These people are known as the ‘toxics’ and they’re at your workplace, in your friendship circle and even in your home.They slip in undetected and, before you know it, you’re too far into the relationship to quit. The toxics upset you with their comments and instil you with self-doubt. They judge, bully and manipulate. They’re modernday Mean Girls with a side serving of The Craft’s Nancy Downs. And research shows that these relationships can have a detrimental effect on your physical health.
Recognising bad behaviour Just like with days of the week, deadly sins and dwarves, when it comes to toxic friends you’re on the lookout for seven types. From the office bully to the family drama queen, these relationships come with different labels. But they have one thing in common: they’re all extremely draining. A good relationship can increase your sense of belonging and purpose, boost your happiness and self-worth and reduce stress – but a bad relationship can be damaging. Counselling psychologist, author and professor at Deakin and RMIT universities Helen McGrath says many people who could be described as ‘toxic’ may actually have a personality disorder such as narcissistic personality disorder or antisocial personality disorder. ‘These are not mental illness but maladaptive and inflexible patterns of thinking, behaving and relating to others that have