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How to Spot Covert Red Flags in Relationships

How To’s designed to get you unstuck and pull you into alignment with your highest self.

Last week, we talked about being a good judge of character.

And while I always encourage a curious and open approach when getting to know someone, there are certain covert behaviors and traits that we’d all be wise to notice before we get too connected.

So, today, I want to take this subject a little deeper by looking at some lesser known red flags in relationships.

Covert Red Flag #1: They’re judgmental

Why it’s a red flag: Being around judgmental people is draining in a way that inhibits our ability to show up as our best selves in the relationship.

Now, when I say “judgmental,” I don’t mean opinionated or critical from time to time.

We’re all imperfect humans, after all!

I’m talking about pervasive negativity and closed mindedness.

And even if the judgment from this person seems to always be directed outside of your relationship with them, it’s often only a matter of time before it sets its gaze on you personally.

Covert Red Flag #2: They can’t seem to accept responsibility

Why it’s a red flag: People who refuse to own their mistakes have no reason to improve.

The compulsions to shun responsibility and blame others make authenticity impossible.

And without authenticity, our connection to others is limited and superficial at best.

In fact, the defensiveness and martyrdom that often come with avoiding responsibility are like buckets of dirty water on the fires of connection.

Covert Red Flag #3: They’re overly jealous or possessive

Why it’s a red flag: Overly jealous behavior is indicative of extreme insecurity and lack of trust

One of the most important and key foundational pieces of a relationship is trust.

So, if you notice someone is constantly suspicious and always seems to assume the worst about you (and/or others!) rather than give you the benefit of the doubt, it makes trust a distant memory.

Not only do they not trust you, but it makes trusting them in return difficult as well since they can’t see how their negative inner world is responsible for all the hoopla in the first place!

Red Flag #4: They have a chaotic relationship history

Why it’s a red flag: People who have a long list of unsuccessful friendships and romantic connections (specifically those who take no ownership of any personal wrongdoing) often have limitations that make it problematic to get close to them.

There are some big exceptions to this one, so it’s crucial to look at it through the lens of HOW versus WHAT, just like we talked about last week.

Are they in a transition in their lives where they are systematically removing toxic relationships and that’s left them a bit barren for the moment?

Or are they incredulous at and mystified by a cruel world that’s always taking advantage of them?

If it’s the latter, it’s a red flag, yo.

Red Flag #5: They suppress their emotions or downgrade the emotions of others

Why it’s a red flag: This is a pretty intense sign of disconnection from self-expression and lack of compassion for others

Those who are not open to healthy human emotion have an inability to create space for deep connections.

It’s one thing to approach situations in a logical and pragmatic way; it’s quite another to view emotions as weak or threatening.

Exceptions to the above:

When you notice these traits in others, gently bring them up and let the person know how it  makes you feel. If they take responsibility for their behavior and you notice improvement over time, there’s hope. Otherwise, it may be time to let go.

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