A fascinating piece. It's exceedingly rare to find your perspective. People keep talking about toxic people on Medium - yet, they rarely remember they could be very well talking about themselves. While I'm no fan of the Stockholm Syndrome, there's a certain allure to toxic people - as you wrote, they're often intellectually incisive individuals who are classified as ''difficult'' because it's easy for others to label people. Then again, when someone's clearly a psychopath, it's better to run - and never look back. I came across people here on Medium who talked about toxicity in others while definitely displaying their own toxicity. . .without being aware of it, of course. Were they shaped by a toxic person in their life and are now projecting? Who knows.