Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 138 Double Your Energy > Rules of engagement

Rules of engagement

Do you have a friend who makes you feel bad about yourself? Toxic relationships can happen to anyone – and at any age. Charlotte Haigh seeks expert help


Many of us have been caught up in a toxic friendship at some point. For me, it happened at school. The nastiness centred around my appearance, with the classmate in question – let’s call her Nicole* – continually feeding me the message that I was ugly. Tall for my age, with a brace and an awkward haircut, I suppose I was an easy target. Nicole was pretty so, when she kept informing me that none of the boys would ever fancy me, and that everyone thought I was unattractive, I believed her.

It’s true that teenage girls aren’t noted for their kindness, and most of us suffered some teasing and sniping at school. The difference with Nicole’s behaviour was that it was insidious, and consistent. I understand now that something in me must have made me vulnerable – a less sensitive girl may have brushed it off – and, of course, Nicole must have had some issues of her own but, according to Emma Gleadhill, educational speaker and trainer, it’s not always insecurity that causes mean-girl behaviour. ‘It can also come from a person’s inability to deal with frustration,’ she says. ‘A toxic friend might feel unable to share decision-making or handle another person’s differences.’

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Psychologies - No. 138 Double Your Energy
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - No. 138 Double Your Energy
Or 399 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only £ 2.69 per issue
Or 3499 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only £ 2.61 per issue
Or 1699 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only £ 3.68 per issue
Or 399 points

View Issues

About Psychologies

Psychologies March 2017 - Double Your Energy