In our series today, I’d like to tell us that our lives depend heavily on our ability to connect with others. Our mental health is influenced by our sense of connection and being loved.
However, not all relationships improve our quality of life. Certain partnerships are unhealthy for us–be it intimate or platonic. Instead of improving it, they harm our well-being. Some of them may even be toxic, therefore it’s critical to spot the warning signs.
So today’s focus is on what relationship red flags are there? How do you recognize them? The most crucial question is what to do if your relationship has deteriorated to an undesirable level.
Therefore, in this article, I will be giving you a robust manual for navigating relationship red flags. But before that, let’s look at what relationship red flags are.
Red flags are cautionary symbols that suggest manipulative or destructive behavior.
They are not usually immediately apparent, which contributes to their hazard. Nevertheless, they frequently enlarge and worsen over time.
In discussions about toxic or abusive relationships, red flags are frequently mentioned. Toxicity can manifest itself in any close relationship, including those with friends, coworkers, family, and partners.
Narcissism, hostility, victimization, or even abusive behavior can all be flagged with red flags. You can stay out of a toxic relationship by being aware of certain frequent red signals.
Red flags in a relationship are an opportunity to pause and consider the dynamics you share with that person.
Toxic behavior is frequently covert and sneaky. It sneaks up on us when we’re vulnerable, and if we can’t fight it off, it can take over our life.
This may result in harm to us as well as those nearby. We may completely avoid red flags and poisonous behavior by developing self-awareness about them.
It’s crucial to know how to spot warning signs in a relationship.
You must comprehend what red flags look like and why they are dangerous before, you can respond to them.
Unfortunately, I observe that most individuals in relationships come to accept red flags as “part of the package” rather than seeing them as warning signs because they are attempting to adapt to each other. As a result, they are more susceptible to psychological, emotional, and occasionally even bodily injury.
Let’s examine some typical warning signs that can appear in every relationship. You can stop toxicity before too much harm is done by understanding what they look like and why they are dangerous.
The first is excessively controlling actions. A common warning sign is a behavior that is overly controlling. People that attempt to influence your actions, choices, or beliefs are more focused on their desires than what is best for you.
As a Wholesome Relationship Coach, I often tell those that come to me for advice that a wholesome relationship involves compromise and tolerance for differences. Nobody has any influence over how the other person behaves. Unfortunately, the world has long taught women, especially, that they need to be controlled by men. So, women shrink themselves just to fit into this ‘prescription’.
Another warning sign to watch out for in a relationship is a lack of trust. Any healthy partnership needs trust as a basis. When partners, friends, coworkers, or family members mistrust you, it is a clear indicator that the connection is fragile.
Of course, we’ve all had our reservations. However, they shouldn’t make us cease believing in the goodness of the people in our life. Mutual trust is necessary for a relationship to be successful.
Maltreatment of the body, mind, or spirit is another red flag that one must necessarily avoid in all forms of relationships. Abuse of the body, mind, or emotions is always a warning sign in a relationship. Physical abuse is simpler to learn. But over time, misuse of the mind and emotions can be just as harmful. Additionally, just like physical abuse, emotional and mental violence can result in PTSD.
Nobody has the right to blame you for their issues at any time. Those should be handled fairly and constructively. Abuse is never a suitable solution to an issue.
Recently, I had a conversation with a mentee and I told them that I will never be in a relationship with anyone–be it an intimate or platonic relationship if the party is fond of verbal abuse. Of all forms of abuse in relationships, verbal abuse is worse and it comes subtly, making you not recognize it early. Don’t ever fall for it when they tell you “I feel at home with you, so, I say whatever I feel like saying”. If you don’t avoid it, it will get to a time where you can no longer take it, and maybe you might have gone too far to turn back.
Another warning sign that I must not overlook is the inability to handle disagreement. I frequently make the error of assuming that those who avoid conflict are preserving the relationship. But in the end, I learned that it just leads to verbose passive aggression.
Accepting constructive conflict is an essential component of all relationships, despite how uncomfortable it might be at times. Serious issues cannot be resolved without constructive conflict. This could cause resentment and energy waste.
Insufficient emotional intelligence. This was a point given by Mr. Bello Musa, and I decided to expertise it. Understanding and controlling emotions are two aspects of emotional intelligence.
People with poor emotional intelligence are unable to recognize or relate to their feelings. This frequently leads to pointless fights or manipulative techniques.
Infidelity in relationships–especially in an intimate relationship. Mr. Bello Musa also mentioned this, alongside Miss Loveth Naza. I have had conversations with people in relationships. I hear things like “it is a distant relationship. Do I know what he/she is doing there? Let me play with others a bit. When we see each, we continue from where we stopped.” When they bring up such premises, I question their intentions of agreeing to a distant relationship when they know they can’t keep up? What stops you from ending a relationship you can no longer keep?
Still, on this issue of infidelity, I have heard guys tell me they had to continue because ‘nobody is perfect. It’s fine by me. But I hope you will remember her imperfections when she is married to you but cheats on you with your friends or neighbors?
The list is endless and we can’t exhaust them. In a bid to provide more pointers on red flags, Miss Naza mentioned insincerity and partners who hide phones from each other. As funny as this may sound, many relationships have ended due to the contents found on partners’ phones. So like Naza, let me ask this: ‘if you don’t have anything suspicious on your phone, why are you hiding it?
There are also those who no longer find interest in communicating with you as they used to do at the beginning of the relationship. Every young adult can attest to the fact that the early stage of a relationship, which is the ‘wooing or interest building period’, is the sweetest time of a relationship ever. During that period, partners go out of their way to speak with you, see you–if need be, send you gifts and all. But with time, you realize the interest level is reduced. Yes, work may set in. You both are getting mature in your relationship but if you see that they are too busy to even communicate with you, just know it is a red flag.
I will conclude today by telling us that whatever was not there from the beginning of the relationship that you begin to see as time goes on, if you know you cannot deal with it, don’t condone it. But if you talk about it and there is(are) change(s), that’s fair enough. But if you don’t get to see any changes and you know you can’t deal with it, kindly avoid it. To be sincere, you can’t change anybody because you are not God. People only change if they want to. And do not be fooled into accepting that people will change when they get married. So, avoid all listed and known red flags in relationships.