Red flags are like stop signs and red lights. They mean stop, not proceed with caution. They do not mean, ask questions and consider things from a different point of view. Just like with stop signs and red traffic lights, when you do not adhere to red flags, there are consequences.
Many of us treat red flags like yellow lights. Yellow lights mean slow down. Yellow flags allow for wiggle room. You can keep going, but you have to stay on your toes because the light could turn red at any moment.
Somehow, we look at red flags and say to ourselves “Maybe this is just red for right now.” We try to offer up excuses to disregard what is right in front of us.
The top three reasons people ignore red flags are:
We think we can change the behavior.
We don’t see it as a big deal in the beginning.
We see the potential in a person and think that the potential is greater than the red flag.
Just because someone triggers one of your red flags doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with that person. It just means that something about them doesn’t work for you. They’re not a bad person, and you’re not a bad person, but they have something that doesn’t fit into your life, and what you want for yourself. Everybody’s red flags are different.
So, when you see your red flags, stop questioning them. Stop wondering if it’s really a red flag. To help with that, make a list of your red flags, your yellow flags, and even your green ones. You can do this for dating relationships, friendships, co-workers, and even your work environment. You can find this exercise in The Set Boundaries Workbook as well.
We need to have criteria for the relationships in our lives. It’s just like going to buy a car, or a house. If you’re looking for a three bedroom, two bathroom house, and you show up to a one bedroom, one bathroom house, that’s not the house for you. When we bypass our red flags we end up in a house, a car, or a relationship that we don’t really want.
I was recently on the podcast Sofia with an F discussing the importance of different kinds of therapy.
How do you determine what qualifies as a red flag for you?
Do you feel comfortable honoring your boundaries by enforcing your red flags? Why or why not?
Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
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