Ever feel as though you always find yourself in situations with the slightly shady? Take off the rose-colored glasses and pay attention to these bright red flags. Your sanity (and friends who care about you) will thank you. And after you’re done reading this, make sure you brush up on the 5 phrases every smart woman needs in her vocabulary.
1. Boundaries, What Are Those?
Whether it’s a “joke” at your expense, language you don’t appreciate, or pressing you to share information you have been clear you deem private, anyone who doesn’t respect your right to your own space (emotional, personal, physical or mental) is going to have you going from 0-to-frustrated in no time.
2. They Spill Your Secrets
Look, everyone has a slip-up now and then, but when the person you have sworn to secrecy just happens to slip right in front of the one person you asked them not to, chances are it wasn’t an accident. If it happens twice, you’ve got yourself a bonafide frenemy.
3. They Freak Out
In college, your roommate leaving you at the bar was dragged-out fight, drama-worthy, but we are all adults here. Unless there is a fire or a real reason to scream, yell, send 100 rapid-fire texts and run around like Charlie Sheen at a Hollywood Hills after-party, take freak outs as frustrating proof that the person in front of you can’t control their emotions. Whether it’s due to anxiety, immaturity and/or a tendency to bully, it’s not something you need to deal with.
4. They Stonewall You
Uh-oh, they are mad at you, or you have hit a topic they don’t like to discuss. You know what that means, you’re suddenly being told they won’t listen to what you have to say by way of jumping off of the phone, ignoring your texts/calls, reminding you of their stress or saying it’s not the right time (again). No one likes discussing touchy topics, but if you are never heard, perhaps you should move on and converse with someone who actually cares about the feelings — and person — behind the words you’re trying to say.
5. They Lie
If your new pal or partner just changes the truth when they don’t like the way a conversation is going, it’s a huge red flag. No trust, no relationship. End of story.
6. They Get Too Close Too Soon
Yes, there are some people who just “click,” but bonds take time to build, so guess what? They don’t really love you on week two, and that new acquaintance has yet to earn the bestie title.
7. They Disrespect You
Everyone gets upset, has stress and gets pissed, but how we deal under pressure gives others a clear view into our character. Calling someone names or treating someone like your own personal verbal punching bag says more about them (and what you’ll be dealing with every time they get upset) than the words coming out of their mouth. Note: This is true even if they are berating that annoying customer service agent on the phone. People who can treat anyone that way will eventually treat everyone that way.
8. He/She Makes “Suggestions” As To How To Improve Your Looks or Life
It may feel like he or she is being helpful, or even caring, but giving unsolicited advice in these areas is a real sign that someone wants to control you. If you’re happy with yourself, he should be, too. Unless you mention that you want to change something and he offers to help, take note.
9. They Always Want Something From You
You’ve come to realize that the random “thinking of you” text always has a string. Friends should always be there for one another, but if someone is always looking to take, it’s time to tell them to take a walk.
10. Hey, It’s Not My Fault
We are all going to do things to screw up, and unless we’re talking huge betrayals, it’s often how we handle ourselves after the screw up that determines the fate of our relationships. If the person you are dealing with has an excuse for the inexcusable, tread lightly. Other clues you’re dealing with a blame-shifter: He or she blames all of his exes for break-ups, bosses for job losses and plays the victim in situations where they clearly have equal control.
11. Your Friends Hate Them
Your real friends love you and want the best for you, and if one person says something, you can chalk it up to a personality clash — but if you’re hearing comments or crickets every time you mention him or her, sit up and take notice.
12. They Hate Your Friends
Not everyone is going to want to go out for a drink with every new person you meet, but if your new girl or guy is constantly making comments in an attempt to get you to question your relationships with your friends or family members, something is up. Your guard should be, too.
13. Manipulative Much?
It sounds crazy (because it is) but some people will tell you that you have said and done things you didn’t and that you’re overreacting when you’re not. These are the same people who will kick you in the shin and say “ouch” either literally or figuratively (literally would be both funny and insane). Gaslighting and crazy-making are common attributes of abusers, so steer clear.
14. You Never See Each Other
In this day and age, it is common for people to text more than they actually speak to one another, but if you’ve been texting more than 10 days with no plans to meet up, you’re likely one of many women he’s garnering attention from. That’s not a relationship worthy of your time. Stay friends if you want to, but move. Keep your “fan” status for your favorite pop star.
15. That Old Uneasy Feeling
Intuition is a real thing, and we all have it. Trust yours.