We all know to avoid men who are always trying to one-up us in conversations or who use negging as a tactic to try to undermine our self-confidence. Yet there are plenty of not-so-obvious tactics that a toxic man will use to get your attention that may seem charming on the surface but are actually deadly underneath. Here are some you need to watch out for.
1. THEY HAVE SOB STORIES FOR DAYS.
A toxic man may tell you stories about how he’s been cheated on in his past relationships or how his exes mistreated him. He’s grooming you about how you are to act. In addition, he’s setting you up to forgive whatever bad behavior he engages in down the road. Martha Stout, clinical psychologist and author of The Sociopath Next Door, says that pity is highly desired by those without a conscience and that appeals to our sympathy should be a warning sign. When we pity someone, we’re more likely to see that person as a victim and more willing to help them or let them off the hook.
2. THEY SUFFER FROM PREMATURE FAMILIARITY.
The two of you barely know each other, and this guy is already calling you babe or baby. It may feel comforting or flattering to know he’s using a term of endearment usually reserved for someone you’re in a relationship with, almost as if he’s falling for you, but it’s a red flag. It’s either a sign he feels entitled to treat you with that level of that familiarity early on or a test to see how much you’ll protest if he fast-tracks the relationship.
3. THEY WANT TO KNOW ALL ABOUT YOU.
It’s also flattering when a man asks you all about yourself and seems interested in all the little details of your life. There can be so few opportunities to feel heard and it feels nice when someone actually wants to pay attention and listen. It’s a red flag in conjunction with several of the other items on this list, however. Toxic men want to learn how you operate so they can pull all the right strings. They want to know your weaknesses