I am proud of myself. Today I might not feel it but I could be at a different place right now. But I am free from everything and everyone. I make my decision according to what I want in life and not because of what others think of me. I am not hoping anymore that someone is going to take care of me or will love me. No. I am taking care of myself and I love myself. I used to be different, always seeking after affection and love of others because of my lack of self-love. I am proud of me that now I set boundaries on how to treat me and when I feel a bad vibe when I feel that someone is trying to control or manipulate me, I am out.
I hope these signs of red flags will open some eyes even of those who don’t want to see.
1. They don’t accept a NO
A No is a No and someone who doesn’t accept a no doesn’t respect you at all. That easy. Just because someone is being nice to you, buys you things, doesn’t mean he or she owns you. If you do nice things you shouldn’t expect anything back. And just because someone is being nice to you doesn’t automatically means they are a nice person. Be smarter than this, if you don’t want something nobody can force you or pressure you. Never say a no twice, if you have to say it twice you know the other person doesn’t take you seriously. Also, the behavior after you set a boundary says a lot about someone (see point 5 behavior).
2. They have control over you
Most people have low self-esteem or feel like they don’t have control in their life. So what they do is looking for someone with lower self-esteem to control them. Make them dependent, make them a yes-saying-doll. Don’t be that doll, you have control over your life and your decisions. If you truly love someone you want them to be happy, to be free even if it means you are not in their life anymore. Finding such selfless people is hard I know but if we set the rules on how to respect everyone’s space we can teach others about healthy relationships. Healthy relationships don’t magically appear, you have to earn them, you will have to work on them and on yourself. Of course, other people affect us and that can be in a good way, but most of the times people want to manipulate you for their favors (see next point manipulation).
3. They try to manipulate you
Where does manipulation come from? It’s the same like control, a manipulation is a tool for controlling someone. If you are not happy with yourself and need attention and confirmation from others you are more likely to manipulate your friends and partners. Maybe even unintentionally. How to recognize if someone tries to manipulate you? You feel it, they try to make you feel guilty and punish you for being yourself or things you didn’t even do. They try to make you do things you wouldn’t do and are not in your good. Manipulation can even be threatening to harm you or themselves if you don’t act as they want you too. You trust them with your deepest secrets and all you get is they use it against you, make you feel like you’re losing your mind, like you are the one who is crazy, lying, bad.
4. They don’t have a real interest in you
You can always tell if someone has a real interest in your life. When you tell your friends good news draw attention to their reactions. It’s important if they are happy for your achievements and support you. If you realize that they don’t let you speak about things you’re passionate about and it’s always about them ask yourself why are they friends with you. Maybe it’s because you benefit them because they can use you because they need someone to fill their ego. Most chats are just a change of speaker, rarely it is a true conversation.
5. Their behavior changes often
What do I mean with their behavior changes often? I experienced it, people being nice to you and suddenly they are being mean and just different. they are nice to you when they want something for you, to fall into the illusion. But you have to learn to see when it’s not real and their real behavior shows their true nature. Actions speak louder than words. Especially as a Borderliner you have to be careful about the people we choose in our lives. I think you already know who belongs in your life you are just afraid of exaggerating and being too strict, I get that. I’m the same, how can we really know who is toxic for us and who is actually helping us to grow. I don’t know the perfect answer, all I know that people will hurt you when they are close to you. More precisely you allow them to hurt you the only question is who is worthy to stay in your life. Close watching over their behavior toward you but also toward others is important. Are they aggressive even violent? That’s probably the biggest red flag, how someone treats their mother, their siblings, friends, animals say just everything about them. Yes, I know maybe they had a bad past, but it’s not your responsibility to change that person and if you keep letting them hurt you they will never learn from their mistakes.
There are some really crazy people outside and you might not be the only one so keep your eyes open for manipulative behavior and trust your feelings. Never ignore a ‘red flag’, doesn’t mean you have to freak out with very little warning, just be observative and know that you have to be careful and keep distance to that person. Think about what the ‘red flag’ shows you and if you could still be friends if it’s getting worse, because trust me it always gets worse until it escalates. Be prepared and decide if you want that drama in your life, if you can speak openly about what you observe or if you’re afraid. Afraid of losing that person or even afraid of them doing something to you. If you are really scared of someone you know this relationship is not built on trust and understanding but manipulation and control. Never forget that you all deserve a healthy relationship with your partners, friends, and family and you are allowed to walk away from people that constantly hurt you.