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50 Red Flags You Should Watch for in Your Relationship

50 Red Flags You Should Watch for in Your Relationship

Red flags can come at any time in a relationship. Sometimes they come within the first week of dating, while others don’t show their face until 6 months in. Not every red flag is as visible as physical abuse either. Here are 50 red flags you should watch for in your relationships.

1. They never apologize for bad behavior.

If they do something wrong or something to hurt you, but never accept responsibility for the issue and rather just throw up excuses to why that behavior is okay or how it’s different in this case, that’s a major red flag. When’s the last time they apologized for their behaviour?

2. They think all their exes are crazy and don’t see the common denominator.

If your partner thinks all their exes are psycho and need a therapist, they probably don’t see the common denominator is themselves.

3. They use ultimatums to get their way.

If they are stubborn and threaten to end your relationship, instead of coming to a compromise, it will get tiring. The same old “maybe I will find someone who will do that instead” or “I will find someone better” story puts nothing but stress on your relationship to the point where you really are unsure of the health or condition of your relationship.

4. When they don’t text you back quick, but are always on their phone.

If you text your partner and it takes them ages to respond, yet when they are with you, they are never off their phone, that may be something to think about. Taking a long time to respond isn’t a big deal, but lying about why you weren’t responding is.

5. You don’t like their friends.

If the people they hang out with are not nice people, you should probably reevaluate things. If their “best friends” are rude (especially to you when you meet them) or if you don’t like how they act, this may be a wake-up call to who you’re actually dating.

6. They keep score about things you’ve said a long time ago.

They keep bringing up old things you’ve said, by mistake or even if you’ve forgotten saying it. Keeping score gets old quick.

7. They are upset when you go and hang out with your friends or family over them.

This could lead to bigger issues down the road. Their discomfort with you hanging out with other people will not deteriorate, it will get bigger. It will get to the point where your significant other despises your friends or family. Additionally, it is also a red flag if they try to keep you from doing anything you love.

8. When they complain or talk about their ex.

It’s hard to move on when you’ve still got your mind on old relationships. They are probably not over it yet and there’s nothing worse than a relationship with the ex still lingering around.

9. If they keep your relationship a secret.

People fall for it time and time again. If you haven’t met their friends, you’re not their partner.

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10. They don’t get along with many other people.

If they are rude and there is a lot of tension between them and other people, there must be a reason why all these people don’t like your partner.

11. They only tell half-truths.

Adults tell the full part of the story, and don’t leave out the parts that will make you upset. If there are parts that would make you upset, that would be a separate red flag.

12. They throw temper tantrums over little things.

Emotional stability is key in a long-term relationship and it’s a lot to deal with. If they have legitimate emotional issues, maybe they should see a psychiatrist. They should not be yelling at you, in person or by text message, multiple times per day.

13. They treat their family poorly.

Someone who is rude to their family, is not long-term relationship material. If you are thinking this relationship could last, they will start treating you like family one day, and that could or could not be a good thing.

14. They make rules over you.

They make rules about who you hang out with, where you go, who you talk to, what you wear, how you do your hair, etc. There’s a point where it all becomes too much, especially if your partner would never want to comply with the same set of rules that they place on you. Don’t let a double standard control your relationship.

15. They refuse to get close to your family.

They don’t make any effort to get to know your family, or the people who are important to you in your life.

16. You are the one who always apologizes to end fights.

People get tired, and there gets to be a point where the fighting is too much. It’s not uncommon for one person to continuously apologize, just to end the fight, regardless if they were right or wrong. If it becomes a routine that one person always apologizes and the other does not, you’re dating a master manipulator.

17. They password protect all of their devices.

If you know their passwords and don’t start questioning you or watching over you while you are on their device, that’s another story. This goes both ways. You have to let your partner go on your phone, just as much as you like to go on theirs.

18. They don’t comfort you in times of need.

They don’t show any sign of care for your comfort, or completely disregard it in situations where your comfort is clearly at stake.

19. They are rude and inconsiderate to service workers.

How do they treat the hostess if they don’t have the table you want, or waiter if your drinks are a few minutes late? How do they treat the bank teller if they are having a bad day? How do they treat the door greeter or the taxi driver? Narcissism sucks and they will eventually treat you the same way.

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20. They become angry when discussing their mistakes.

It’s not alright when they become angry about discussing anything they don’t like, don’t agree with, or don’t want to talk about. Your partner shouldn’t lose their handle and try to suppress your communication at times when they know they are wrong. Their inability to talk about things that annoy them or strike a nerve is going to cause communication obstacles in your relationship further down the road.

21. When they make a negative comment about everything.

If they are making a negative comment about everything, early into a relationship, those negative comments will eventually shift to you and they will be dissatisfied with everything you do as well.

22. The way they flirt with you when they had a partner.

I mean, if they left their partner for you, they will most certainly do that to you too. The amount of guys that try to talk to exes for a second chance, when they have a partner, really surprises me. If they are willing to be sneaky with you while in a relationship, how will they act when they are with you next?

23. All of their friends are of the opposite sex.

This is a key when it comes to girls especially. This is a textbook red flag that has been told time and time again. If most of her friends are guys, she probably loves the attention from males and is an attention whore. The worst part about this is most of these guys secretly have a crush on her or want to get in her pants, so they hate you as a result. She may not see any of their intentions, either out of pure ignorance or she’s lying. She also may cause too much drama with female friends, which causes them to not want to be with her.

24. They don’t show interest in what is important to you.

This is such a basic stepping stone; however, so many relationships move forward even when they don’t value what is important to each other. This will just lead to problems in the long run.

25. They don’t pay compliments or thanks.

If you regularly do favors for your partner, your partner gets used to them and your favors start to become expectations. They also don’t see what you do for them, so you’re unappreciated and shouldn’t put up with this. Someone else will appreciate what you do for them.

26. They preach that they are independent.

It’s a common thread for people who continuously call themselves independent to be selfish.

27. They have a history of drinking too much.

Binge drinking is a red flag for more things that just a relationship. It often masks other problems. Have you had to carry her home, while she drunkenly yells at you until she finally falls asleep? Regular excessive drinking will not help your relationship, and a past of it is not a good sign.

28. They are extremely moody.

One minute they are pissed off at you for making a minor mistake, and the next minute they want to take cute photos and post them to Facebook.

29. They hold double standards.

If they don’t want to be treated the way they treat you, perhaps it’s time for a wake-up call.

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30. They Facebook stalk too much.

If they are still stalking their exes on a weekly basis, you have a special one on your hands. You need someone who is more secure with the idea of being with you, and is not living in the ashes of their past.

31. They are obsessed with fairy tale endings.

It comes to the point where they just expect too much from you and it’s too much to handle. You get what you give in a relationship, but some want the world just because of the fantasies they’ve fallen in love with.

32. They don’t care about things that don’t directly affect them.

If they don’t care about things that went on in your day, or the things you care about, you’re dealing with a selfish partner.

33. How they act when they are drunk.

Being drunk removes inhibition. If a person is friendly to others, but rude when drunk, they hold a wall of inhibition to hide that side of them and pretend to be friendly when sober. How your partner acts when they’ve drunk too much will tell you who they are, regardless of what they try to tell you.

34. They like to head play games when they are upset.

Are your relationship fights like you’re in an episode of Gossip Girl? Are you always the first one to initiate conversation when there is a fight? Do they like to ignore you and put minimal effort into resolving conflict? Ignoring phone calls, text messages, or even flat out ignoring you when you talk to them in person, are immature ways to handle conflicts and will result in communication problems down the line.

35. They like the drama of fighting.

Every once in awhile, you’ll come across a girl who likes the drama because it adds excitement to her life. This is a bit more uncommon with guys. Sometimes it may seem like they push something minor into a fight, just because they want to. You don’t need this stress in your life. You don’t have time for it.

36. They cannot respect themselves, you, or your relationship.

Respect is key in a relationship. If your partner cannot respect both of you, or your relationship, you may have a piece of work on your hands.

37. Their relationship history is rocky.

Dating someone with no relationship history is just as risky as dating someone with a patchy relationship history. If your partner has had a large number of relationships, it wouldn’t be unreasonable of you to start guessing where yours will fit into the mix.

38. They project their traits onto you and don’t see it.

Projection is a killer in relationships. If your partner is being sneaky, they will likely accuse you of being sneaky. If your partner is selfish, they will likely accuse you of being selfish. Whether or not they can see it and admit it, is key to moving forward.

39. Their family doesn’t think it will last.

If their family calls you crazy early on for trying, or doesn’t think you’re the one, you’re just wasting your time.

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40. You are constantly a victim of verbal abuse.

How many times have you been called an idiot or an a**hole? Have you spoke to your partner the same way or is it just a one-way street of verbal abuse? It doesn’t matter if they love you and 6 days of the week are good, this will only get worse.

41. They religiously delete texts.

Deleted texts usually come with other red flags. Does your partner also project that you are being sneaky? Do they have suspicious friendships with people of opposite sex? Do they fly off the handle when you ask questions about them?

42. They are a completely new person after the honeymoon phase.

Everyone is a little overly soft in the first month or few weeks of dating. Once you get through that, you start to see the real person. How much they change will set the course for what they’ll be like in the future.

43. They said “I always get what I want.”

It might seem hot when they use it as a pick up line, but 3 months down the line, you’ll understand that they were serious and they are very demanding and expect a lot from you.

44. They are sneaky on Snapchat.

Snapchat is a neat app. It tells you their best friends and deletes everything sent and recieved after it is viewed. It’s easy to forget that it received its popularity from how scandalous it was when the news covered it.

45. They tell little lies.

If they tell little lies about mundane things, they certainly tell lies about bigger things. Don’t overlook this.

46. They are nervous about texts or calls they receive.

Do they always place their phone face down? A quick Google search about why people place their phones face down brings up nothing but suspicion and shadiness.

47. They grew up with an unstable family life.

It can be quite intimidating knowing their role models in their younger years were not the best examples of a healthy relationship. The apple will not fall far from the tree.

48. They constantly scream and yell when angry.

We all great angry but most of us have ways of coping with it. When people repeat the same sentence, but in a louder voice, they are likely about to get violent with you.

49. They have an excuse for everything.

Cheating is never okay under any circumstance. Lying is never okay under any circumstance. Don’t let your partner use excuses to cover these or other mistake they’ve made.

50. They thought World War II took place in the 70s.

Come on, you can’t fix this kind of stupid. It’s time to move on.

Featured photo credit: Elizabeth Ashley Jerman via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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