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Red Flags vs. Green Flags in a Relationship

The Red Flags vs. Green Flags in a Relationship

It’s important to note that there is a fine line between having an opinion and enforcing an opinion. The latter is a red flag.

Relationships and navigating through them can be complicated. Sometimes you feel as if you are stuck in a maze. While a sense of comfort and connection often blossoms, subtle signs, like breadcrumbs left along the path, tell you if it is worth the time. These can either act as a guide towards a nurturing relationship or lead to a catastrophe. 

The new generation often uses the term “flags.” The danger signs are red flags and the positive signals are green flags. Each relationship you are a part of (including the relationship with yourself) will have these signs. Recognizing them in ourselves and others is crucial.

Red flags, a.k.a., the danger signs

Red flags are subtle signs indicating negative emotional behaviour. These could potentially cause damage to a relationship. There can be times when we cannot identify them in the initial phases of our relationship, however, these are unhealthy patterns that develop over time, making us feel suffocated.

Seven red flags to look out for in a relationship

1. Controlling behavior: These people have a say in everything, even if it is not needed. They want to dictate how you dress and the way you are supposed to behave in front of others. The relationship is characterized by constant criticism and gaslighting.

Controllers will make you constantly feel the need to adjust according to their behaviour. However, it’s important to note that there is a fine line between having an opinion and enforcing an opinion. The latter is a red flag.

2. Jealousy: Being protective and being possessive have a very subtle difference.  Jealousy is what differentiates the two and dictates the latter. Obsessing over the relationship and underlying insecurities will foster toxicity. This will eventually lead to feelings of suffocation. 

3. Lack of trust: Doubting, being suspicious, and skepticism are all signs of not trusting the other person, which will eventually lead to uncertainty in relationships. Trust needs to be built for a relationship to be nurtured.

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4. Narcissism: Suddenly everything becomes about them. There will be constant boasting, a lack of listening and unnecessary entitlement. They are constantly seeking validation in different ways and every time you share a problem, they somehow make it about them. In a situation like this, if talking does not resolve the issue, it’s wise to leave. 

5. Low self-esteem: Relationships are meant to uplift you and not bring you down. Are your insecurities triggered often? Does their existence dictate your self-worth and actions? Do you think everything you do needs to make them happy; otherwise, you might lose out on this relationship?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you should know that these are clear red signals. Communication would solve these problems, but if these issues pertain to you, it’s only a matter of time before you become an emotional mess.  

6. Emotional exhaustion: Allowing them to walk all over you will eventually put you in an emotionally abusive state.  Constant gaslighting, a lack of accountability, and playing the blame game will lead to a downfall in the relationship and increase resentment towards each other.

In situations like this, the relationship becomes an unhealthy environment for you and you need to constantly ask for your needs to be fulfilled. Need my advice? Please call it a quit!

7. No respect for boundaries: Gen Z looks at a lack of boundaries and privacy as a big red flag. Your friends, colleagues, partners, and family members need to respect your space. Not consenting to your boundaries highlights a lack of respect and trust.

The only reason you are a part of this relationship is because you love them. But what if this is emotional abuse disguised as love? What does real love feel like?

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Heshethey<em> is<em>are my biggest cheerleader <em>Image by freepik<em>

In the next session, we’ll explore the positive identifiers, also known as “green flags.

The green flags, a.k.a., the safe signs

These are qualities that make you feel safe in a relationship. Ones that signify healthy dynamics and a secure bond.

1. Positive morale: A person who acts as your cheerleader and constantly pushes you to achieve more and do better. Those are the kinds of people you want to surround yourself with. The ones who inspire you and get inspired by you. Keeping such relationships close is good for your emotional health.

2. Communication: People who choose to have conversations that are difficult but easy to make are big green flags (probably a “green forest,” as Gen Z calls it in a fun way). Some relationships only express themselves, while others only communicate. Expressing your love and communicating your issues is how good relationships eventually strive for balance. 

3. Respecting boundaries: They patiently listen and understand your side of the story, even when they disagree. They choose to respect your choices, even if they are not available to them. A person who respects your boundaries and knows there is no wall between the two of you falls under the category of a green flag.

4. Emotional security: It is a big green flag when a person becomes your comfort zone. They make you feel safe when you talk about your feelings and you never need to mask or have any filters when you are around them.  These individuals validate your emotions instead of putting them down, making them your confidants. 

5. Cherishing the relationship: People who make efforts to embrace relationships are always more desirable. They are grateful to have you in their lives and celebrate you. No matter how busy they are, they choose to make time for you. These people are not pushing themselves on you, however, you know they are there for you even when you are not talking every day. 

6. A commitment to the future: This should be non-negotiable in romantic relationships. Partners who are serious and want to commit to you for a lifetime are a positive sign. The opposite directly falls under the category of red flags.  

In conclusion,

Being aware of both green and red flags is important when seeking meaningful relationships. These matter in the long term and determine whether you are going to be happy or emotionally depressed in the future.

A red flag, when worked upon, can be turned green. But if there are no signs of progress, it is better to move on. Learn to prioritize the green flags and build relationships that last. 

Did you know that spending more than 200 hours with someone can lead to a close friendship?

But what if it suddenly comes to an end? Read this article to discover how to deal with a friendship breakup.

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