Red Flags You’ve Probably Been Ignoring

Have you ever been in a position where you were close with someone, whether it was a friend, significant other, coworker, etc. and your life became much easier after your ties had been cut with them? It probably came with a wave of relief and you were asking yourself why you hadn’t dropped them sooner. Every sort of relationship can have different kinds of toxic behaviors. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs in order to know when to call it quits and say your goodbyes.

  1. 1. They have poor communication skills.

    The individual fails to keep you in the loop about their lives and, more importantly, about their emotions. Instead of being honest and open, they are more prone to distancing themselves from you. This lack of proper communication can feel exhausting and useless. Oftentimes, if confronted about this behavior, the individual may respond with either moodiness or what we considered to be known as the “silent treatment” from elementary school.

  2. 2. They are irresponsible, immature, unreliable and unpredictable.

    a man and a woman sit on a park bench looking frustrated

    In short, they still need to grow up. If they’re incapable of even fulfilling their own basic needs, they probably can’t be there for you either. Therefore, even small inconveniences for these individuals may feel like the end of the world since they might not have the ability to productively work through them. Overall, this might make them difficult to rely on, especially when you need a hand.

  3. 3. The individual doesn’t trust you.

    This one applies more so for relationships with significant others, but is applicable to an extent to all relationships. I’m not trying to imply that their secrecy is meant to be malicious, but it could be something that they’re just used to doing: relying solely on themselves which can make it difficult for them to trust you.

  4. 4. Your friends, family or significant other doesn’t like the individual.

    It’s good to trust the opinions of those close to you because they may have a more objective view of the situation; they also probably know you well and know when someone is too toxic for you. You may be unwilling to listen to any criticism about the individual, but if they feel so strongly about the individual being wrong for you, then it may be worth a listen. Similarly, you may want to take their opinion with a grain of salt because they could be basing their words on only one interaction that was unpleasant.

  5. 5. They are controlling.

    couple seen holding hands through the window at a table with two glasses of wine on the table

    This can be demonstrated through numerous actions. For instance, they may begin to try and form divides between you and other significant people in your life. This can be because they themselves are insecure, or they might want to isolate you so that you only rely on them. They can also exercise control by making you feel guilty when you spend time with others instead of dedicating all of your time to them.

  6. 6. They don’t take responsibility for their actions

    This means a number of things. First off, it means that they are never to blame. They claim that their unpleasant emotions are a result of your incorrect behavior. They don’t like to or want to see their own fault; instead, they will try and gain sympathy and play the victim. Even if they actually get around to apologizing, they may be insincere or say things such as, “I’m sorry that YOU feel that way.” This isn’t an apology, this is simply a method of putting the blame back on you.

  7. 7. They are conceited and/or selfish.

    Once again, this can be seen in numerous ways. One of them being that they only reach out when they themselves need something; these types of relationships are solely based on “social exchange” and not any deeper connections. Another way they may exhibit these behaviors is by always talking about their own lives, accomplishments and problems. The point is, they are the center of attention and don’t bother to ask about your life.

At the end of the day, people often do deserve second chances, but if this toxic behavior is fairly consistent, they may not be a good addition to your life. Removing such people from your life may feel difficult at first, but is ultimately for the better. If you’re still on the fence about whether these apply to an individual or not, ask yourself if anyone specific came to mind as you were reading through these potential red flags.