BOOK REVIEW: Toxic Men, by Lillian Glass, PHD


by Lillian Glass, PHD

Title: Toxic Men

Author: Lillian Glass

Genre: Non-fiction

Premise: Dr. Glass, author of Toxic People writes about Toxic men and how to identify them, deal with them and avoid them in this amazing book. She posits that toxic men are all around us. They are in our homes, our families, our work-places and they – particularly those we marry – have a tremendous negative impact on our lives.

What I like about this book: This book is about toxic men, but it is really a universal concept: There are toxic people out there and you’ve got to keep as far away as you possibly can from their orbit. I think that not only divorced women, but single women looking for a mate, and married women as well, need to read this important work. The point that Dr. Glass makes is that if you fail to identify toxicity in a man, it can literally cost you your life! She is right. We only have to look at the global incidences of domestic violence to see that more women need to act pre-emptively in protecting themselves from toxic (aka dangerous – for them) men otherwise they may not live to talk about it.

Dr. Glass defines a toxic man as a man who 1. Elicits negative emotions from you 2. Behaves badly towards you or doesn’t treat you right 3. Makes you feel poorly about yourself, thereby affecting your behavior and your self-esteem. She claims that there are 11 types of toxic types of men: 1. The jealous competitor 2. The sneaky passive-aggressive silent but deadly erupting volcano 3. The arrogant self-righteous know it all 4. The seductive manipulative cheating liar 5. The angry bullying control freak 6. The instigating backstabbing meddler 6. The self-destructive gloom and doom victim 7. The wishy washy spineless wimp 8. The selfish me-myself and I narcissist 10. The emotional refrigerator and the 11. The socio-psychopath.

I like the way she explains exactly how each of these types of men look, sound and act so that the reader comes away with a lot of information, tools and ideas to arm themselves to deal with these individuals. Arming themselves could come down to not getting married to these types to begin with, thus, reducing the rate of domestic violence and divorce for many women.

 I also like the simple language the author uses to make her points. This book has a global appeal to many different reading levels, as anyone with a high school education or higher can understand the essence of what the Doctor is saying.

What I didn’t like about this book: Well, first of all, there was no mention of John Mayer. Isn’t he the ultimate celebrity toxic man? He would have been such an obvious example for Dr. Glass to use to illustrate her point not just to celeb women, but to all women the world over. John Mayer is the quintessence of what a toxic man looks like and sounds like and acts like. Read here.

But my other criticism (and I had to really dig deep because I loved the book and couldn’t put it down) it almost seems like, based on the author’s definition, that everyone has at least some degree of toxicity in them. Consider the fact that no one is perfect, so there is no person is completely non-toxic. It seems it is really a question of degree. The author even admits that what is toxic for one woman may not be toxic for another, and that different types of toxic personalities blend better with other types of toxic personalities. So what is it that I don’t like? Well, I think sometimes the advice could lead a woman to eliminate ALL choices based on some attribute that the author defines as “toxic.” Some women could interpret the lessons here in such a way, in other words, that no man is “untoxic” and so she picks her way to nothing because she is afraid to fall victim to a toxic man.  I think the author is clear that the absolute deal-breaker, no matter what, is when physical violence is involved. But maybe she should have made clear that everyone is at least a tiny bit toxic in their own ways (it’s not just men) and so first of all, we all must guard against these tendencies, and then second of all, we must seek a mate who brings out less of our toxic qualities and in whom we also bring out the lesser of his toxic qualities.

Would I recommend buying the book? Yes. Because it is a very intelligent and needed source of information, especially with regard to women who fall into certain patterns in their relationships with certain types of men, and who lose their lives because of it. This book raises awareness about very important social and interpersonal issues. I would give it three out of four stars.

Read how to end a toxic marriage here: