Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has ignored red flags. We've silenced our inner voice telling us to end that friendship, don't marry that person, love that family member from a distance, move away, stay home, etc. And it's okay. We're not weak or stupid people, we're human. While we're on our healing journey there will be trial and error; we won't get everything right. But, we can learn from our mistakes to make better decisions. This piece is based on the 4 Anchors of Love with ourselves, our partners, our family, and our friends. Here are the 4 reasons we ignore red flags:
We're gaslighted into believing that our reality, feelings, thoughts, and instincts aren't true. Whether intentionally or unintentionally...directly or indirectly...when people want their way with us they will sell us their reality in order to get what they want. Those of us who have experienced gaslighting have learned not to trust ourselves. We've learned not take our concerns seriously and to put others' opinions about what we should do and how we should do it above ours. Take the time out to think about what's really going on and perhaps run some situations by your Wisdom Tribe to confirm what you already feel and believe. More than likely, you're not trippin.
We automatically assume that because they have good personality traits that they also have good character traits. Listen, I can write about this one for DAYS! Personality is associated with our outward actions and is surface level. Everyone sees our personality. Personality traits include being fun, humorous, confident, shy, etc. It's more about us as individuals. On the other hand, character traits are associated with our morals based on our beliefs about ourselves and especially other people. People only see our character when certain situations arise that reveal the innermost parts of ourselves. Character traits include dependability, honesty, trustworthiness, being considerate, etc. Our character influences how we treat people. For example, I've counseled/coached several womxn who would say things like, "But Faith! He's so fun and romantic at times. And everyone loves him and thinks the world of him. He's so charming and easy to talk to. Then, there's this other side of him that's inconsiderate, irresponsible, neglectful, sneaky, and dishonest..." Notice the difference between her remarks about his great personality versus his negative character. It's imperative for us to decide if we want to stay connected to people who only have good personality traits while enduring the consequences of their negative character. It's definitely a win-win when people have both a positive personality and positive character!
Societal and religious ideas pressure us to walk on eggshells, don't rock the boat or ruffle feathers, be more patient, turn the other cheek, be nice, don't be the angry and ungrateful womxn, honor and respect our elders even if they're abusive, etc. Because if people treat us badly it's our fault, right? We're encouraged to continue to allow people to give us their a** to kiss in order to maintain relationships.
Womxn have been conditioned to accept, tolerate, and endure pain and toxicity in romantic relationships. We've been taught to ignore negative character traits as something men will "grow out of". Maybe they will, maybe they won't. But we get to decide how long we're willing to wait around to see if they're going to change. We get to evaluate the serious emotional and/or physical conditions we continue to endure in order to preserve the relationship. By the way, if a man only changes to get you back into his life, that's a HUGE red flag that his "change" won't last long. But we'll get into that on another blog. Moving along, womxn are penalized for not having a man and not being able to "keep" a man. Let me make something very clear to you...you can't keep a man that don't want to be kept. And there's nothing wrong with being a single, happy, carefree womxn. Our worth isn't in our relationship status.
If you were ignorant of red flags or simply ignored them because you desired connection...it's okay. I've been there. I spoke about a red flag I ignored regarding a friendship this year on my last podcast episode. Unfortunately, sometimes our desire to connect overrides our decision-making skills. Don't feel ashamed, you're not weak; you're human. This piece isn't meant to bring shame for our past decisions. My desire is for all of us to continue to grow in confidence, clarity and peace. I hope this blog was helpful to you and your healing journey. I would love to hear your thoughts about it. You can reply to this blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace & Love to You,