Sometimes, red flags are hard to spot when you're being fed pleasing compliments and getting noticed by that one guy who you've had a crush on for a while. And it's not just guys who hide behind a well-polished facade just to please women; women are guilty of doing this, too. In fact, everyone is guilty of doing this to some degree, but I'm mostly going to be talking about the red flags that should make you run in the other direction whether you're in the talking stage of a potential relationship or 3 years deep into one. Nothing is cringier when you're not really feeling it on the first date and the other person asks, "So, when's the next one?"
Also, something else to keep in mind while reading this - no one is perfect! I know this is a bit of a no brainer, but everyone has flaws, and sometimes we need to learn to love and respect each other, and ourselves, even with all of the imperfections and flaws we see in ourselves. However, we should never accept toxic or negative forms of "affection" from anyone. Never let anyone make you conform to a small space when you were meant for bigger things.
1. When they think they’re the center of the universe.
I've never understood this concept, where the other person can take 4-5 business days to reply to your text but will get mad if you don't respond in 10 minutes. I know friends who would get hounded down if they didn't respond to their partner in a certain amount of time and it didn't matter if they were in the middle of class or doing homework. They dismiss any possible logical reason you have as an incomprehensible excuse, and it shows that this person thinks your time revolves around them when, clearly, it does not. Another way this can show up in a relationship is when they never give room to talk about someone or something else other than themselves.
Now, don't get me wrong, confidence is great! You should be proud of your accomplishments and successes. But nothing makes me want to go home from a night out or a date more than when someone doesn't let me speak or just talks about themselves the entire time.
2. They think they’re always right.
This kind of personality trait can make anyone roll their eyes and get frustrated with the person who keeps manipulating the argument to their advantage. No matter what, these people always have something to say that makes them right in any situation, even if they're not. This red flag can be seen as they dismiss arguments and never get your side of the story, kind of like how the first red flag was about how that person never lets you get a word in during a conversation. Except now, this person manipulates everything, and you're left feeling like you have no other choice but to grin, bare it, and agree with them just to move on. No amount of compliments or pick-up lines can make up for the frustration and loneliness someone feels when their voice isn't being heard, especially if the person that isn't listening to them is someone they care for. Again, confidence is great, but when you only make the situation convenient for yourself or don't take any responsibility for something, that's when some serious reflection needs to happen.
Think about it, you would be bored and drained trying to convince someone the sky is blue when they believe it's red; the same goes for when people try to communicate or speak out about something that makes them uncomfortable and they're completely shut down before they get the chance to talk about it. Don't be this person, it's not cute when you think you're always right.
3. Shows little to no interest in what you have to say.
Sometimes, you just want to be able to share something exciting with someone who you think would appreciate it - or at least show some kind of positive reaction to it. However, there have been times where I did exactly that and all I got for a response was just an unentertained "Hm, cool" or "I mean, it's not really that great but okay." It left me feeling like it didn't matter. I can understand if someone doesn't like the same exact things that I do, which is totally fine; not everyone likes the same things. That's something I love about being human - we all have so much variety among us, we're all different. But, a simple moment of silence and acknowledgement can go a long way, even if it seems insignificant. If I tell you about something that means a lot to me and your response is something along the lines of "Why do you even like or care about that?" or you show little to no interest in it, don't be upset if I don't get excited or care about something that's just as important to you. We don't have to like all of the same things, but don't put people down for the things they care about, especially if you want to have a relationship with this person.
4. Pokes at insecurities “as a joke.”
Everyone has their own sense of humor, but sometimes humor can very easily turn funny moments into ones that aren't so enjoyable. We all know someone who takes their jokes a little too far; they start to cross certain boundaries, and the jokes aren't really funny anymore. And then, they end up getting yelled at by someone who got offended. This is especially true for those who poke fun at people's insecurities as jokes. Honestly, it takes a lot to aggravate me, but this has to be the worst thing someone can do, especially if this is their first impression on you. It doesn't matter how much we talk or how close we are, if you use my insecurities as a joke because it's funny to you, I will not hesitate to call you out on it. Making jokes and poking at other peoples' insecurities isn't a funny joke or a flex; it's childish, embarrassing, and a neon red flag.
5. Blames you for every inconvenience.
Manipulation is something that many of us are far too familiar with. The blame game uses hardcore manipulation and victimization, and manipulators tend to argue that you are the one who is always at fault. In these instances, not only do they blame you, but they accuse you, and then they use a fake apology which can sound something like, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm just a terrible person." They try to flip the tables to make it seem like they're the ones who deserve the pity from you; they try to get some sort of reaction from you so that they can have the attention on them for that moment. It doesn't take long for this to make someone feel drained when this is constantly pushed onto them.
These are red flags I've witnessed in both friendships and relationships. These are not the only red flags that can come up in a relationship, but if you notice anything that makes you feel uneasy, sit down and communicate with your partner about how you're affected by what they're saying and how they're treating you. Don't be fooled by words, but be persuaded by people's actions.