The say in relationships, hindsight is 20/20 and they couldn't be more right.
A friend of mine used to always say "let people show you who they are, they aren't lying". When it comes to human relationships, whether business, romantic, learning to take note of red flags, or warning signs will save you a lot of frustration in the long run and whilst we might not always want to acknowledge a bad gut feeling or something that feels instinctively wrong, learning to do so will actually save you a lot of time and energy on the wrong people and lead you to the people who are right for you.
It's easy in relationships to see what we want to see or what is convenient for us, often ignoring clear warning signs or red flags that this person is not good for us and does not have the best intentions at heart.
A friend of mine was dating a guy for almost a year. On an early date this person told my friend "I have a habit of sabotaging things, but I don't want to do that with you"- major red flag alert! Wanting to only see the good, my friend thought that this could be overcome simply by ignoring it.
As time went on and my friend ignored more and more red flags, things like flirting with other people, rude and controlling remarks and on one occasion, being told they looked "fat" on their birthday. Things started to get worse, this person would be very sweet one minute and then controlling and moody the next, each time there would be an apology and some sort of gesture. Holidays would be booked and plans made for the future, only to be awash in a sea of moody and controlling energy.
Things would go back to being nice for a short while and then something else would happen, an argument, strange behaviour that didn't add up, several times, things that should have been happy celebrations like birthdays became sources of tension and unhappiness.
On one occasion, my friend decided to throw a surprise birthday party for this guy, to show how much they cared and make him feel special. They spent a lot of money and time getting it all together only to have the guy send angry and moody texts the whole day, one going so far as saying "If I come over tonight, I'll just shout at you!". When the guy turned up to the party he ignored my friend the whole night, despite all the effort. When questioned he said "well, I don't like surprises " and then left and went home at 1am. At the time, everyone around my friend told them to end this now and walk away for their own good, this behaviour was getting worse and was simply not acceptable. Then, the next day, a rose got delivered to work with a note saying "I am sorry". My friend gave him another chance because roses mean you're sorry right?
That's the other thing with red flags, the more you ignore them, the larger they get. What once was a subtle feeling will turn into a strong sense and then finally a clear knowing. The more you ignore your intuition and gut instincts, the more you will regret it.
After a few weeks the bad behaviour started again, critical comments and moody energy seemed to be a constant theme, and after another particularly disrespectful and hurtful comment my friend decided to end things for good and walk away.
It goes without saying that my friend could have saved themselves a lot of frustration and sadness if they had just acted on their early gut feelings and red flags, but as I quoted earlier, hindsight is 20/20. If someone is regularly getting moody and making critical and controlling comments, walk away. If you do something loving for a person and they actively sabotage it, walk away.
In relationships, people treat you how you let them. When it comes to red flags, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself:
Does this persons behaviour make me feel good about myself?
Does this behaviour go against my own core values and beliefs?
Is this person making me feel loved and supportive?
If you answer no to any of the above questions, it's a red flag and should not be ignored.
If something doesn't feel right about someone's behaviour towards you then it most probably isn't. If you tell someone that something hurts your feelings or is unacceptable to you and they keep doing it, walk away. If you have to keep giving someone more than a second chance, walk away and save yourself the energy.
Here's some advice. Whether in business or personal relationships, learn to trust your intuition and notice red flags as they come up. As uncomfortable as they can feel, they are your guide through the people who are not good for you , to the people who are. You deserve to be treated with love, kindness and respect and deserve to be with someone who makes you feel special and loved exactly as you are. If someone is not treating you properly and consistently disrespects you, walk away like my friend did.
If you are reading this and feel like you are ignoring red flags, don't Have self respect and walk away.
By the way, "my friend" is me.