Abusive Personality Types & Dangerously Toxic Flaws

“You don’t have to wait for someone to treat you bad repeatedly. All it takes is once, and if they get away with it that once, if they know they can treat you like that, then it sets the pattern for the future.” – Jane GreenBookends

None of us are perfect; we all have our individual quirks and imperfections but certain personality flaws can be highly dangerous and destructive. A partner with a Toxic Flaw will usually be very challenging or a complete nightmare with both men and women often finding themselves in abusive relationships but do not realizing what is actually happening. A person can become so accustomed to the abuse they are eventually conditioned to accept the behavior as being normal. While physical abuse is clearly unacceptable, it is important to understand there are a range of personality types and toxic behaviors when directed towards others are likely to be highly damaging to a person’s self-esteem. Abusive personality types are not generally gender specific although certain personality disorders, for example Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is more likely to be found in men.

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Toxic Time Wasters

Emotionally Unavailable 

The Victim  

Overly Sensitive

Immature: The ‘Peter Pan’ Mindset


Chronic Flirt

Religious Fanatic

Dangerously Toxic Flaws

“All too often women/men believe it is a sign of commitment, an expression of love, to endure unkindness or cruelty, to forgive and forget. In actuality, when we love rightly we know that the healthy, loving response to cruelty and abuse is putting ourselves out of harm’s way.” – Bel HooksAll About Love: New Visions

Establishing a genuine bond with someone who is Emotionally Unavailable is very difficult and can waste a great deal of your time. While you are trying to get closer your partner will be deliberately or subconsciously avoiding making a connection or using up a great deal of energy suppressing his feelings. When a person is very effective at avoiding how they feel they can confuse themselves or even end up not feeling much of anything. Men and women with this type of issue often end up being totally unaware of their own emotions because they honestly don’t know how they really feel.

If you are involved with a person who is emotionally unavailable, the best you can hope for are occasional brief glimpses of positive emotion when their feelings escape or ‘leak out.’ 


A partner who struggles to express himself/herself emotionally can cause their partner to doubt her own ability to form and sustain a healthy relationship. It can be very easy to suffer a loss of confidence after being involved with a person who is emotionally unavailable; often the  ex-partner is left with feeling of ‘unfinished business’ and nagging doubts the relationship didn’t fulfill its potential or a belief certain things could have been done differently to make it work.

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When you’re dating someone new it’s important to ask the right questions and to then assess the answers to avoid the possibility of wasting a great deal of time.

  • Has he/she suffered any emotional trauma during his childhood?
  • How severe was the trauma?
  • Is he/she self-aware and clearly understand how any unhealed damage will impact on his ability to relate and function within a relationship?
  • Does he/she have any emotional baggage that is triggered by dysfunctional family issues that have not been healed?
  • Is he/she insecure with a tendency to project his old emotional wounds and fears onto you but insists you’re the one with the problem?
  • Has he/she taken the time to explore himself/herself to resolve any emotional issues?
  • Has he/she attended counselling or therapy to resolve any emotional issues?

Dating Warning Signs

  • Poor communication skills
  • Rigid boundaries
  • Often cold or distant
  • Emotionally unresponsive 
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Struggles to recall emotional memories
  • Emotional presence is limited or non-existent
  • Trust issues

There are many emotionally stunted single men and women around and you’re very likely to meet at least one of them. These individuals can present themselves very well during the dating stages but eventually become draining as their partner struggles to understand what is really happening usually ending up feeling disappointed and used. Pay attention during conversations and watch out for sudden changes in subject, especially if you are discussing relationship issues. One of the great dangers of becoming involved with someone who is unable or unwilling to sustain an emotional connection is it can make you doubt your own ability to form and sustain a healthy relationship.  It can be very painful to be in a relationship with someone who struggles to show their real feelings and share a genuine emotional connection. If you suspect a potential partner has major issues cut your losses and walk away; a relationship with a man who is emotionally unavailable for whatever reason is a totally unworkable proposition.

Already Involved 

If you try to make plans with an emotional unavailable person, it’s like trying to catch a fish with your bare hands, slippery and frustrating. They may be busy, tired, stressed overworked, or broke….. Whatever the reason, their excuses mean they are not open to long lasting love or an intimate connection at this time. Move along.” – Shannon KaiserGet Unstuck: How To Find Your Calling & Live A Life With More Meaning

Adults can have problems dealing with conflicts when they grew up in an environment where they witnessed huge amounts of turmoil, anger or rage. Men and women with these type of issues often try to avoid potential conflicts, discussing relationship issues or expressing themselves which causes a failure to cope effectively with even minor problems or conflict situations. Attempting to discuss and resolve any problems or trying to discover what is causing a low mood will usually be futile and their emotional unavailability usually becomes a major concern.

If you are already involved and find it difficult to get close on an emotional level and your partner often feels insecure without any reasonable grounds, this behavior could be caused by childhood experiences. When a child feels rejected or abandoned as adults they can be mistrustful, possessive, insecure or jealous in their adult relationships.  A partner who is unwilling to try and heal their relating issues may fiercely will resist and shut down any attempts to get him to open up. When this happens, all of the suppressed emotions can eventually cause an explosion of fear and raw emotion. While your partner may have experienced a difficult childhood don’t make excuses for them or ‘work’ to prove you’re worthy of being loved.

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Do You Have A Pattern Of Becoming Involved With Partners Who Struggle To Be Emotionally Available?

Our subconscious minds will often attempt to recreate scenarios from our childhood to try and resolve certain issues. When a child doesn’t receive love and attention they can seek to recreate the scenario of their original frustration during adulthood. Subconsciously they attract people who assist in recreating their childhood scenarios while trying to resolve their unfinished business. Alternatively, if a youngster observes either parent/caretaker struggling to receive love from their partner or sees a partner having to work hard to receive love and affection, the young child may conclude this type of behavior is ‘normal.’ They grow into adults who believe normal, loving couples act in this way and subconsciously recreate the role of the parent or caretaker who struggled to receive love. Often, these children become adults subconsciously attracting partners who are emotionally unavailable.

Men and women with low self-esteem issues frequently attract partners who reinforce and validate their low opinion of themselves which confirms in his or her mind they do not deserve to be loved. Alternatively, they can be desperate to be loved which often results in contributing far too much to their relationships creating a union which is very unhealthy. Even if you have high and robust self-esteem, a loss of confidence is still possible at the end of a relationship with someone who is consistently emotionally unavailable. In the aftermath of a break-up there can often be a feeling of ‘unfinished business’, nagging doubts the relationship didn’t really fulfill its potential or certain things could have been done differently to make it work. Don’t make excuses for any ex-partners who may have withheld their love or made you struggle to feel loved. Seriously consider counseling/therapy or joining a support group to discover why you could be attracted to these toxic personality types.