Monday, June 6, 2022

Every Red Flag I can think of.




Traditionally, red flags are used as a warning of danger. In this context, when I speak of red flags I guess what I'm talking about are behaviours that allude to possible dangerous/ unhealthy relationships in the future. At points in my life, I have viewed red flags as pretty bunting, perhaps confusing them with Christmas or jubilee decorations. It is often not until we look back in retrospect that certain things stand out as problematic. Of course, no one is perfect and we are all flawed as humans in ways, however over the course of life I noted and discussed with others various patterns of behaviour that seem to be prominent in less functional, healthy and loving relationships. I also think it important to note that I don't think people are born ‘bad, ‘toxic’ or ‘evil’; however, certain circumstances that people encounter in life lead them to behave in ways that may be harmful to others. It’s important to note patterns of behaviour in order to avoid in order to protect ourselves from harm, imo.  Getting out of an abusive relationship/situationship is an incredibly difficult task and so, the easiest thing to do is to prevent entering one at all. I recognise that red flags may look different for everyone as we are all individuals with varying morals, beliefs and values however I thought perhaps if more people are aware of some things to look out for/ note, it perhaps provides a heads-up that this relationship may be a no go. 


  • Lying to other people 

  • Lying to you 

  • Love bombing 

  • Talking down to you i.e. telling you to ‘shut up’ 

  • Words not matching actions 

  • Showing unkindness to others 

  • Talking constantly about past relationships  

  • Villainising other people without empathising with them/ playing the ‘victim’ 

  • Asking to borrow money and not paying it back 

  • Consistently being without stability & needing to rely on you i.e. for money, accommodation 

  • Not listening 

  • Not asking questions about you 

  • Can’t healthily discuss needs & feelings 

  • Reliance on external vices to cope with everyday stresses of life 

  • Someone who cannot be alone  

  • Lack of ethics/ boundaries 

  • Not adhering to your boundaries e.g. when you say no

  • Lack of eye contact (excluding neurodevelopmental conditions) 

  • Unexplained disappearances

  • Putting you down in front of others

  • Trying to isolate you from family/ friends i.e. discouraging you from spending time with them 

  • Refusing to use protection 

  • Gaslighting 

  • Fake crying (no tears) when you bring up an issue you have


These ‘relationships’ are not exclusive to romance and may include platonic or familial. It is not to say that experiencing one of these in a relationship means that person is toxic, but exposure to multiple of these may be an important indicator; pair any of this with a bad gut feeling and guuurl, gtfo. 

I was unpleasantly surprised that this is all I could come up with (thank you to Jessie and Hannah for your help with this) and naturally this list is not exhaustive - if you can think of any more let me know :)


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