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Why You Get Attracted to the Wrong People

Do you ever find yourself getting attracted to people who are unavailable (emotionally or otherwise)? Treat you poorly? Or simply aren’t interested in you?

In this video, I explain two fundamental reasons why this keeps happening and give you a practical “mind trick” to change this…

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Have you ever found yourself attracted to the wrong person?

What is the wrong person?

Well, the wrong person could be someone who doesn’t notice us, or, frankly, doesn’t even care that we exist. It could be someone who is treating us badly, someone who’s toxic. It could be someone who’s simply not prepared to invest on the level that we are.

But why do we fall for this kind of person?

There are two answers to this. One there’s perspective, the other is self-esteem.

Let’s start with perspective. Sometimes we find someone who appears to be hard to get, uniquely challenging. And because they’re uniquely challenging, we immediately attribute a value to them based on a kind of cerebral supply-and-demand economics. If they’re not available, they must be worth more. That’s why people come to me and say, “Matt, why am I always attracted to the people I can’t have, but the people that want me, I’m never attracted to?” Very often, when someone wants us, we think they’re abundant. “Oh, they’ll always be there.” When someone doesn’t want us, we think, “I must have them. They’re rare and valuable.” This is a fallacy.

We should honor the fact that someone likes us. That’s not enough reason for us to be with them, but we shouldn’t take it for granted that someone is both available and interested in us, because they may not be interested in us three months from now when they start crushing on somebody else.

Also, on the issue of perspective, when someone is mysterious, so difficult to get, we often assign qualities to them that they don’t really have. It’s like going to a VIP nightclub and being rejected at the door because your name isn’t on the important list of people. We suddenly imagine all of the bacchanalian delights that must be going on inside that venue. “What are they doing in there? It must be amazing. They must be very important.” When, in fact, it’s a lot of try-hard people drinking overpriced vodka at tables. This is what a false sense of scarcity does. It predisposes us to the illusion.

Now let’s deal with self-esteem. Groucho Marx once said, “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member.” Now, this is funny, but when applied to our love lives is deeply tragic. Many people don’t want to belong to a relationship that would have them as a member. They treat it like, “Well, if you want me, there must be something wrong with you. You don’t want me? Then you must be onto something.”

This, of course, is predicated on the idea that we, ourselves, are not worthy. So we chase after people that we think are “out of our league,” or hard to get, or not paying us any attention, because if we could just get them and align ourselves with that person, then maybe we’ll be enough by being with them. And in pursuit of this person, we allow all manner of bad behavior towards ourselves because we’re playing a serf who’s trying to please some imagined God.

Any time you find yourself either being attracted to someone who doesn’t want you or somebody who’s treating you poorly, here’s a simple, practical self-love technique you can do for your own mind: Imagine someone that you truly love – your sister, your brother, your mother, your child, your best friend – and think about what treatment they deserve. How would you allow someone to treat them? Once you have your answer, turn that inward and make a decision not to accept any less than that treatment for yourself.

Did you enjoy our new video? We enjoyed making it for you. There was a little tip at the end of that video that I fear I said so quickly, it may have gone over some people’s heads as to the importance of it. That idea of taking the love that you have for somebody else and turning it inward is a practical strategy for self-love, self-confidence, self-compassion that will change on a daily, practical level how you feel about yourself. It will change your behaviors.

Now that’s one strategy for self-love, but I have many more. I usually give them on my live Retreat program, but here’s what’s exciting: Next week, for the first time ever, I am holding a live virtual version of my Retreat program, and I want to give you three big reasons why you should be there, if you haven’t already signed up.

Number one, haven’t we all been through a lot this year? Hasn’t there been an enormous amount of psychological and emotional trauma that we’ve all endured over the course of the year? Do you want to give yourself some self-care, some self-love, to look at yourself and say, “What could I do to really improve my emotional state right now, so that I can lead, not just for myself, but for the people I love in my life?” Because if we’re not nourishing ourselves, it’s very difficult to give that energy to other people when we don’t have it.

The second reason is peer group. We hear a lot, in self-development, about the importance of peer group, but I think that there’s a very practical aspect to this this year that’s dangerous: that our peer groups have contracted over the course of this year. We’ve gotten perhaps closer, but to the people we’re close to, the people that perhaps we’ve been in the same house with. I think it’s really important now that we expand our peer group. Because, otherwise, our standards are going to be the standards of the people that we spend time with all the time, and those people don’t always have the greatest standards. Sometimes I eat badly just because I’m around people in my life, not naming names, but I’m around people that I love very much who feed me bad foods. This is a chance for you to surround yourself with an entire community of people who are all raising their standard at the same time for what they want out of the next 12 months, two years, five years.

It’s also a chance to make me a member of your peer group, as opposed to having me as some kind of distant influence that joins you for five or 10 minutes on YouTube every week. You actually bring me into your circle. We’re spending three days of immersion together. You get to ask me questions. It’s going to be a whole different thing. We’re going to be a team together in raising our standards. Me, too, by the way. I’m doing it for me as well at the same time.

The last reason, the third reason, is because we still have the last quarter of this year left. It’s all still to play for. Too many people have created this narrative where the year is already written off. There’s a lot – and I find them hilarious – but there’s a lot of memes around how 2020 is just the worst year ever. Everything that comes along that makes it even worse kind of adds to the ridiculous morose humor of it that, “God, this year is just a write-off. Cancel 2020.” But I don’t want to cancel 2020. I want to take that last quarter of the year and do something special with it. Even if you’ve done nothing all year, even if all you did was sit around and eat bad food and watch Netflix, this is a chance to reclaim your year.

We have to get out of defense mode now and start playing offense. I’m doing this for me and my life. I’m now taking this year and getting aggressive with it. This year has been pretty aggressive with us, so now I’m taking this year and I’m getting aggressive. I’m deciding what’s my vision. What do I want this to be about? What do I want next year to be about?

Let me start now, in October, the 16th to the 18th, three days of immersion in your life. What you want to change, what you want to improve on, the love, the care that you want to give yourself, so that going forward, you can transform your life into what you want it to be, not just on the outside, but on the inside, too, who you become.

Let’s make it a beautiful end to the year and an even better 2021 together. Come join me at www.MHVirtualRetreat.com for all of the information and to get all of your questions answered. I have a team there waiting for you. If you want to ask questions, you can do that. Just go here now, and I will see you there.

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8 Replies to “Why You Get Attracted to the Wrong People”

  • Great reminder for practicing self love. I’ve been with enough mediocre men who couldn’t see my value, and I realized that I was done “cheerleading” in HS. It’s not my job to prove myself worthy. If any man can’t see it from a short amount of time around me, then that’s on them. And yes, I deserve to be treated as well as I treat those I love!

  • Hi there

    I literally fall into this category of the perpetual seeking of unavailable humans.
    There is an element I’ve noticed in myself which perhaps was not commented on (perhaps because I doubt many would want to hear it)…

    I recognized in my own behaviour that I almost think of myself as more capable than I ought. In the surface it is total empath behaviour, but when I consider how self indulged it is, it’s fuckery of seismic proportions:

    If I love hard enough, get thin enough, have enough Botox, become successful enough, be witty enough, be compassionate and understanding enough, I’ll grab him for sure.
    The problem with this cycle of belief is that I’m so involved in a relationship with who I want to be that I’m failing to see the relationship that he cannot give me. And so what started off as a relationship on the “him show“, fast became this ridiculous projection of what I thought he needed, and in turn I did this captivating colab on my own show… i had become so flipping entrenched in It that it was all about me.

    Weird how selfishness breeds selfishness.

    I remember saying “I feel so good that despite him cheating I feel amazing that I was able to love unconditionally…” this perhaps epitomizes the point.
    In and of itself the notion is admirable, and a capacity to love regardless of heartache is commendable and worthy of love, but feeding the unhealthy toxicity with sneaky challenges I’d empower myself to overcome, meant I became fully entrenched in a relationship with myself.
    Discovering that balance is something I’ve found decidedly difficult.


  • We’re attracted to what is familiar (originating from family dynamics at home) rather than what is healthy for us. By the ‘wrong’ people I’m thinking toxic people whether intentionally or not (narcissists/sociopaths/psychopaths). Without understanding how they operate, we can easily fall under their spell, as some are black belts in the art of manipulation. In the past I made the mistake of overlooking or rather excusing obvious red flags, but now if they show any in the early days of dating, I swiftly (and happily) move on. Thank you for the timely reminders.

  • Wow! Your advice is just pure Wisdom mixed with practical. Please write ANOTHER book! It is time :) I find myself writing your words of wisdom in my journal … I want to read another book full of your words.

  • I don’t get it why you give such short notice
    I guess you never thought some of us really think like you about Q4 and don’t sit around waiting for something to happen. What a pity… It seems like real or virtual, it’s always bad timing with these retreats.
    Maybe next time, if you give me a chance to include it in my plans.
    Have fun I know I will

  • Beautiful. I connected to this completely. Have been on a binge search for clues as to why I attract certain people in my life though not in a romantic way. I think it applies as well to other types of relationships. I feel drained and marred by certain behaviors from people I am sometimes just getting to know. Thank you for this article.I write about these topics as well and follow you with great admiration and interest.

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