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The information provided is for general purposes only. It should not be considered as professional advice, and you are encouraged to seek the guidance of qualified professionals.

Relationships of all kinds are complicated, and knowledge is power, not over others but over ourselves


Explore the gallery of Toxic Monsters and uncover the dark side of human behavior. By revealing their (and our) nature we can find and foster healthier relationships.  


(New monsters added regularly)


Dr. Ramani on Narcissism 

Steph Anya on Twilight 

Patrick Teahan on Toxic Relationship


  • What’s a cute little fawn doing with these monsters? Sometimes a “monster” takes form as a self-protecting, yet sabotaging, behavior like fawning/people pleasing. The fawn avoids conflict, keeps the peace, lacks boundaries, and merges with the needs, preferences, and personality of others. It can emerge as over-apologizing, over-affection, not saying no, using humor or compliments to appease an abuser or avoid conflict, indecisiveness (allowing others to make decisions), or assuming responsibility for the feelings of others. Fawns are usually born from trauma and/or parentification (child is forced to take on adult responsibilities and roles because of parental neglect, incompetence, or immaturity). 

  • Kindness and compassion are strengths, but they can become dangerous when they transform into a fawn, allowing other monsters to easily manipulate or control them. If a fawn never escapes their own shadow, they may become an exhausted, empty, bitter creature.



Ooo, shiny things! Yes. Come closer. You are their “soulmate, the perfect partner, the only one who truly understands them”….you are their prey. Beware the love bomb bogey. They seem like the perfect partner at first; they shower you with gifts, vacations, praise and compliments, declarations of love, and long talks. You’ve never connected with another person like this before; suddenly you’re moving in together, suddenly you’re married…and suddenly, the monster appears. 


It’s subtle at first. The gifts and compliments become fewer and farther between. Insults, anger, or silent treatments take their place. Perhaps they become more manipulative, moody, or abusive, and you feel confused, wondering what happened to that perfect, sweet “soulmate.” So, you try harder. You give and give, trying to make them happy, trying to make them love you like before. After all, they’ve done so much for you. You felt so loved and perfect in their eyes. You owe them, right? You walk on eggshells while ignoring the razor-sharp teeth all around you. 

And then…they throw you a crumb! Oh, a wonderful crumb of gifts or kindness. Your prince/princess Charming does exist! All is well. Or is it? The shiny things are only a distraction, a way of controlling you. You’ve been lured inside the cycle of trauma-bonding with a bogey. 


  • All their exes are “crazy,” they have family they “hate,” or few close friends.

  • They know everything about you but you know less about them. Or, conversely, they share all their trauma early on (to play victim and tug on your empathy).

  • You feel pressured into saying ‘I love you’, moving in together, or getting married. 

  • They “future fake” with promises and fantasies of the future you want to hear, but it never happens.

  • They demand quick replies to texts, calls, or questions.


Listen to your gut. If it feels like too much too soon, or too good to be true, you’re right. Ask them to slow down or ease up on the love bombing. If they don’t respect your boundaries, and your wishes and concerns are met with hostility, guilt tripping, gaslighting, or sulking…RUN!



Beware the Gaslighting ghoul. 

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic employed by individuals to gain control and erode the confidence of their targets. In addition to denial and manipulation, gaslighters may employ tactics such as projection, where they accuse you of the very behaviors they exhibit. They may also engage in trivializing your concerns, making you feel like your emotions are exaggerated or unwarranted.

Gaslighting often occurs gradually, making it challenging to identify. It can happen in personal relationships, workplaces, or even on a societal level. Over time, victims may experience heightened self-doubt, anxiety, and a diminished sense of self-worth.

Shining a light on gaslighting involves paying attention to shifts in your own perception and emotions. Gaslighters aim to destabilize your reality, and recognizing these tactics can empower you to assert yourself. Establishing healthy boundaries, seeking support, and prioritizing self-care are crucial steps in protecting yourself from the detrimental effects of gaslighting. Remember, trust in your own experiences and feelings is key to overcoming this form of manipulation.


Positivity fairy
  • She might look cheerful and kind, but this fairy lives in a fantasy land. 


  • Her toxic behavior puts an emphasis on maintaining a positive mindset at all times, often at the expense of acknowledging genuine negative emotions. It involves invalidating or dismissing authentic feelings by urging individuals to focus exclusively on positive thoughts.


  • Examples of toxic positivity include phrases like "just stay positive," "everything happens for a reason," or "look on the bright side," without allowing room for the acknowledgment of pain, frustration, or sadness. The pressure to adopt an optimistic outlook in all situations can lead to the suppression of natural emotional responses and hinder healthy emotional processing. In essence, toxic positivity neglects the complexity of human emotions and promotes an unrealistic expectation of perpetual happiness, impeding genuine personal growth and coping mechanisms.


  • Fawns and fairies tend to romp together in the fields of inauthenticity.


four horsemen of relationships
  • The Four Horsemen gallop in with destructive intensity, signaling potential doom for even the most harmonious partnerships.


  • These steeds—Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, and Stonewalling—embody the forces that erode the foundations of love.


  • CRITICISM brandishes sharp words that attack a partner's character rather than addressing specific behaviors.


  • DEFENSIVENESS raises its shield in response to criticism, thwarting resolution.


  • CONTEMPT unleashes a poisonous scorn that festers beneath the surface. 


  • STONEWALLING erects an impenetrable fortress of silence, shutting down communication.


  • Research by relationship expert John Gottman suggests that if the Four Horsemen are left unchecked, the likelihood of relationship demise increases significantly. Identifying and addressing these destructive patterns is crucial for steering clear of the rocky terrain that often leads to the end of a once-promising partnership.

Do not upset the Alû.

They will use the silent treatment or cold shoulder to inflict emotional turmoil on their victim. Some do it as a maladaptive coping response (which can be rectified with awareness and emotional regulation), but others are more insidious and use it as manipulative punishment. Their passive aggressive behavior is meant to trigger, shame, and control the victim.


  • They don't respond until you reconcile and apologize.

  • They don't communicate their feelings.

  • They don't say, "I need some time, let's talk later" and follow through, nor do they respect your request for time.

  • Whatever the offense, they blatantly ignore you, and you never know when the silence will end.

  • You feel punished, anxious, shamed, confused, or walking on eggshells.


Over time, the victim's self esteem and worth is eroded as they are caught in a trauma bond cycle with the abuser. Unless healthy boundaries and communication are established, the Alû will suck the life from you...​​

EXCEPTION: "Grey rocking," avoiding, or boundary setting with a toxic/abusive person is self-preservation, not manipulation. But a Gaslighting Ghoul, Flying Monkey, or Fawn might try and make you feel otherwise.


  • Emophilia is the enchantment of falling in love at the speed of Cupid's arrow in a whirlwind romance.


  • Unlike the anxious attachment style, where relationships serve as lifelines, emophiliacs are thrill-seekers in the love realm, chasing down the euphoria of early romance and reveling in the pleasure of each connection. They have a zest for the novel and a knack for infusing deeper meaning into relationships than they might naturally warrant.


  • However, this fervor for love comes with a price—emophiliacs are often attracted to individuals wielding the alluring yet perilous Dark Triad traits (narcissism, psychopathy, and machiavellianism). These risk-takers in the realm of love might discover that the exhilarating chase can sometimes lead to emotional turbulence and potentially hazardous partnerships.


  • Navigating the labyrinth of love with a compass of self-assessment, trusted friends for reality checks, and a dash of selective discernment can help emophiliacs create a love story that's not just thrilling but also fulfilling in the long run.


  • Otherwise, they may drown in a pool of toxic love.


Shaming siren

Beware the haunting melody of the Siren of Shame, whose enchanting song lures souls into the depths of self-doubt and unworthiness. 


Public Humiliation: Deliberately exposing someone's shortcomings or mistakes in front of others.


Harsh Criticism: Employing overly critical language that attacks a person's character rather than addressing specific behaviors. 


Sarcasm and Mockery: Using sarcastic remarks or mocking tones to belittle and undermine an individual.


Guilt Tripping: Manipulating emotions to induce guilt, making the person feel responsible for perceived wrongs.


Passive-Aggressive Remarks: Expressing disapproval or frustration indirectly, often leaving the recipient confused and hurt.


Recognizing these toxic patterns and navigating the tumultuous seas of emotions is vital for breaking free from the Siren's grasp and reclaiming a sense of self-worth and resilience.

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