How to Find Out If Your Date Will Be a Toxic Mate with Dr. Elinor Greenberg

You do not have to be able to diagnose a narcissist in order to avoid getting involved with someone who will devalue you.

Have you ever wondered if there is a way to detect a toxic person BEFORE you become involved?

Many have experienced some form of narcissistic abuse and do not want to ever repeat that experience again. In response to her patients’ concerns, Dr. Greenberg has developed a very simple method that people can use to avoid getting sucked into a toxic relationship. You just have to objectively observe the behavior of the person in your life and be able to count. Anyone can use this method with almost anyone, from a new lover to a family member. The following is Dr. Greenberg’s simple method: 

Counting Negative Comments

Here is an easy way to find out quite a lot about a person without asking any questions. When you are with the person keep track of how many negative things the person says within an hour. Here are some examples of things to count:

1.     Complaints about anything.

2.     Put downs of people or things.

3.     Negative gossip.

4.     Expressions of dislike.

Most people occasionally complain, devalue, express dislike, or gossip. However, people who are unpleasant to be around, and you are not sure why, are usually overly relying on these 4 things in their conversations with people.

Punchline: If you want to get a fairly quick take on whether someone is going to have a positive or negative impact on your life, spend an hour with them and pay attention to how often they say negative things. If you think this hour is not a fair enough sample, pick a different day and repeat this exercise. Most people find that they are happier around people who are positive (copyright, Dr. Elinor Greenber, 2022).


Dr. Elinor Greenberg, is an internationally renowned psychologist, consultant, author, and Gestalt therapy trainer who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid adaptations. She is on the faculty of the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy and the Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training, where she developed and teaches an 8-session course on personality disorders. Dr. Greenberg is an Associate Editor of Gestalt Review, a peer reviewed professional journal. She has trained psychotherapists in the USA, Canada, England, Wales, Sicily, Sweden, Norway, Mexico, Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Russia, and Malta. Dr. Greenberg is the author of the book: Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration, and Safety (available on Amazon).

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