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November 20, 2006

CREATING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS…Require that you not ignore the red flags.

As a follow up to my last post on conditioning, I thought it would be helpful for people to have something to think about regarding their relationships. Below are a few red flags that your relationship may be damaging your spirit…and it may be time to jump out or lower the heat.

1. Your partner often tells you what you’re thinking is wrong, stupid, not making sense, is unimportant, isn’t true, or says you don’t have a good understanding of what you’re talking about.
2. Your partner tries to isolate you from your friends and family members by: making it uncomfortable to be with family and him/her at the same time, claiming that you care more about your family/friends than you do him/her, giving you a hard time every time you have plans to see family/friends.
3. Your partner loses his/her temper often without provocation. You seldom see it coming and when it does happen, the intensity of his/her anger is palpable even if he/she doesn’t raise his/her voice.
4. Your partner embarrasses you in front of other people by ridiculing you, making a hurtful comment but disguising it as “just being funny”, or directly puts you down in front of others.

5. Your partner apologizes profusely when he/she gets really out of line only to do the same thing again and again. The flip side of this is your partner seldom, if ever, apologizes or accepts responsibility for his/her behavior, and often turns it around on you.
6. Your partner throws things, threatens you, puts his/her hands on you in anger, or calls you names, swears at, or intimidates you.
7. When you speak to your partner about something you don’t like, he/she dismisses you, minimizes the importance of that issue, tells you you’re wrong, makes it seem like it’s your fault, or then begins to talk about all the things he/she doesn’t like about you. Seldom do you believe he/she heard what you said or that he/she will try to change it.

These are just a few red flags. There are many other types of red flags in relationships however these are a good place to start. If you can say yes to more than one of these, it’s time to do some serious thinking about this relationship. All of the above can start slowly and gradually intensify to an extreme degree. It is in your best interest to address them as soon as you are aware that they exist.

Allowing these behaviors to continue is called enabling. If you enable it, you help it to grow.

Challenge: Go through the list above and make an honest assessment of your relationship. Don’t worry about what you are going to do about it yet, just figure out if there are red flags that you have been ignoring. The first step is just opening your eyes.

Note: The behaviors on the list are a problem if they are done in any frequency whatsoever. If your partner has done something once, yet then learned from it and no longer does it, it’s not a red flag; it was a mistake (unless it was physical violence).

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