7 Subtle-But-Deadly Behaviors Of Toxic Men

These behaviors tell a lot about how he'll treat you.

man arguing with woman PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock

I’m surrounded by men on a regular basis.

Most of my friends are male, and the truth is, they are generally good to their girlfriends. Those that aren’t tend to stay a friend of mine until I find out how they treat their exes.

Being a person who hangs out with men has a lot of perks. I get to hear both sides of relationship issues. I get to have a go-to dude for my roofing needs. Oh, and when it comes to shootin’ the s***, you can’t go wrong with them. It’s great.


For every genuinely awesome dude I meet, there are also going to be about three or four that make me rethink my choices. It’s sad but it’s true.

A lot of men are too toxic to befriend or date. These five behaviors are the worst and most common red flags I see.

RELATED: Why I'm About To Give Up Being Friends With Guys

Here are 7 subtle-but-deadly behaviors of toxic men:

1. Seeing sex as "taking" or as something you do to a woman

I can tell you who’s a great lay and who’s a horrible person.


A man who is a great lay sees sex as a shared experience. He doesn’t have sex with anyone who’s nearby because he wants to connect more. He’ll see this as, "Oh wow, I get to be intimate with a person I am into and it’s going to be great."

Men who are toxic see sex as something they take from women and see sex as something they do to women. They see sex as a domination move. A lot of the guys who think this way will sleep with a bunch of women they don’t know, but will balk over wearing condoms.

An unhealthy view of sex makes for an unhealthy man. A man who can’t view women as anything but sex banks is a man who will hurt you if you’re female, and sleep with your wife if you’re male.

2. Hating women

If you’re female and you hear a guy friend say misogynistic stuff, get out of there. Don’t debate him, just say that your friendship is through because his attitudes towards women are appalling and leave.


If you’re male, remember that guys who can’t view women as people can and will goad you into toxic, depressing, and angst-inducing mindsets.

3. Placing their entire worth on their careers

Did you ever notice how many men place their entire worth on their careers? Like, they won’t understand why women reject them if they have a six-figure career or own a house. They also can’t understand why people don’t want to befriend them if they have a certain title.

This shows a major lack of emotional intelligence. They see money as morals.

Guess what happens if you befriend them. If you’re a girl, they’ll accuse you of wanting their money. If you’re a guy, they’ll see you as lesser if you don’t make as much as they do.


I can’t name how many men I’ve had list off their career accomplishments and then say, "And you think I’m not a catch?"

Yeah, bro. I don’t think you’re a catch because you’re an egotistical, emotionally tone-deaf person who thinks that being Employee of the Month means you’re entitled to p****.

No wonder women use guys like this as an ATM. It’s all they can feasibly provide in a relationship.

Money does not equal personality. Money is not a pile of morality tickets. If you want to befriend these guys as career allies or buddies, go for it. Otherwise, steer clear.

RELATED: If A Guy Does These 5 Things, He's Trying To Keep You Trapped In A Toxic Relationship


4. Being a hothead

A person who can’t control their temper is a major liability and a majorly unstable person. Make no mistake about it. If he can’t control his rage against his girlfriend or drinking buddies, it’ll eventually end up getting turned against you.

For some reason, a lot of guys write off tempers as "just a guy thing." People, it’s not. It’s not a show of masculinity! It’s a show of weakness.

If you have to throw fists and scream to get what you want, you’ve already lost. It’s toxic.

Seriously, stop respecting men who use fists and shouting to get what they want. It gets everyone hurt. Besides, these are the types of men who end up hitting their partners. Also not cool!


5. Undermining and negging people they’re into

We recently had this with a male acquaintance of ours during a recent outing. I’d say something, then he’d "correct me" and say he "doesn’t believe in it." My husband would say something, then the guy would one-up him.

It got worse.

His distraught girlfriend was right next to him when he decided to start talking sexually to both me and my husband. It was not well received and we could tell she was not into this. 

After the guy decided to offer to give oral sex to my husband, our conversation got unspeakably awkward. I turned to my husband on the way home and said, "Babe, I don’t want this man in my house."


He couldn’t see why I couldn’t look the other way. My husband was adamant that "he was working on himself to get better" and that "he just needs to have people around him."

I had to explain it to him: this guy is trying to pull power plays. He’s being abusive and manipulative on a small scale, and it never stays small. The behavior escalates.

I ended up approaching his girl and asked if she was okay, in that way a friend who sees abuse always does. I’ll probably have to reach out again to see if she needs an escape.

People, don’t befriend people like this. It never turns out well regardless of gender.

6. Obsessing over someone's 'packaging'

My mom often points out how "obsessed with packaging" our society has become. By packaging, she means looks.


I’ll say this much: she’s absolutely right. What would have been adequate or even "extra" in 1990 is considered to be baseline beauty standards for many cliques today.

I love me my plastic surgery and Botox. Don’t get me wrong. But, I have noticed that a lot of men — particularly toxic ones — won’t even speak to women as friends who don’t look like they stepped out of Instagram feeds.

Imagine their surprise when they find out the girls they chase are either totally uninterested in them or have no interests outside of chasing beauty. Needless to say, people who tend to be this shallow also tend to have lots of narcissism.

Even if you are hot enough to pass their arbitrary standards, you’ll always question if they’ll stick around if your glitz fades. No thanks.


RELATED: 5 Toxic Behaviors That Seem Normal — But Are The Most Damaging

7. Believing that they're living in a real-life rap video

As someone who’s actively a fan of the hip-hop scene and hangs out with rappers on a somewhat regular basis, I feel like this is something I need to point out. It’s a toxic behavior and it’s one that I’ve noticed pretty heavily in some circles I hang out in.

A lot of men who have no record label, no skin in the game, and a small-time drug dealing habit in middle-class neighborhoods think they live in a Snoop Dogg video.


It’s an attitude most prevalent in the suburbs near cities that are near me. More specifically, I see it a lot with college kids who have never actually faced adversity in their sweet little lives. However, you’ll occasionally see street kids behave this way too.

What is Rap Video Syndrome, you ask?

This is the pattern/personality trait of men who are constantly flashing cash, bragging about how many women they bed, often make a point of treating women poorly, and then ride off in their modded secondhand Hondas.

Why? Because that’s what "makes them the man!"

Oddly enough, the rappers who I am cool with are not like this at all. They’re very entrepreneurial, focused, and family-centric. They make their music, focus on their labels, and work on creating cool media. Then, when work is done, they party hard with their girlfriends — if they have them.


Do you know why this is toxic? Let me explain:

  • Even if you’re gang-affiliated, life isn’t a rap video. Rappers who actually succeed are aware of this. Yes, they keep up appearances, but no, they’re not like this 24/7. Rap videos are there to promote expensive stuff. It’s a marketing technique and the guys who copy rap video stuff fell for it.
  • They’re basing their whole masculinity on treating people like crap for money. While they tend to be proud of using women for money, the truth is that it’s not just girls. These guys will turn on their best friends if it means they’ll get more cash in their wallets. It’s disgusting, really.
  • It makes you forget what makes a man. Men (and women) are defined by the sum of their actions. If all you do is use others so you can accumulate status symbols, you’re a bad person. Bling never made the man. Men made the bling.
  • It reeks of insecurity. Yeah, bro. You’re hot stuff. You have a fake grill and a used Honda. Oh, you got three girls pregnant by 21? You sure are a big, strong man.

Toxic machismo is a thing in the hip-hop scene, and people are starting to call people out on it. Frankly, I’m all for it and I’m all for the new wave of women rappers. It needed to change, and I’m thankful it’s starting to change even more.

Rap Video Syndrome isn’t attractive, nor is it healthy for the guys who are into it. So, stop buying up stupid crap and stop looking up to people who’d trade their own grandma for a Bugatti. You’ll feel better and do better.

RELATED: The 5 Most Dangerous Types Of Toxic People


Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer whose work has been featured in Yahoo, BRIDES, Your Daily Dish, Newtheory Magazine, and others.