The conversation around toxic partners, red flags, and abuse, in recent years, has opened our eyes to everything that could be wrong in romantic relationships. But have you ever stopped to wonder if you are a walking red flag or the very definition of toxicity? Sure, no one is perfect, and frankly, perfection is not a pedestal to hold out for. But it is very important to do a self-check regularly, so you know you are being your best self. Here is a checklist to know whether or not you are the one showing red flags in your relationship.
1. You can’t enforce boundaries
No matter what kind of relationship dynamic you are a part of, it is important to enforce boundaries. Parents, partners, siblings, friends, or colleagues, every relationship needs to have a clear boundary that no one is allowed to cross with you. And if you are someone who can’t enforce boundaries, or you let people easily cross your boundaries without any issues, that’s a red flag in yourself. People-pleasing is an aspect that plays into this and that can lead to serious toxic engagements which will cause problems down the line.
2. You can be needy
Asking for help from family or friends when you are in trouble is a good thing. But if you want someone to hold your hand 24/7, that’s a problem. Learn to be self-reliant and manage your tasks yourself. Being overly needy does not make for a sustainable relationship in the long run.
3. You aren’t willing to put in the work
Every relationship needs work. You need to put in the effort to make the relationship worth it for your partner. But if you are someone who just puts in the bare minimum while expecting the other person to bear the maximum load, you are a glaring red flag. Relationships require time, energy, sacrifices, and adjustments, and if you are not willing to do any of them, that relationship just isn’t for you.
4. You are unwilling to work on yourself
The first step towards building a healthy relationship is having a healthy relationship with oneself. If you are someone who knows your weaknesses but refuses to work on them, you are a walking red flag. Self-reflection and introspection are integral parts of growth. And if you are not ready to do those things, it’s time you realise you are carrying a huge red flag in yourself.
5. You base your value on other relationships
If you are someone who bases their worth not on who you are, but on what others think of you, that’s quite problematic. In case you seek constant validation from others and believe that a partner will “complete” you, it’s not a partner that you need, it’s therapy. A partner’s job is not to come riding like a knight in shining armour and rescue you. And you are no damsel. Rescue yourself. Seek professional help, find your self-worth, and then chase after love. Find out who you truly are, embrace that person and take care of them.
6. You are too self-centred
Being a little selfish is not a bad thing. You need to prioritise yourself, but when that selfishness comes at the cost of harming others actively, you need to take a step back and think. Self-centred people are often bad at giving love. They tend to be receivers rather than givers, and a one-sided relationship is not sustainable.
7. You are not a good listener
Listening is an active skill and not many people excel at it. If you just hear someone speak but do not actually listen to what they are saying, you are a poor listener. Listening to others is a very important skill in any relationship. You need to understand if the other person has complaints or concerns that they wish to address rather than just hearing selective things that will benefit you. Not being a good listener is another red flag you should look out for in yourself.
8. You can’t handle rejection
Rejections are a part and parcel of life, and if you don’t learn how to handle them well, you lack a basic life skill. If you are like a kid in a candy store who throws a tantrum on being denied their favourite candy, it’s time to take a good look in the mirror. That is someone toxic. People who don’t handle rejection well are the people who get mean when scorned. Learn some grace, it’ll make life easier.
9. You lack empathy
Being apathetic is not a good look on anyone. Empathy is a life skill everyone should have. That’s what helps you build human, emotional bonds. If you are unable to see the pain and sufferings of others and instead just go on and on about yourself, you are the definition of a red flag. Everyone has problems, but if you are someone who thinks only your problems deserve attention and solutions, you’ve got another thing coming.
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