Red Flag Obsession

There’s so much advise, and when you’ve been the unfortunate victim of abuse or a romance-gone-bad, you can find a sense of safety by looking for red flags. Beware that you might fall victim to red flag obsession.

And if you aren’t able to come up with enough red flags, you can find all the red flags you could possibly imagine everywhere from newsstands and books to the over-anxious depths of the worldwide web.

When you start looking for red flags, out of fear, your fear will begin to see everything as a potential red flag. The same red flags which you embraced as a means to protect yourself can actually promote your own deterioration or destruction.

If you’re frightened, broken, or suffering from a broken heart, you probably shouldn’t be looking to put yourself at risk. You should avoid putting yourself in situations that could potentially be risky so that you don’t have to use red flags to help keep you safe.

If you are looking for red flags, you’re bound to potentially find them everywhere you look, keeping yourself in a perpetual state of panic. Not only will you find this exhausting, but the stress that comes from this will cause your immune system to fail, and this will cause your social network to break down.

It will be difficult for someone obsessively looking for red flags to trust others, it also engenders a feeling in others who may feel the negative energy of your troubled perspective to trust you, especially, if you’ve announced your propensity to be looking for red flags.

People don’t like to be judged unjustly and will think they are under your unrelenting microscopic examination. Few people would sign-up for such an interrogative approach to demonization and may find ways to avoid you and your red flag obsession.

And if you’re so inclined, you will probably assume that this person was guilty when they found a way to avoid further interaction with you.

Red flag obsession is a lonely business where you assume the role of the only righteous judge who is constantly judging all who access your social court and is akin to narcissism. You’re better than that.

Not all people are bad people. In fact, few of them are. There are far more good people in the world than predatory ones. But if you are looking for red flags, you will be able to take a small detail, and using your fear-fueled imagination, you can assume this is a potentially dangerous person.

Only bad people have to assert how good they are by constantly saying, “I’m a good person.” For the most part, a good person doesn’t need to assert their goodness. The people who have known this person for an extensive amount of time will know how “good” they are by witnessing their integrity over time.

A truly good person does not have to convince anyone of their goodness and they may feel it unreasonable, or at least awkward, having to prove their goodness or worthiness to anyone.

Rather than looking for the evil red flags, a healthier, wiser person might otherwise be looking for the good in others. And it’s not just enough to query them in a question and answer format-like interview.

Take your time and observe them over time. Don’t jump right in and put yourself at risk, though moving any relationship to a deeper level will have risk associated with it. The best and closest relationships involve a degree of vulnerability or risk.

Continue to be cautious, but not so cautious that it makes you paranoid about being at risk all the time, this is unhealthy red flag obsession.

If you’ve been bitten by the red flag bug, no problem. We all do the best we can with what we have. You don’t owe anyone an apology, you didn’t do anything wrong, but now you can start taking a more positive approach to getting to know others.

You’ll be surprised to find that once you start looking for the best (just like when you were looking for the worst) in others, you will find beauty and goodness everywhere you look. And you won’t have to worry about being at risk.

Just because you’re looking for the best in others doesn’t make you blind. You will see the inconsistencies in others and you can safely file the information away as you allow their reality to unfold naturally before you.

How to Know If You Can Trust Someone

Is He or She Trustworthy?

How to know if you can trust someone or, not? Is he or she trustworthy?

If you pay attention you can usually tell if someone is worthy of your trust early on. People are generally fairly transparent unless they have a form of psychopathy or are a highly trained government spy.

Early on, people give us clear signals which could alert us to whether they can be trusted, or not, though in most cases we overlook the warning signs because we desire to seek out and believe the best in people, especially those we may have the potential of developing a relationship with.

First off, you feel comfortable about the idea of trusting them. Now this may be a false positive, but it is rarely a false negative. If your first impression of a person is that they appear to be trustworthy, more often than not you will be right. On the other hand, if your first impression of someone is that they cannot be trusted, you’re probably right.

Observing how a person acts and reacts will help to give you more supportive information as to whether someone can be trusted, or not, such as do they appear to trust others, or are they more suspicious of others. There’s a pretty good chance, if they are unable to trust others, it is probably because they know they themselves cannot be trusted. If you can’t trust yourself, how can you trust someone else? An early indicator might be impulsivity. If they can’t trust themselves, their ability to control their own actions, then there’s a good chance your faith or trust in them may be misguided. People who are worthy of your trust are usually able to demonstrate an adequate level of self-control.

Trustworthy people are more compassionate and willing to compromise for the greater good, while someone who is unwilling to compromise might not be able to be trusted to do the right thing. These observations can be noted on the smallest scale and extrapolated out to the more important things of life. For instance, if you have an impromptu meeting after work with co-workers about a particular project and you invite the new hire along, if he or she declines the invitation because he or she is tired, you can reasonably expect that this person will opt out of more important obligations if they are not feeling up to it. Which in itself is not a bad thing, but what if you’re depending on this person to follow through on something of great importance? You will look back on this early warning sign, slap your forehead and say, “I knew it.”

If you can’t trust someone with the smaller details, then you probably can’t trust them with the big ones. If someone is not telling the truth about how long they took for a coffee break, or lie about where they went on their lunch break, even though these may seem inconsequential, they are early warning signs of someone who is comfortable with not telling the truth. Even though they might be white lies or they might have purposefully withheld particular details which may not be cause for alarm, these can be indications that trouble may be brewing down the line when the stakes are much higher. If someone can be trusted with small, inconsequential details, then there’s a good chance they can be trusted with more important details.

Making excuses, justifying their missteps, or blaming others could be early indications that someone can’t be trusted, for trustworthy individuals are far more likely to take full responsibility for their actions. You know what to expect from someone who can be trusted. If they say they are going to do something, they do it. If they give you a head’s up that they might not be able to perform to an expected level, and they do not, they were honest and forthright, giving you fair warning. While untrustworthy individuals are more likely to make promises knowing they are unlikely (if not unable) to keep them, then make excuses or blame someone or something else for their inability to follow through with their commitment(s).

The only real way to know if you can trust someone, or not, is to trust them with something small at first. Then sit back and see what happens. If they prove that they can be trusted with this, then you can move on to other, more important issues. Sometimes trusting someone allows them to raise their own personal bar of integrity, answering the call with trustworthiness. Giving them the opportunity to show themselves as trustworthy might actually make them worthier of your trust in him or her.

10 Seconds to Trustworthiness

When you meet someone for the first time, or are just getting to know someone, they have created an image of you in their mind’s eye about whether you can be trusted or not. Whether it’s a social engagement, casual meeting, job interview, meeting a potential client, sales meeting or a potentially romantic date, you have only 10 seconds to communicate your trustworthiness.

Set the Stage

In setting the stage, you’ve taken into consideration your intention. Ask yourself, “What do I want to achieve?” and set your mind on the intended result that will lead to supporting your highest and best as well as that of any person you meet. To communicate trust you must quickly convey you are authentically open and honest, possess humility and are not selfish or conceited.

Being in tune with your intention sets your vibration and being in touch with your vibration will attract others with a similar vibration, or raise the vibration of the person or people that you meet to match your vibration. This is where true communication (or communion) takes place, but you only have 10 seconds to establish tone. Sow set yours in advance and consider also

Accessories and Attire

I know much is said about high fashion accessories and apparel that communicate confidence, compel followers to be attracted to you and increase sales.

This is a sensitive area. While the fashion industry would like you to believe that your expensive watch, designer clothes, shoes and bag will make you the toast of the town, it may also create a negative emotion in someone you might be trying to connect with in an authentic manner.

The higher your intention for connection, the more conservative your appearance (clothing and accessories) should be, if you want to be trusted. Try to match your overall look with the vibration of your intention, especially if you want to seem humble, approachable and trustworthy.

Too much bling is intimidating and may communicate selfishness or arrogance instead of trustworthiness at first blush.

Body Language

Be aware and conscious about how you communicate with your body. There are some things you can do that communicate openness and humility, like keeping your hands in a palms-up open position, keeping your shoulders down in a relaxed position, looking them in the eye but taking breaks so as not to seem like you’re staring them down and maintaining a mildly confident stance (avoid the hand on hips Superman pose).

If appropriate to greet with a handshake, firmly but gently (without a death grip) shake hands in with a vertical hand position, pump two to three times and disengage. Overdoing the handshake can put someone on the defensive.

Without going into detail about body language (which could consume a lifetime of study) avoid any stance, body motion or hand position which may put someone on the defensive if you want people to trust you. Consider being observant about others who do establish rapport and trust easily. You don’t have to hear what they are saying, just watch what they do. Consider video recording yourself. Watching your communication style from outside of your own experience may be an enlightening experience. We all could do better.

Be Attentive

Whatever it is, make it about the other person. Don’t put yourself on display or make this about you. Putting others first is the best way to establish a non-threatening position when making a first impression.

Quickly find something good to say about the person you are approaching (in the first 10 seconds) a genuine, well-intended and honest compliment can help instill camaraderie.

Be complimentary – but don’t overdo it – you want to seem nice, not manipulative.

Even if you’re in a room full of people at a networking event, for the brief moment(s) you are meeting someone, stay focused on him or her. Don’t be looking around the room for your next target, or checking your phone. Listen actively, don’t interrupt or try to show how smart or important you are. Leave them wanting more, save it for a later date.

Be willing to appear confident but honest and vulnerable.

You don’t have much time (10 seconds) to set the tone. If you are really the kind of person who can be trusted, you would like people to know this about you as soon as possible. A little thought and preparation can go a long way in communicating your trustworthiness and hopefully make an impact during your opportunity to leave behind a good first impression.