Download: Toxins and antidotes model

Let’s look more closely at four specific toxic behaviours or ‘team toxins’ that often occur in teams or groups. These four behaviours are so damaging to relationships that research conducted by Dr John Gottman (relationship expert and best-selling author) indicates that they can be physically toxic.

This makes sense from a body chemistry perspective because cortisol, the hormone released in a threat or fear response, is toxic to our bodies. We are designed for only short, small bursts of cortisol and it takes a while for the body to metabolise it.

People exposed to others’ threat responses and their associated destructive behaviour can suffer a build-up of cortisol. So these threat and fear-based behaviours are, quite literally, toxic.

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