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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…

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329 Replies to “5 Signs You’re Dating a Toxic Person”

  • 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.

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

    1. 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.

  • 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:)

  • 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!

  • 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!

    1. 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.

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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??

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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…

  • 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.

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