Fri. May 31st, 2024

Our lives depend heavily on our ability to connect with others. Our mental health is influenced by our sense of connection and love, but not every relationship improves our quality of life. Some partnerships are unhealthy for us. Instead of improving our well-being, they make it worse. Some can even be toxic, so it’s important to recognise the warning signs.

Before diving deep into a relationship, it’s crucial to recognise the warning signs that could indicate trouble ahead. (Unsplash)

“While I’m not a fan of prescriptive language like “red flags”, I can also acknowledge that for many people who have experienced unhealthy relationship behaviour, naming dangerous behaviour is the start of making new choices. Our ability to pay attention to feelings of safety or danger is so important. People tell us who they are through their language and their behaviour. Whether you’re just starting to date someone, or you are in a healing process and starting to come to terms with your partner’s behaviour, being able to recognize and name these patterns is important for self-protection,” says Jordan Dann, Somatic Couples Therapist in her recent Instagram post. She further shared nine important red flags one should never ignore in a romantic relationship. (Also read: 5 signs that you are damaging your relationship: Here’s what to do instead, explains Relationship Coach )

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Relationship red flag you should never ignore

1. Love Bombing

A love bomber will talk all about your future, shower you with affection and grandiose declarations of love, and get you to fall for them – only to pull away and leave you brokenhearted. Consider this one a dealbreaker.

2. Inconsistency

If your partner is consistently inconsistent or unreliable, it could be a red flag for the relationship’s future. Avoid making excuses for their behaviour. Of course, everyone makes mistakes and there are some inconsistencies that can be worked on, but chronic inconsistency and unreliability can be a sign that your partner is not ready or willing to be in a committed relationship.

3. Lack of communication

Communication is the lungs required for oxygenating your relationship. If your partner doesn’t express their needs or emotional experience, seems absent or distracted while you’re speaking, or doesn’t respond to your messages; this is a sign that they are disconnected from themselves and from you. Start by having a conversation to see if your different communication styles can be worked through, or if your partner isn’t willing to do the work.

3. Controlling or jealous behaviour

Jealousy is a normal human emotion and it can come up even in healthy relationships, especially when we feel insecure and want more attention from our partner. However, if your partner starts to become possessive or controlling of whom you spend time with, what you do, what you wear, or tries to isolate you from your friends and family, this can be a serious sign of emotional abuse down the line. If control or jealousy persists, this is a stop sign and not a red flag.

4. Unhealthy relationships with friends, family, or coworkers

The stories we tell about other people often say more about us, than others. If your partner is always blaming others for their suffering, this may be a sign that they have yet to take responsibility for their lives. If your partner doesn’t have relationships that they have maintained over time, or invested time in nurturing this might be an indication that relationships are difficult for them. If you notice this pattern, start by giving your partner the benefit of the doubt and reflect on this observation to them with compassionate curiosity.

5. Emotional volatility

If someone displays erratic or dysregulated emotions or gets easily triggered, this is a serious red flag. Responding with uncontrollable rage or giving “silent treatment” is abusive behaviour. The inability to empathize with what this is like for the person on the receiving end is evidence of a lack of important relational skills. You deserve to be with someone who can regulate their emotions and has empathy for your experience.

6. Substance use or addictive behaviour

If your partner is struggling with addiction of any kind, the first step is to confront the issue and encourage them to seek help. Untreated addiction can get worse over time and can lead to other dangerous behaviours such as financial abuse, neglect, and emotional and physical abuse. If your partner refuses to get help, you need to start to consider your choices about how to protect and care for yourself.

7. Gaslighting

Gaslighting is often misused as an accusation by someone who doesn’t like it when someone doesn’t agree with their perspective completely. True gaslighting is someone’s inability to take accountability for their behaviour. At its best, gaslighting is invalidation and a refusal to accept responsibility. At its worst, gaslighting can be a form of manipulation that erodes security and leaves someone distrusting their sense of reality. Trust your gut if something feels wrong.

8. Abusive behaviour

If anyone verbally, emotionally, physically, or sexually abuses you or puts you in harm’s way, protect yourself and leave the situation. If it’s dangerous to leave the situation, do what you can to find help.

By admin

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