When we talk about relationships, the conversation always comes back to trust. I might have said that love is the most important thing, but we can have trust without love–we can’t have love without trust.
I’m not down on relationships. Quite the opposite, I think humans are social creatures and need relationships to thrive. And because those relationships are so vital to our happiness, here are some red flags to look for that may indicate they can’t be trusted.
THEY ISOLATE YOU
People who can’t be trusted don’t want to put themselves into situations where they can get caught. To lower that risk they are more likely to separate you from your friends and family and keep you to themselves. It’s harder to catch a snake alone than when you have help. So if there are indications that they want you to drop your friends or keep finding reasons to avoid your family, it’s time to start wondering why.
THEY SAY EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO HEAR
Serial narcissists (people who put their needs and wants ahead of everyone else’s) are great examples of people who manipulate you by telling you all the things you want to hear. If someone seems too good to be true, they might be. I don’t mean that there aren’t good, sensitive people out there, but it’s also okay to scratch beneath the surface of too many feel-good conversations.
A little lie here and there is normal, right? Sure, I guess. But some people lie too easy and too frequently to be trusted. For instance, a “pathological liar” is someone who lies all the time. Lying comes as easily as breathing. Their stories always change, they say anything to get attention, and usually they don’t have many friends because they’ve burned people out of their lives with their lying. If you see signs of pathological lying, it’s not up to you to fix it. Your best bet is to move on. This is a problem they have to fix for themselves.
YOUR TRUSTED ONES DON’T LIKE THEM
If you are lucky enough to have a great friend in your life or are close with your family, it’s a good idea to rely on their instincts when it comes to other people in your life. I’m not suggesting they are always right, but if your BFF and your sister both agree that your partner seems shady–take that to heart. They could be wrong, but it’s worth it to confront that possibility and either disprove it or uncover it now so you can move on.
THERE ARE LOOSE ENDS
Do their past relationships have a lot of loose ends? That is, have they not resolved things with previous lovers? If people are calling, texting, poking or messaging them, or talking about them because they need closure, that’s a bad sign. It means they fear confrontation so much that they would rather leave someone hurt than have the courage to do what’s right. If someone has bad judgement or is more concerned with avoiding unpleasant situations than doing the right thing, can you really trust someone like that when it matters most? I don’t think so.
A school counselor I had in high school gave me some very good advice. He said, “Trust your instincts.” Now, sure, he was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt, but it was good advice nonetheless. Our instincts are those little red flags that go up when something doesn’t feel quite right. Those senses are there for a reason. They tell us when something requires close examination. You might learn you were just being paranoid, or you might just save yourself from someone who really can’t be trusted.