

    Dearest Matthew,
    After watching this video I am tearful and relieved to admit I was married to a toxic man for over twenty years. My late husband died suddenly of a heart attach last January. I have spent the first year learning to walk on my own two feet. Learning how to live without the constant jealous beratement and insecure outbreaks. Your video describes my late husband to a tee. I am reluctant to get involved with someone else because I know we tend to follow the same patterns. I have recently met a man who is the complete opposite of my late husband. He is kind and encouraging, confident and successful. I am 46. He will be 43 next month. He has never been married. He was in a 12 year relationship. A 7 year relationship and a 4 year relationship. Lived with two of the women but did not marry. Has no children. It concerns me that he never married. When asked he simply states that it just never was an issue. He is not toxic to me or to my two teen age boys. I am happy and laugh so much when we are together. It feels wonderful to be with a man and not feel. Like I have to duck my head down. I appreciate your eye-opening video. And would appreciate any advice you can give me for starting over. Especially with someone who never was married.
    Thank you for all your wonderful advice,
    Survivor of toxicity starting over

  29. Yuki says:

    Wonderful! Even my parents and brother become like that. They are insecure and they don’t like to see me as a talented person. I have to pray so hard to God to protect me from them. It is so obvious that they are happy when I am weak. I also had a guy friend 10 years ago, and he was like that too, actually he turns like that after I slept with him, oh it was so stupid. Other friends around him are like that, too, they are happy to be a better person than me. Why does this happen? It’s like they use me to become cool persons. How pathetic! I should have known this 20 years ago , this dilemma of realizing that they are horrible and being obliged to like them is so stupid!! Everyone has to stop this, it’s such a waste of time! I wish I had have this video 20 years ago!! Because kids suffer from parents with insecurity who live in fear and prioritise what others think of them rather than really caring them. It’s sad that they want them to be sadder than themselves, and I had thought that solving their problems for them in a way I don’t hurt their prides was a good friendship!! ahh! Thank you, Matthiew, for this great video.

  30. Jessica Sobel says:

    Very well said, this is a great video and a lot of these signs can lead to physical abuse as well as emotional.

  31. Tammy says:

    Great message! I especially like the part where you said that even though you are a confident person, your proximity to a toxic person will wear away that confidence. That you eventually start beleiving what that person says.
    I have experienced this in various relationships but now those red flags are dealt with right away. Thank you Matt for delivering this information because so many people have no idea it’s happening to them.
    Cheers to you!

  32. Ola says:

    What if that toxic person is your father? It took me years to rebuild my confidence. I still have in my mind crushing arguments which I’m ashamed of. It also took me some time to overcome all the grievance. I love him and he also try to show me his love but it’s so complicated. I don’t want to sever ties with him and I’m pretty sure he don’t want that either. But when we are together even if both of us try we argue very ofen and I know that my reactions are too emotional. He can hurt me so much. Matthew, if you could make a video with advice how to behave and how to talk with a toxic person if you can’t or don’t want to remove him or her from your life. How not to be so hurt and how avoid arguments, what to say to be understood in a proper way, how to draw boundaries. I’ll be so grateful for that. I think it could also be helpful for people who have a toxic boss or a colleague. Btw I appreciate what you are doing, Matthew :)

    • lm says:

      Yep, Ola –

      Now that people are starting to acknowledge that those toxic people can be in our own families, I’m sure you’re not the only one who needs this.

    • Nicole says:

      Hi Ola, (and Matt!)

      As unfortunate as the situation is, I was hoping someone would mention having trouble with toxic parents. I’m 24 and just started on the journey of separating myself mentally and emotionally from my abusive/toxic family- especially my narascistic mom.. I started to see a pattern in the types of men I attracted, because growing up in a home like that will train you to accept and tolerate abuse- just to continue the cycle into your relationships and eventually, future family. I started looking into dating & self-help books. I found Matt’s and it absolutely changed my life. Not only does he give great flirting/relationship advice, but the core of the book teaches you how to love yourself, so that when you do find yourself in an awesome relationship, you can give it your all. I’ve downloaded the audible app ($14.99/month) and you get free credits each month towards books (1 credit = 1 book). If you suspect you are dealing with a narsacistic person, the two most helpful books have been The Wizard of OZ and Other Narsacists, and the Sociopath Next-door. Both are hard to swallow, but they give great advice on how to communicate and live with difficult people at work, home or in relationships. If anyone would like to start a chatroom or email thread with more on this, my email is ngroshon@aol.com. Sometimes it’s hard to find support bc the people closest to you don’t see it like you do. Hope I could help.

      Best of Luck,

  33. Tia says:

    Hi Mathew & thank you for this video.

    The toxic kind of person you described was the exact description of my ex boyfriend whom I was with for 4 years, and this behaviour was to the extreme by the end. Its a dangerous situation to allow yourself to be in & I was sadly suffering from depression by the end. I fortunately got the strength to leave (a terrifying thing to do when your made to feel worthless) & 1 year on with a lot of help from your videos & ur book, I’m a very strong & confident person. I wish I had seen this video in the early days of my relationship so I could of recognised what was going on, I thank you for this video because I hope it will spare other girls the destructiveness that a toxic relationship can have.

    I also want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for me & what you continue to do for women all over the world. You may not know us personally but what you do makes an incredible difference to our lives.

    Thank you so much, Tia

  34. Ju says:

    I used to be that person! The video helps me reminding all the terrible behaviours and the person I definitely don’t want to be like…or with. You’re a genius Matthew, your stuff really helps improving life.

  35. Sya says:

    I just broke up with a guy I was dating for a month. Everything was going perfect then he started everything you mentioned in the video, attacking me verbally, making me feel insecure, accusing… while we were facing our first disagreement.

    At that moment I felt I had to literally escape, though the argument was about a little thing. I didn’t want to imagine what it could have been if we were to discuss more important issues.

    It’s important to have someone we can build with, not someone who will destroy who we are.

    Thanks for posting this video !!

  36. Cath Pearson says:

    so very accurate!! 12 months ago I left a toxic relationship of 18 years and for many months even his family were saying I was the problem it was my fault their son was hurting. But for years I felt I was living a roller coaster never knowing what I had done wrong as everything seemed to my fault!! the stuff about promotions was spot on as well as it became about how it was going to impact on him!! I have now slowly discovered my own life that is not dictated by self doubt and confusion. Glad you put it out there Matthew and I hope others find the courage and strength deep inside to leave these toxic individuals and discover happiness with self!!

  37. Farina says:

    Thank you! Sounds like my Ex boyfriend. I am glad I am out of that relationship.
    He was a good guy at heart and there were many benefits I received from that relationship too, but there were times that what you described was there as well.

  38. Mari says:

    Wished I could have heard this 42 years ago, would have changed my life. They don’t change, no matter what “we” do. Can’t change them, can’t love it out of them. All it does is change the person “I” become. 12 years out of the toxic relationship, I am stronger, I am ok with who I am, now. It took awhile to get “me” out of the sour mindset I had excepted, but it was a necessary growing process. Spot on Matt, spot on.

  39. Kay says:

    Like to here follow up comment if possible

  40. laurie says:

    Add his mother says…obey him..and I don’t care if you publish who I am..

  41. Angel says:

    loved the video a little scary as I feel my and my bf are a mix of these items listed. How do I fix this?

  42. Chani says:

    Thanks for summing up my only relationship. Haha. Glad I got the courage to walk away from that. It’s scary. When you become scared of the guy that should be the one protecting you, time to go.

    • Tammy says:

      I’ve been in a couple of these. It’s so scary. So great that Matt is delivering this message. So many people stuck in toxic relationships. Way to go on removing yourself from that situation. I know how tough it can be.

  43. Kay says:

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for this video. You put into words what I couldn’t find words for. You just described close to me. Don’t know quite what to do about them but this is the answer why my relationships don’t work out and why I always want to run away and think I’m better off by myself.

  44. Joanne says:

    this was a fantastic video. It took me 14 years to understand that I was in a bad relationship. Your video was right on and it could have saved me years if I’d have seen it a long time ago. Thanks for giving this information to women who may need it in the future.

  45. Nina says:

    Mr. Hussey, I’m always moved by your on-point analysis of human relationships. This video really struck a chord with me because I realized that my own behavior can be toxic at times; and I’ve also had relationships with toxic people. I think my toxic behavior stems from the degrading and unstable dynamic between my parents. But right now, I need to uproot the toxicity from my life. Personality Detox! ^_^

  46. Kiraz says:

    You nailed it, Matthew, as always. I just want to say that dealing with people, I have done a lot of research and reading about various personality disorders- superiority complex, inferiority complex, narcissism, bipolar disorder, sociopaths, and so on. I wanted to know why people are so screwed up and how I could deal with them. After much analysis I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of people I know in the past and present have at least one of these disorders. But the problem is that people who do have these issues never accept that they have them. For example, superiority complex. You can’t make someone accept that he/she has superiority complex, because he thinks he is f’in awesome. He truly believes that there could be nothing wrong with him. In fact, everybody should be like him. These people are completely self-indulged, they need constant attention, confirmation and flattery. Deep down, they are the most insecure people. They subconsciously cover it up by acting superior. This is just one example.

    I’ve dealt with this kind of people all my life and it is on-going. Back-stabbing friends, manipulative partners, judgmental family members. After all my experience and readings, now when I see any red flags about any of these conditions on someone, I run for the hills.

    The thing is no matter how much I love/like someone, my world is not going to be turning around him. I can’t even express how much self-indulged people annoy me, which is a lot of people. I won’t give anyone a chance again (I did once) to eat up my time and take away from my life goals and interests. I do all kinds of things to make my partner happy but if he is a mature person with a healthy, forward-thinking mind, and a positive, decisive leader spirit, he will support me, encourage me and lead me to be the best version of myself. That is real love.

    Real love gives without any calculations, and wants the other person to be happy with no personal gain. The others are not love. They are infatuation or obsession. They ask “what is in it for me?” I am not saying I am perfect, but I know I can love in its full definition, and encouragement is in my nature, and that is like having a treasure in your chest that everyone wants to feed on. I used to use it very generously with everyone around me, not anymore. In today’s society, being a generously encouraging person is taken as weakness. I save it only for deserving people.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Matthew. xx

  47. Eveline Huibers says:

    Couldn’t believe what I was hearing. You described my ex-boyfriend perfectly. This video really got my spirits up today! My ex manipulated me in believing I was to blame for everything bad and that I was crazy and worthless. You reminded me that I’m not cray or worhtless, so thank you so much for this video, Matthew! Ladies, TAKE NOTES ! xoxo

  48. Noelie C. says:

    Hey Matthew,

    Yes, being in a toxic and abusive relationship is never fun and can sometimes be really difficult to get out of because of all the subtle manipulation going on there as you very well pointed out here; however I also believe that they are always mirroring something back to us about the way we think of ourselves and the way we treat ourselves (as well as a myriad of other things), though most of the times those are very well hidden and unconscious patterns. And like you said, blaming the other person for their behaviour is never a good idea either as it robs us of an opportunity to look at our own stuff and ask ourselves the right questions, things like why we are in this relationship in the first place, why are we staying, why are we putting up with that kind of behaviour and why we were attracted to that person in the first place. Most of the times a part of ourselves recognises a pattern, in that person, that we have labelled as safe because we know it, but this known pattern can sometimes trigger pain, suffering, and many many other negative emotions (or a blend of positive and negative emotions) that we are just used to feeling but that are not healthy and that we would prefer to avoid if we knew how to, yet an unconscious part of ourselves decides to experience it again because it feels safe. Uhmmm… the uncomfortable comfort zone. So I believe it is really important to address or look at those issues whenever they rise up otherwise we lose an opportunity to heal ourselves and grow.

    p.s.: Loving your work Matt! I started connecting into it last December through your videos which I’ve very much enjoyed watching. I actually found connecting into your work very healing because of your beautiful energy and the beautiful qualities that you embody. Thank you for being YOU! :-) Sending much love your way, Noelie

  49. Amy says:

    Thank you for this video Matt, watching this felt like you were writing out in bold marker pen what I had been pretending not to see for the last 6 months. It helped give me the strength to finally finish everything with that person and not get drawn back in like I have done countless times before. True to form, he turned nasty, everything was my fault and he fabricated the most incredible accusations with an aim to frame me as a complete b*tch that was hurting him. This time I didn’t get drawn in to defending myself and trying to correct his lies, I just quietly said ok and goodbye. I did that Tuesday morning and over the last couple of days, thinking over all the months of BS, I cannot believe I put up with what I did for so long. Thank you, without you and your video, I don’t think I would have seen this pattern. :) x

  50. Sigrid says:

    I was brought up in a toxic environment. Both my parents were putting each other down and my sister and I would never be good enough. That seemed to rub off on my sister who was bullying me. Since I am the youngest of two I had no power in my family. I started taking it out on younger kids in my neighborhood. What a vicious cycle. Even today I feel so ashamed in acting the way I did. I’m so sorry for being nasty. What we do and how we do in life has affect on our surroundings. I do my best to keep my environment clean literally and figuratively. Love, sisi

  51. JOAN A. DAVIS says:

    Matthew, thank you so much for sharing. I

    I was dating a guy, who stuck with me with a $1600.00 gambling debt. I was really crazy about this guy. He had all the women from previous relationships that he had “to take care of”. When they called him, the dropped whatever was going on in our relationship, to service them. This would make me so insanely jealous.

    So he pretended he had to go to a funeral of one of his ex girlfriend’s uncle. This was a women he supposedly had not affiliation, but he needed to stay at her house in Jacksonville, Florida, and they would have to go to some town in Georgia together.

    This made me so angry. I ended the relationship with him right then and there. And, I have not communicated with him since that time. At first it hurt so badly, but then I realized that it was more important for him to “service” women of past relationships, than to keep the woman who was in front of him (me) totally satisfied.

    I can breathe easy now. I was strong enough to walk away.


  52. Forever Young says:

    It’s incredible! I’m seeing this video to see if I’m dating a toxic man, only to realize that I may be the toxic one in the relationship. Thanks for sharing <3 and help me reflect. I'm on my way to become a more loving person, starting by healing my insecurities and lack of confidence.

  53. Gemma Lees says:

    I now know I am in a relationship with a toxic man but I love him so much.
    He was my first love. We met when I was 16 went out and then lost contact.
    7 years later we find each other again and start a new relationship.
    We have been together over 4 years now and although I have noticed the way he is with me I needed some obe to tell me. Thats what your video done for me. Now is there anyway I can stay with this man or do we need to end it? I am still madly in love with him and always have been.

    • leila says:

      Great point Gemma lees. It happens that I am in love with toxic man too. So, what is the solution really…how to deal with them or should we leave this kind of person?

  54. Teta says:

    Word up Matt!!! This is a video that should pop up on every’s woman pc screen…
    I think these are the five points about a toxic frienship aswell..

  55. Stephanie says:

    Beautiful words Matthew! Loved what you said towards the end of the video about creating an environment to help heal your partner.
    I was in a toxic relationship off and on for five years. I Have too much to say right now…. LOL Love hearing all of your wisdom.

  56. Debbie says:

    Hey Matt,

    Wow! I wished I had met you 13 years ago. I was married for 10 years and now I have been divorced for 3 years. You are soooo right when you say they start out so slowly with their manipulations. My ex was so loving, kind, caring and romantic. I was so much in love. He also claimed it too. Most of our friends told us we were a great couple. The first few years of our marriage seemed to be a dream come true. As long as I went along with everything he wanted everything was fine. Towards the end of our marriage, I got a big promotion at my job and expected him to be proud of me and celebrate with me but he did exactly as you described. I didn’t understand it because I knew I would be so excited for him if that happened for him. When I look back on our relationship , I realize that I think my love for him blinded me and I knew that it was only getting worse because just like you described as I was getting stronger and questioning his behavior he was doing a little of both that you described. He was withdrawing and being vicious. As heartbreaking as it was, I knew that it was an unhealthy relationship and it had to end. I have forgiven him and want to find a healthy man for a new relationship. I hope and pray that I will be more aware of the signs of a toxic man before I get too involved. I also have a toxic person in my family and have had to distance myself from them because of the pain that they cause. I have to walk on eggshells around them and chose my words so carefully and they still want to end up in an argument. When that starts I now, I have learned to just say, ” I have to go and don’t take the bait.”

  57. Lori says:

    Where were you 5 years ago before I married this guy?! I am so glad I got out and thankful for your video that I did the right thing and I wasn’t imagining it!

  58. Joan says:

    Great information.
    This is so much the person my ex is.
    I spent 20 yrs with him.
    I learned a lot, but also suffered a lot, as well as our children.

  59. Erynn Haskins says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced ALL of these with my guy. Uh oh.

  60. Sandi says:

    Hi Matt!

    I appreciated this video, however, I felt like the ‘toxic’ person you were describing was myself. I’m wondering… where do I start with that knowledge??

  61. Suzanna says:

    wow. Incredible value given out in this video! I spent 3 years in a toxic, damaging/ life threatening relationship- you describe those key signs in such a relational easy to understand way. Thank you Matthew

  62. Jessica says:

    Great vid Matthew. Okay so note to self: their only goal in arguing is to inflict damage and not solve any problems.

  63. Alice says:

    Wow! This describes my (ex) marriage so well! I only wish I heard about it 20 years ago. However, it is still very good to hear. It states clearly how I can stay away from a toxic relationship in future. Thank you Mat!

  64. tara says:

    I actually cried out loud when I listened to this video. This whole time I thought it was something I was doing or wasn’t doing enough. When I did nothing but support our 3 year relationship, raise our 14 month old daughter, cooked, cleaned and showed him intimacy I still felt like he was expecting more. Matthew I’m so glad I came across your videos and have taken a lot from them. This video just help me see how toxic my relationship was with him and to not let him manipulate me again.

    Thank you,


  65. Caitlin says:

    So if you have someone that is in a toxic relationship how to you help them to get out of it? As you stated they can make you feel horrible and then they show you love which I think almost gives the person hope that maybe he or she will change and become better.

  66. Jen says:

    Great video. As I was listening, I was thinking of so many relationships I’ve been in. One in particular that came to mind, you described this person to a T. I remember looking in the mirror one day and not even recognizing the person looking back. I had allowed this person to erode away my self esteem to the point that I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I’m happy to say that relationship ended & I’m back to that strong, independent person I used to be. Thanks for another great video Matt!!

  67. liz boyle says:

    {each and every time i said i couldnt take any more of the guilt and blamein that i was such a bad person, and whenever he told me that i was such a bad person and had so many issues.
    I was always the one saying sorry, sorry, sorry, then when id get away he would cry down the phone saying he was heartbroken, but like you say in your video, never say it was his fault or sorry , never, ever}
    THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  68. Sabine says:

    I was wondering can a person be toxic to one person and not to another?

  69. Eistaa says:

    Why is it always about helping the person, who’s dating a toxic person? There is a whole bunch of stuff on the Internet to help someone get out of psychologically abusing relationship/toxic relationship.
    I’ve realized recently that..plainly said, I’m a toxic person. I’m a great manipulator. But not a great evil. I fall in love and really mean the best. I’m really trying. But then it all comes out as you say. I feel hurt and strangled in the relationships. Another great one just fell apart and I see, how I’m being a toxicity. But now what? To realize it is painful, but it’s just one thing. There is really not that much about helping the abuser stop destroying their life and people. There is so much information on “how to get out”. But, really?
    What about the other side? I don’t want to hurt anyone on purpose.

    I’m watching your videos for a long time, you always give a great advice.

    • Pixie says:

      I can’t promise this will work for you, but I can tell you what has helped me. I haven’t always been toxic. We are not born that way we become toxic. There are several reasons someone becomes toxic and for each person the reason is different. Our parents teach us how to handle emotions and relationships and if their relationship or relationships are toxic chances are ours will be too. Some other factors that can create a toxic person are long term emtional or physical abuse, long term toxic relationships, mental illness, head injury, low self worth, etc. There are many factors that caused mine and once I pin pointed them it took me 3 years to detoxify myself to the point where I am now. I now feel ready to start dating again, scared, but ready.

      I evaluated my life and the people in it and removed all the toxic people I could from my life, I stayed single while I worked on fixing me, only friendships and those that didn’t understand and pushed for more I removed from my life. I decide everyday not to be like my parents and I remind myself I do not want my child to go through the same. I meditate, I focus on my happiness first then my childs. I don’t listen when others put me down. I remind myself I am a good person, a loving mother, a loyal friend and lover, I am a hard worker,and I just try to remind myself of what I am and try not to dwell on what I am not, even if it is just to defend myself and say I’m not a whore or I’m not a bad mom or anything else my mother has called me. I try to keep it positive and just tell myself what I am. I also have to remind myself not to be negative in general about anything and remember to find something positive in everything like I use to. I set realistic daily goals of where I want to b. on detoxifing myself, like yesterday I wanted to get through the day without yelling, today without agruements. I also have to remind myself not to dwell on the past (good or bad) and if I need to calmdown and vent I vent then done and move on. I don’t turn it into a bitchfest and I don’t dwell. Why not the good either, because remebering how good things use to be can depress you and you start beating yourself up, then others, then comes the blaming and none of it will make you happy and you’ll feel worse than before. Thinking back and saying oh that was so fun maybe or using it as a reference point to get back to is okay, but not to compare (that was good this is bad) and wish it was like that again. I focus and try very hard not to yell and have to remind myself being louder will not make anyone listen to me, it won’t change their mind about me and it won’t make me more right if I’m wrong. I still slip into old habits of yelling back because it is easy to forget what you are working hard to change when someone is screaming in your face, constantly negative and putting you downand it’s easier. I make an effort everyday not to fight back and how I know I am getting better is because when I started getting yelled last night and told I was a liar and an idiot by my mother, after a good day out with her, over a dish I put in a dishwasher I just walked away and let her calm down. I didn’t fight back, I didn’t defend myself, I just said okay and calmly grabbed my daughter and walked away and it didn’t even take that much effort nor did I even think about it. For the first time in a long time I just walked away and I wasn’t even angry. If it is mental illness that causes you to be toxic you’ll need medication to help regulate your body. Once your body is at peace you’ll be more at peace, you’ll still have to work to change habits and the way of thinkibg you’ve developed over the years, but it will be easier. Even if you don’t need medication you may need counseling to help. I’m thinking of going to see someone to learn more coping techniques and how to better communicate.
      Sorry this is ssoooooooo long, but I hope it helps you and I hope you have a good day.

      • Eistaa says:


        Thank you so much for answering! It’s such a gasp of fresh air to hear from someone, who is really dealing with the same problem that I have! You are so right, and I’m finding a lot of similarities in the way you describe your story.
        I’ve put a lot of thought into all of it and realized, that while facing a conflict I do in fact act the same way as my parents, especially my mom used to when I was younger (and basically, all this time until very recently, until she quit her stressful job she had all those years). My parents have always been autocratic and very controlling. They were punishing me by ignoring me completely or by hitting me with a belt as well. I see it now, how in all of my relationships I’ve been so scared from the very beginning: scared of being attached to a person, that might end up treating me badly, So I stroke first, but did as well cling to the person ’til the very end. I used to do all what Matt described in this video, but it just kept hurting me as well in the process.

        I definitely need to stop dating for some time and just enjoy the various non-dating relationships I can have with people and take time to figure things out for me. I was trying to hide from all of my insecurities in these relationships, I wanted to find someone I can safely love and them to love me, without loving myself first and being okay with just the company of me.
        Luckily, I believe I don’t have any mental illnesses :) I’ve been to a therapist last year when me and my ex fiance hit a rough patch and cancelled the wedding. I was in a severe depression for about 6 months.
        After we broke up a couple of months ago after a year of “working on the issues”, I’ve realized a lot of things and don’t really want to go to therapy because I feel like I need to reconnect with myself and learn to trust myself and what I want, cause the paralizing fear I felt after a breakup was too much of a red flag for me, but I’m not depressed this time. I’m working on it every single day now, because I really want to learn what being myself is like and to love every single bit of me.

        I hope this can help someone else out there with a similar situation! :)

        • Pixie says:

          I’m glad to hear that you are taking time to find you again. I’m sorry to hear that you two were not able to work things out, but maybe it is for the best. Who knows once you are able to love yourself maybe you’ll find the perfect love for you.
          I know it’s not easy, but I hope you find the person you want to be. Before my head injury flipped my world on end I was happy. I still had my parents voice in my head telling me I’m not good enough, but being the stuborn and optimistic person that I was instead of letting it get me down or angery I would use it to motivate me to be better and to do better. Sadly our parents voices as young children end up being our inner voices as adults and it can either tear us down or make us stronger. How we use it is up to us.
          You may have to work harder because you have to switch our inner voice from never good enough to is that a challange to I AM good enough, but eventually you won’t have to work at it anymore.
          While you are looking for yourself and learning to love you remember you are only human and all humans have flaws so you don’t have to love everything about you. Love doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You should accept and respect every part of you, but you don’t have to love it. If we loved every part of ourselves we would never be motivated to push ourselves to be better. Just accept that you are not where you want to be and work to change it without getting down on yourself like the inner voice. I know much easier said than done. Three years easier said than done, haha. But in all seriousness once you can do that you’ll have a better chance at loving you and you’ll be better at loving someone else too, because you’ll be able to accept your humanity and theirs.
          Good Luck and don’t forget your smile.

  70. Karen says:

    Oh Matthew!! You explained my ex-husband. I dated him 6 years-from my last year of high school , through college and one year after. Then we were married 17 years. He was so toxic!! He also was an alcoholic. He did get sober, but then went crazy bipolar. By the time we divorced I couldn’t do much more than work and take care of our 3 children( alone and without financial support for the most part). They grew up fine people and all got college degrees. I finally retired after teaching 32 years. Now they have moved out on their own and I have my time for myself. Sorry to be so long-winded, but I thought you needed my background. I often wonder how I ever got involved with my ex. He destroyed me. I have little confidence, even though I’ve accomplished quite a bit. I dwell on my physical appearance now that I’m aging, feeling like I can’t compete with younger women. I’m 61 and it seems the men around my age all want women 10 years younger. If I go out with someone I think is great, I expect him to not like me. I self-sabatoge! I loved my father , and he loved me and was good to me, as long as I did what he expected. He was a very handsome and charming young man, but could be terrible too. He would have anger outbursts which kept everyone on their toes trying to do what he wanted. He criticized and belittled my mother terribly. She was a very well-respected nurse, attractive and well-liked person, but she had no confidence. He treated her in a way that made her feel incompetent. I believe the fact that she stayed with him and how it affected her was my role model. The way I was treated seemed normal to me. My ex was very charming as well. When he treated me badly, he always flipped things around to be my fault. He would criticize me by making it appear to be a joke. He never got his college degree, so I felt it was wrong to even go to my graduation ceremonies for my undergrad degree or my masters degree. There was lots more, but these are the exact behaviors you describe! If only you had been there when I was young and I could have heard this then!!! It’s so wonderful for young women to have the benefit of your wonderful advice. My daughter is 26 and single. I am going to be sure she hears it. Thank you so much!!

  71. Kate says:

    This video has described every characteristic of the guy I have been in a relationship with for 3 months. I felt like you were directly talking to me!

    The worst part is self-doubt due to the deceptiveness. He would always use the excuse “i don’t understand you” and I thought, i didn’t understand him – his behaviour such as the 5 points you list above were due to misunderstandings or compatibility issues.

    I always had the gut feeling it was manipulation and control but I couldn’t put my finger on it until I had enough “evidence”. (And lastly this video).
    I was always doomed. It was always “guilty until proven innocent” for me.

    It’s a much more broad ranging personality/toxic trait than I realised. Which has given me the final evidence I need to run from this person. I can’t live my life in misery and give up on my own life goals, even though in the short term, this breakup feels like torture.


  72. rose says:

    waoo, thank you Matt and after reading the comments below, we have all been there ! All of us have to really really get clear and understand ourselves first before diving into relationships because these toxic people, some of them can be very skilful at manipulating people to serve their needs. Lots of patterns and red flags are to be watched out for ! So sad how we want to open up to possibilities of love and great romance yet at times face or go through certain relationships. How can we balance the two? staying open and being cautious..

  73. Marcia says:

    Wonderful summary, Matt. You are RIGHT on the money, as usual. Am 50 year old woman who broke off a five month old romance for these very issues you describe. Even with the “wisdom of my years”, it was difficult to pack up my heart and go. The guy was terribly sexy;), and so I started excusing his toxic behaviors. For anyone else who may be thinking it is difficult to pack and go, I can tell you it is way easier than staying. I am crazy proud of myself now for getting smart enough to go. It is the spring in my step these days. It puts a smile on my face every time I think of the bullet I dodged, and such liberation will do the same for you:))).

  74. Krista says:

    I am a college student planning on applying to medical school in the next year. The last guy I dated ended things because he told me he didn’t want to be fighting for attention from my career, that I would be unable to have a successful family in the future due to my career, and that my career would marginalize him. I was so angry and hurt when I heard all of this. I am not giving up my dream just for a guy. It’s really nice to know that Matt defines this as toxic behavior. I’m so glad I moved on, I am now dating a guy who admires how driven I am, instead of seeing it as a negative.

  75. Victoria says:

    Hi Matt,
    I would need your help sooo much, once I wrote you and you gave such a good advice *-*.
    So I got together with my boyfriend 14 months ago, there was a “little” accident and I got pregnant after three months. I’m 21 he’s 28. I was shocked, he was very happy but I told him that if he wanted to leave it’s fine because I don’t wanna count on someone who I actually can’t. He said no “I want to be the father of your child” and ” I loved you yesterday I love you today and I’ll love you tomorrow. OK we moved together…however he kinda forgot to tell me that his 56 year old half deaf weighs two tons father is going to move with us too (by the way that person is just using him, once in the past -as a child- my boyfriend did something stupid – like who doesn’t do stupid things when 14????- so he was told that he was disappointing, bad person, unreliable etc. So after this non sense thing he is still trying to make up for this by giving his brother and father and enormous amount of money and letting him living with us… obviously if it wasn’t hard enough, young, new relationship, moving together, baby, money etc. then his father thing… our relationship used to be almost perfect and now it’s just bad. I talked to his brother’s wife and she said that earlier the father lived with them and that’s why they used to fight a lot, and I just feel like our relationship has been poisoned too. His mother unfortunately passed away, they were very close and since then I think he’s broken and when I try to talk to him about feelings or opening up to me he says that he keeps distance with everyone because he doesn’t trust anyone, but he added:but I trust you (oh so that’s why you keep distance and secrets???) There was only one magical moment the other night when he opened up and then we had the most beautiful days of our relationship, he was so loving and caring. Sometimes I talk to him and he’s not even hearing me but we have a wonderful boy I think it would be worth to work for us. Also I wrote here cause I have a secret I never told him but maybe that makes me a toxic “person”???? Basically my father sexually abused me for 7 years then after 20 years of marriage he told my mom he never loved her and left all of us without a word, obviously that makes it quite hard to trust anyone especially men. I told it three men all my life one is my brother he’s fine the other two one said I deserved it and he would have done the same (previously he wanted to marry me…would have been an interesting marriage I thing. The other guy said I didn’t know what I was talking about and I must have been drugged or dreaming. So after these results I guess I’ll keep it for myself.
    You know everyone loves him, including me, he’s nice and hard-working I just have no idea how to solve both of our trust issues. Do you have any idea for me/us?
    Thank you for being here for all of us Matt xx

  76. Aidet says:

    Thanks so much for this video. OMG you’re so right. At the end of the day if you stay with a toxic person it’s one of two outcomes you get degraded and broken down emotionally or become toxic yourself. I recently broke up with a man who was just toxic. Every woman he had dated was evil and no matter how much love compassion and respect I treated him with, he just found ways to bring negativity into my life. Tried to move in with me within 2 months as he became obsessed with me. Got foul and negative when he realized I was pulling away because I couldn’t deal with him anymore. Glad that is over. There is just no pleasing these kind of people. Get this, he owes me thousands of dollars and accuses me of being with him for money. Yeesh !

  77. Jen says:

    Hi, I like this video, because it touches not just on relationships but family members who may also behave this way. I am aware on how to identify the problems now, especially since you explained it so clearly in the video. I really like how you are able to explain things in such a way. What I would like to know, is what to do once we are able to identify the problem. Obviously we can’t bring it up with that person – because that doesn’t work. So we know the problem, now what we do?
    If proximity is power, then obviously staying away from that person is important. But what if that person is your mom or your significant other? What if they text you constantly? How do we sort of get away from them without hurting their feelings or causing them to try to bring us down or inflict their scorpion venom on us?

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