7 easy-to-miss behaviors of men who act kind but later turn toxic, according to psychology

Have you ever met a guy who seemed like he was super lovely, only to find out later he was anything but?

I have had the unfortunate displeasure of meeting such a man, as have a few people I know. 

So what can we do to make sure that we don’t make the mistake of letting someone like that get close to us again?

Well, according to psychology, there are some specific behaviors that we can look out for as they might be signs that a man isn’t who he comes across as when you first meet him.

Read on to find out 7 of these behaviors.

1) Love bombing

I’m sure you’ve heard of or maybe even experienced love bombing.

This is when a guy will shower you with affection and treats and make you feel like the most special, amazing person in the whole world, while also trying to keep you all to themselves.

Psychologist Sarah Fischer explains that this behavior is a way to make sure you stay with them. It’s also a way to manipulate you into doing things that they want.

She goes on to say that this can be appealing to people who have had a tough life and have not received a lot of love in the past.

They feel like they’ve finally found where they’re meant to be.

Unfortunately, all is not what it seems, and often after time, the love bomber will begin to treat you differently, with fewer kind words or gestures and eventually abusive behaviors.

2) Jekyll and Hyde behavior or mood swings

Have you ever met a guy who seemed like he had two personalities?

When he’s with you in front of other people he’s lovely and kind. But then when you’re alone he’s a different person.

Jekyll and Hyde behavior is the name given to extreme mood swings which can be connected to different kinds of mental health disorders, one of them being narcissistic personality disorder.

You may feel like you’re walking on eggshells all the time when you’re around this person.

They’ll often make you feel great when you’re out and about with others, and times when they feel like it when you’re alone.

Then randomly, almost without warning, they might snap at something you’ve said or done, even if it’s not anything different than you usually do or say.

3) Entitlement

Can you think of any occasions where a man has thought he deserved better than everyone else?

A friend of mine used to date someone who was like this.

We used to joke and call him “The King” but actually what he was doing was just acting entitled. 

A man who acts in this way will never put you first unless it suits him (which means he’s not actually ever putting you first!)

Psychologists say this is either attention-seeking behavior or it could be a sign that this person has a personality disorder.

Either way, if he doesn’t get the help and support he needs this man will continue to act like this.

4) Manipulative communication

Playing the victim 10 signs youre in a relationship with a covert manipulator 7 easy-to-miss behaviors of men who act kind but later turn toxic, according to psychology


Have you ever had someone say something to you in a way that made you feel like you had to do what they said?

When a man does this we call it manipulative communication.

Which according to psychology is a form of emotional abuse.

It involves both being clever and lying.

This enables him to confuse you and, in turn, get what he wants.

5) Victim mentality

How many guys have you met who play the victim, so that you feel sorry for them? And then they use that sympathy to get what they want.

I’ve met a few, unfortunately.

As women, we can often get sucked in by men like this because we are (usually!) naturally caring and nurturing.

They can’t take the blame for anything and in the end, we often end up taking it instead. 

The article continues by saying that it’s important not to feed into the guilt. It’s not good for you and it also encourages the man to continue with this behavior.

I know I hate being blamed for things I haven’t done, and therefore don’t want to encourage that. How about you?

6) Lack of accountability 

Hand in hand with victim mentality comes a lack of accountability

As a victim, they won’t feel like they have to be accountable for anything because nothing is their fault.

This also includes the way they treat you.

Lack of accountability can sometimes be seen as narcissistic behavior because the person is only thinking about themselves.

This behavior expert calls it immature behavior. In his article, he includes an accountability assessment.

You can do to see if your man is or isn’t taking accountability for his actions.

It starts with, “Does he think he knows everything?” which made me laugh because I’ve met so many men who’d have to say “yes” to that one.

Looking through this assessment might give you a better understanding of what accountability looks like, and whether the man in question is immature or not.

7) They call you every day

At first, you might think it’s nice that they’re thinking of you, but eventually, you’ll realize they’re just doing it to make sure they know where you are and what you’re doing. 

Then suddenly you notice that their behavior has become obsessive and perhaps borderline stalker-like.

This happened to a friend of mine and it was super hard for her to leave the relationship because of how much he was keeping tabs on her.

He had cloned her phone and could see where she was and what she was doing and texting!

Final thoughts

This article explains that we fall into these traps because toxic men always make us feel so good at the beginning. 

Suddenly we’re being given the attention we craved before. And attention can be addictive.

Sometimes we think this kind of relationship is normal because that’s the kind of relationship we’ve seen modeled to us as kids. Or it’s what we’ve seen on TV or in the movies.

Unfortunately, these men are not good for us and they aren’t enjoyable to be with long term.

It’s time to see what we deserve and go for it. No more staying in something that makes us feel bad because we’re too scared to be alone.

I always think it’s better to be happy alone than unhappy in a bad relationship.

Picture of Louisa Lopez

Louisa Lopez

Louisa is writer, wellbeing coach, and world traveler, with a Masters in Social Anthropology. She is fascinated by people, psychology, spirituality and exploring psychedelics for personal growth and healing. She’s passionate about helping people and has been giving empowering advice professionally for over 10 years using the tarot. Louisa loves magical adventures and can often be found on a remote jungle island with her dogs. You can connect with her on Twitter: @StormJewel

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