“Red flags are moments of hesitation that determine our destination.” ― Mandy Hale.
Red flags are alarming actions or habits that a person exhibits. They are clues to dysfunction that will arise in a relationship with the person displaying these behaviors. We need to talk to our teenagers about toxic codes of conduct and explain what is unacceptable in a relationship. Red flags in romantic relationships include a multitude of toxic patterns, some of which are discussed
- Things are moving too fast – A partner tries to get physical too soon. They initiate sexual activity without consent or permission. They pressure you into physical acts. They do not respect the word ‘No.’
- A lack of empathy – An indicator of how a person will behave in their relationship with you is how they treat other people, their parents, and their mothers in particular. Another example is
treating service staff, such as waiters, rudely or unkindly.
- Narcissistic Behavior – Monitoring you, which is a stepping stone to control. They call you too many times throughout the day. They want to know where you are at all times. They check up
on you when you are out. Trust is a constant issue, and they doubt where you say you have been. Control may also extend to what you wear, where you go, who you go with, and when you go.
- You just have that feeling – You feel you need to make excuses for them. You do not feel comfortable telling another person about their behavior. If you worry about what a third person
would think or say if they knew how you are being treated, that is a sign that something is very wrong with how you are being treated!
- Impaired Communication – Communication is often an issue. You are expected to always be available, while they only make time for you when it suits them. You get calls late at night or at
odd hours. They demand immediate replies to their messages and expect you to always answer their call. They may disappear for long stretches of time and be unavailable on the phone. Your calls and messages will get no response. When they reappear, you are given a lazy excuse that only leaves you with more questions.
- Verbal, emotional, or mental abuse – This includes putting you down, speaking to you rudely, and embarrassing or disrespecting you in front of peers or friends.
1. Gaslighting. This is emotional manipulation used to make someone doubt their reality and memory. Kids need to know what gaslighting is and how to recognize the signs.
2. In a dysfunctional relationship, silent treatment may also be used as a tool to manipulate.
3. Bullying – either in person, online or through text messages.
4. Physical abuse.
If you see any color on the flag other than red, it may be time to consider a counselor who can help you perceive warning signs differently. NuWell Counseling Services online counselors can support you by educating you on mental health challenges that may present in any of the categories listed above. Sometimes, we just need support; therefore, obtaining professional intervention is necessary. If you are struggling with your mental well-being, NuWell Counseling Services – online counselors can help!