Learning how to spot Red Flags

  • 20 Replies
  • 3198 Views
*

Newlife33

  • Guest
Learning how to spot Red Flags
« on: January 12, 2017, 02:27:51 PM »
Has anyone noticed the more they heal, the more there "radar" gets better? I use to not be able to notice if people were weird, odd, or just like a little off. Now though in conversations I can almost "feel" people's vibes.  I didn't accept it at first, because I thought I was just judging people, but now I see it's something different.

*

Sunshine days

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1551
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2017, 02:51:55 PM »
Yes I find now my boundaries are stronger I have a better outlook and can see insight I never had before into people's mannerisms . The more I heal the more they get weak and I get to fly

*

Totallytickedoff

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 427
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 02:54:27 PM »
Yeah, my nardar is on high alert now that I have all this knowledge. I will say this though....don't always judge someone as a narc when you first meet them. I kind of did this with someone I work with but as I got to know him, he is TOTALLY NOT a narc. I was just mistaken by something small he said when we first started working together. Just be careful not to take things out of context and to be diligent as you get to know someone.

*

Newlife33

  • Guest
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 03:01:28 PM »
Yes agreed, it's not a black and white thing, it's more a grey area, especially at first. The more practice though the easier it gets.

*

randompanda

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 250
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 04:28:49 PM »
Now that I have boundaries, it's so much easier to spot potential PDs.  For me, the red flags go up when somebody starts a conversation with stuff that's waaaay too personal. 

I had someone approach me a week ago at a sports bar where I was watching a football game with my husband.  She came up out of nowhere and started rambling to me about "What happened to all the people who used to come to this place ten years ago?" and then when I said I didn't know, she immediately launched into a long story where she told me about her dead mother and how she died with a broken heart, her own "very expensive house" on the fancy side of town and how she could auction it off today for a million dollars, and a list of all the drugs she used to do when she was younger.  Just went on and on - and she and I were total strangers.  I stayed gray rock.  Didn't engage her.  I eventually just kind of turned my back and continued watching my game.  She eventually went away and tried to start the same conversation with another stranger.  And another.

In the past, I would have felt impolite by not responding to someone like that.  Now that I have boundaries, I can see someone throwing deeply personal information around to a stranger for what it is - a boundary test.  Thankfully, I failed her test so she moved along! 

*

Newlife33

  • Guest
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 06:44:16 PM »
Ug, I have been that person  :sadno: :-[ :upsidedown: I remember being at parties or talking to people, and I would talk about things like how bad my commute was, or a death in the family, or an ex or the latest petty annoyance in my life.  :blink: :thumbdown: :unsure: :wacko: People would respond "Wow, looks like you are going through some shit." or they would ignore me completely because they had boundries and their own beliefs and lives.  I'm reallllllllllly embarassed by that, and am ashamed that I was so socially awkward and weird.  And I was.  I was a weirdo!!  I was an arrogant, socially awkward weirdo. 

Nowwwwww I'm in like the middle ground?  I'm just setting up my boundries, so I've fucked up a little and have let some weird people in, but for the most part the more I work on myself the better my social circle becomes.

Thank you for the advice and stories. 


*

SpringLight

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 320
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2017, 07:35:22 PM »
Newlife33 wrote:
"Ug, I have been that person  :sadno: :-[ :upsidedown: I remember being at parties or talking to people, and I would talk about things like how bad my commute was, or a death in the family, or an ex or the latest petty annoyance in my life.  :blink: :thumbdown: :unsure: :wacko: People would respond "Wow, looks like you are going through some shit." or they would ignore me completely because they had boundries and their own beliefs and lives.  I'm reallllllllllly embarassed by that, and am ashamed that I was so socially awkward and weird.  And I was.  I was a weirdo!!  I was an arrogant, socially awkward weirdo. "


Hi, Newlife33:

Hey, there. Don't beat yourself up. I think what YOU'RE referencing is different than what Random Panda was talking about. (Am I right, RP?) I think what you did was simple "venting."  I think all of us have, at one time or another, been a person who has done what you say you have done. I know I've done it myself. 

And people do it to me all the time. (including today when the cashier started complaining about how awful his job at the store was in great detail.)

Venting is  part of being human, so what you've done is not necessarily a bad thing. It depends on HOW/WHEN you vent. And HOW MUCH you vent, and TO WHOM you are venting...And what's crucial in what I would call "appropriate venting"  is not being oblivious to the person to whom you're venting! 

Twice recently, I've struck up fascinating conversations with strangers and the starting point was... one of us venting about something.  :yes:

I think the kind of person RandomPanda is referring to is a bit different...I gather RP is referring to a person who may or may not be venting. It's the kind of person who launches into an unending monologue about themselves, their opinions, their life story, OR un-interruptable VENTING about some problem without the slightest bit of sensitivity to the person who is listening. :stars:

Here is, I think, a perfect recent example from my life:

Just before the holidays, I was walking through a supermarket, with a shopping cart.  I noticed a woman working at one of those temporary kiosks who was wearing something that I happened to know came from Country X. So, as I was passing by, I said: "Is that from Xville?" It was kind of an little-known country, so I could tell she lit up and was pleasantly surprised that I recognized this.

I had only meant that as a passing thing, a pleasantry... I was busy, the store was crowded, this was the holiday season...

But this woman took my comment as an invitation to  TALK AT ME about  her life and times in Country X. She seemed to be pleasant, and so I lingered a bit. I justified my listening to her by telling myself..."don't be so busy during the holidays that you can't make time for humanity." So I listened, and listened. And this woman...literally could never shut up.  It was so ridiculous I thought this might be a "Punk'D" or "Candid Camera." It was outrageous!

I did try to inject questions and comments,  for the first five minutes or so, to be sociable, and kind. And to a certain extent, I was interested in her tales. Up to a point.  But, then, she started sharing her loooong life story, that she was from Country X, how she had influential friends there, and hey, she may be a kiosk worker now, but back in the day, she was rubbing shoulders with this VIP and that one......

The doormat people-pleaser person I used to be (not too long ago) would have allowed that to continue forever.  :-X

However, this time, I knew it was time to wrap up the "conversation." She didn't take a hint. Not once, not twice, not five times. I finally said "I really have to go now, Nice Talking....Happy Holidays!" Then, to my astonishment, she decided to literally move WITH ME....she left her kiosk, to keep up with moving-on me.  It got worse. While blabbing on, she physically touch me  (as you would a person you were fond of) and she started to hang on to my cart, as I walked towards the exit.! :aaauuugh:

It was very irritating and unnerving.  Fortunately, the cashier had some questions for me, and I was able to literally turn my back towards this N woman.  And tune her out. She disappeared after that.

I'm a good listener and an empath. And I really enjoy people. But just because I have those qualities doesn't mean I should be compelled to listen to random strangers TALK AT ME.

I mean....if ever I'm in the mood to listen to an N ramble on...I have only to call up one of my siblings and get my fill of that kind of one-sided conversation! ;D

*

Kovera

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 61
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 12:11:43 AM »
Has anyone noticed the more they heal, the more there "radar" gets better? I use to not be able to notice if people were weird, odd, or just like a little off. Now though in conversations I can almost "feel" people's vibes.  I didn't accept it at first, because I thought I was just judging people, but now I see it's something different.

YES! I feel the same way. Like you, I was afraid that maybe I was too judgemental or being overly cautious. As abused kids, I believe we tend to develop a subconscious BS detector because we were exposed to dysfunction at a young age. Unfortunately because we sense it so early, the PD's conditioned us as children to suppress it and deny that it's there, ultimately believing that we are the ones with a problem (with their invalidation, gaslighting, etc.). I've learned to embrace it and trust my gut. I'm not always right, but I've found that usually it's a safe bet, and usually a good way to test this is to set firm boundaries. How a person reacts to those boundaries can be an excellent indicator of that persons true intentions.

*

Newlife33

  • Guest
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2017, 01:23:12 AM »
Agreed.  I also noticed something tonight. When you have comfortable boundaries, you can then also sort of just be present and in the moment, and it sort of attracts like minded people.

*

randompanda

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 250
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2017, 03:31:59 PM »
SpringLight, the woman who approached me was similar to the woman you had to escape from.  She definitely wasn't harmlessly venting, it was more like opening a floodgate of all the deeply personal details of her life.  She was a total stranger, and as soon as I said one word acknowledging her, she started unloading her entire life story at me rapid-fire.  She reminded me very much of my NPDexbf, where she was talking at me so fast, I honestly wondered how she was getting enough oxygen.  It seemed like she didn't pause long enough to even take a breath!

It can be tough sometimes trying to feel people out, and I try not to jump to judgment too quickly when someone is just being chatty or wants to commiserate about the traffic or a bad day at work.  But when "the spew" starts, I run for cover!

*

leapsand bounds

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 271
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2017, 09:12:49 PM »
I agree that the difference between social awkwardness and a red flag behaviour is the person's response to boundaries.  It might be understandable that a person might not "hear" the lowest level, something like: "that's interesting, but I'd better let you get on with what you were doing..."  but not hearing a fourth or fifth soft 'no'   should raise a flag.  Following you after you've said goodbye.......sheesh!     Gary De Becker has something to say about that in "The gift of Fear'.

There are people with disorders that mean that have difficulty understanding and responding to social information, but such people are open to learning, if they don't have a concurrent lack of basic respect for other people and mega sense of entitlement.

There has been plenty of research showing that the majority of people have no problem understanding polite niceties that most people employ to avoid offending others.  If they don't respect 'polite' boundaries it is because they are choosing not to.  And that, after a point, is one of the biggest red flags - refusing to take 'no' for an answer, whether it be "no, I don't want to talk any more" or any other "no".

*

SpringLight

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 320
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2017, 02:43:21 AM »
SpringLight, the woman who approached me was similar to the woman you had to escape from.  She definitely wasn't harmlessly venting, it was more like opening a floodgate of all the deeply personal details of her life.  She was a total stranger, and as soon as I said one word acknowledging her, she started unloading her entire life story at me rapid-fire.  She reminded me very much of my NPDexbf, where she was talking at me so fast, I honestly wondered how she was getting enough oxygen.  It seemed like she didn't pause long enough to even take a breath!

It can be tough sometimes trying to feel people out, and I try not to jump to judgment too quickly when someone is just being chatty or wants to commiserate about the traffic or a bad day at work.  But when "the spew" starts, I run for cover!

RandomPanda:

I'm wondering  whether in either (or both) of our N-esque encounters, we were dealing with some  sort of comorbid diagnosis, such as Bipolar. The bipolar hypomanic monologue is characterized by that "pressured speech."  :blahblahblah: I had a friend like that. Fortunately, he had good self-awareness and it was ok, because he could joke about it.  He'd get off the phone, often at night, and take his meds.

Either way...if you can't get a word/thought in "wedgewise" with someone like that, as Archie Bunker used to say.... ;D...whether its NPD or borderline mania or whatever...it does no good to be captive to the one-sided  logorrhea.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 02:49:01 AM by SpringLight »

*

SpringLight

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • 320
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2017, 02:47:31 AM »
I agree that the difference between social awkwardness and a red flag behaviour is the person's response to boundaries.  It might be understandable that a person might not "hear" the lowest level, something like: "that's interesting, but I'd better let you get on with what you were doing..."  but not hearing a fourth or fifth soft 'no'   should raise a flag.  Following you after you've said goodbye.......sheesh!     Gary De Becker has something to say about that in "The gift of Fear'.

There are people with disorders that mean that have difficulty understanding and responding to social information, but such people are open to learning, if they don't have a concurrent lack of basic respect for other people and mega sense of entitlement.

There has been plenty of research showing that the majority of people have no problem understanding polite niceties that most people employ to avoid offending others.  If they don't respect 'polite' boundaries it is because they are choosing not to.  And that, after a point, is one of the biggest red flags - refusing to take 'no' for an answer, whether it be "no, I don't want to talk any more" or any other "no".

I agree, Leaps and Bounds.
Very good point to remember and yes, The Gift of Fear does a good job in addressing this very thing.  Trust your instincts about people refusing to take your (repeated) "no" for an answer.

*

Newlife33

  • Guest
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2017, 03:15:57 PM »
The more I heal the more I notice it!! People who I thought we're friends really aren't....I was talking to someone I thought I trusted and was friends with. I said "I played soccer Friday for 2 hours, felt and played great!". His response?? "Just wait 5 years till your body starts to break down." What a jerk!!! Turns out that was how he acted all the time. We both like soccer, so I was like "great we can build a relationship off this, but I'm learning that just because you share a hobby with someone doesn't mean you will get along.

This friend making thing is hard. :yes:

*

Sunshine days

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1551
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2017, 08:16:54 AM »
The more I heal the more I notice it!! People who I thought we're friends really aren't....I was talking to someone I thought I trusted and was friends with. I said "I played soccer Friday for 2 hours, felt and played great!". His response?? "Just wait 5 years till your body starts to break down." What a jerk!!! Turns out that was how he acted all the time. We both like soccer, so I was like "great we can build a relationship off this, but I'm learning that just because you share a hobby with someone doesn't mean you will get along.

This friend making thing is hard. :yes:

Sounds like you want a injection of positivity in your new found energy and passion, he may be feeding of that and wanting some of the rays , glad you aren't taking him on as a passenger.

*

Adria

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1211
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2017, 02:00:54 PM »
Yes, but the only bad thing is, is you realize how many people out there have personality disorders.

*

Newlife33

  • Guest
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2017, 02:57:11 PM »
Yes, but the only bad thing is, is you realize how many people out there have personality disorders.

You know, it's funny you say this, I thought about this a lot recently. Do you think this is true, or do you think that we just have now discovered the skill of seeing red flags of PD so we are like overwhelmed by them?  It reminds me of when I first got a dog;  before that I didn't really notice or relate to other dog owners, but all of a sudden I was like acutely aware of them and could tell a lot about them.  Now thought dog owners are just like a small part of my reality that I can relate to. 

I'm hoping that with PD people we have now gained the power to see them which we never had, so of course they are going to seem like they are everywhere.  But then......we gonna start to see the good people :)


Just food for thought :)

*

Adria

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1211
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2017, 03:35:45 PM »
New Life.   "Do you think this is true, or do you think that we just have now discovered the skill of seeing red flags of PD so we are like overwhelmed by them?"  (Haven't figured out how to do the quoted thing yet.)  But that is a great question. Yes, might just be on high alert.  I hope so, because I really want to see the good people even more. 

*

Newlife33

  • Guest
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2017, 05:32:24 PM »
New Life.   "Do you think this is true, or do you think that we just have now discovered the skill of seeing red flags of PD so we are like overwhelmed by them?"  (Haven't figured out how to do the quoted thing yet.)  But that is a great question. Yes, might just be on high alert.  I hope so, because I really want to see the good people even more.

No worries!  I suck at the quote thing to.

Theory of healing from PD:
1. Therapy and this site "trained" us to be aware of PD's in our FAMILIES.

2. The magical day finally comes when you are fully aware and you can deal with it WITHOUT getting triggered.  We have successfully broken away and built our boundaries and it has zero effect on us.  This, btw is a MIRACLE and we need to be PROUD of ourselves for that work to get there.

3. We were so focused on the abuse from our families, we forgot to notice or look at everyone else! We move away from our fam but still have that recent training and now we see ALL the PD's everywhere!
 
4.  Our body adjusts, we begin to notice "Hey...that person is doing "insert hobby or team I like" and they seem cool and I am drawn to them in a different way."  They aren't like my fam, they are healthy!!  This part is hard and takes a lot of work to "let go and go with the flow" of trust.

5. We start building up healthy relationships and eventually grow into the life we deserve.  :thumbup: 8-) ;D :D


Again, could be total bullshit, but more food for thought :)

*

Adria

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 1211
Re: Learning how to spot Red Flags
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2017, 12:00:38 AM »
Thanks, Newlife, very interesting.