RED FLAGS (draft)
Red Flags are signs that help tell us that a person or situation is not on the up-and-up.
Some people "wear masks" to hide the fact that they are full of darkness and bad intentions.
These people give off certain "tells" called Red Flags that subtly (and not-so-subtly) show their true character, no matter how much they try to cover it up, pretend, lie, and deceive.
Certain personality types (those full of light and love) attract these manipulative soulless people. It is hard to wrap your head around the concept that such hatefulness exists in the world.
What helped me break ties with mentally manipulative people was to:
research Narcissistic Personality Disorder
read the stories online of the brave people who have survived
learn about the commonalities (including red flags) they demonstrate
Some red flags are listed in the graphic below. Other terms to research include: gaslighting, trauma bonding, isolation, deflecting, boundaries.
A helpful article with more information can be found HERE.
A few reminders that are invaluable to learn and remember:
> You are not the opinion of others. Similarly, no one decides your worth except for you.
> You are enough. Narcissists thrive on making you feel less than human, making you question your worth and sanity, and humiliating you.
> Mentally manipulative people can be disguised as people we love - a spouse, a family member, a boss you admire, etc.
> Most people do not willingly accept being mental abused and therefore, it is often done subtly, slowly, and over a period of time.
> Narcissists will "open up" about traumas they had in order to gain your trust. These events are sometimes things they did to others, not things done to them.
> You are not alone.
> There is no amount of darkness that can hide a spark of light.
> After being hurt by mental manipulation, it is important to remember that you are now a new person and might need to grieve the loss of your innocence and former self.
> Narcissists hate to apologize or admit they are wrong. "I'm sorry you feel..." is not an apology.
> Mentally manipulative people will try to switch the conversation and make you feel bad for being hurt by them. Be weary. Being unable to speak up for yourself is an indicator that you should distance yourself.
> If you have established a boundary and it is repeatedly ignored, this is a red flag.
Another note -- narcissists will try to convince you that you are crazy, that you are too much, that you are too emotional. DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. Your reaction to their abuse does not make you crazy. And the PTSD you may experience for the rest of your life does not make you crazy either.
Throughout this site there are many resources and suggestions on living with the traumas endured while being mentally manipulated. Just like grief, this will be something that is a part of you. Let's work together to turn it into something positive.
To continue, please check out the HELP YOURSELF page.
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If you would like to share your story with me so I may share here anonymously with others, I encourage you to email me.
"Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it." - Brené Brown
(draft - more to come)