Meet Susan. Susan is in a longterm relationship and her man is everything she’s ever looked for. He’s funny, warm, a good listener and he always puts her first. Sure, he might have a slight problem with his temper — but nobody’s perfect, right? Susan reassures herself that things are fine, that at least he takes his anger out on the furniture and other objects instead of her.
Meet Tom. Tom is a businessman and his wife prior to being his wife was a long-dated trusted friend. More recently though, money has been disappearing from their joint family account and not to mention, Tom’s wife is often absent from work or calls in with various excuses. Tom doesn’t want to believe that his trusted wife would ever let him down, so instead he figures if he ignores the problem, it will eventually just simply disappear.
Meet Joanna. Joanna has gone through a very rough year. Her mother passed away, leaving her with the care of her elderly father. Although she was also promoted at her company, the attached price tag was rather high: more stress, for which wasn’t greatly compensated. Her husband, has been acting out, is angry and sullen and often only comes home late after work. He has even missed their daughter’s piano recitals. Joanna thinks she can handle it all. After all, everyone points to her as the model, strong-willed loving wife—but she’s not sleeping well, and every so often, she finds herself shaking and crying for no reason at all.
Red Flags, also known as Early Warning Signs
Red flags, in other words, are signs that are made to grab our attention. In fact, red flags can be seen everywhere: a store may have “Red Flag Sale” to present never-before-seen discounts. Red flags are waved in front of bulls to captivate their attention. We humans are also equipped with our own red flags—and it’s up to us to pay attention to them.
Red Flags can appear in many interpersonal relationships, as was demonstrated above. Unfortunately, too often we ignore these early warning signs that something is wrong, and by the time we take notice, the problems have multiplied.
7 red flag signs/questions to watch for in a relationship
1. Have you noticed that he or she blames others or circumstances for life situations?
2. Tries to control everything, including you?
3. Immature, impulsive, lacks accountability?
4. Does your significant other react to frustration with anger, blame or rage?
5. Emotionally distant from the star or suddenly emotionally distant?
6. Still clinging to a past relationship?
7. Glass half-empty type of individual always looking for you to improve their sad life?
At some time or another, we’ve all experienced these types of red flags or warning signs that something is not quite right in our relationship with our significant other. A constantly increasing number of psychologists in the field of human potential believe that these warning signs are “emergency flares” set off by something deep and rich found in all humans - intuition. Said specialists believe that if we learn to pay attention to, and act on, this inner wisdom, we can gain extraordinary guidance - especially when it comes to our personal relationships.
“No matter how many facts we gather, if we cling to logic, we’re using only a small percentage of our capacity to know,” writes Penney Peirce in her book, The Intuitive Way: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Awareness. “Intuition, I’m convinced, is where the other 90 percent of our brainpower lies. Through intuition we get the big picture.”
Most relationships, especially romantic ones, exist in a world of overpowering emotions and hidden expectations, many of which are mysterious and unconscious. Clearly, we have an overpowering desire for something - yet, we aren’t listening to our inner voice that tells us something is wrong. Moreso, we live in a culture that rewards both facts and proof while downplaying what we cannot see or touch. However, much like love and faith, our inner intuition is something we all possess and we can all learn how to use it to our benefit in order to make our lives more rich and satisfying.
“Intuition isn’t mystical. It’s a sort of background sense of how things should work; it’s facts hidden in the brain,” writes bestselling author Laura Day, who calls herself an “intuitive.” In her books, Practical Intuition and Dynamic Intuition: Creating a Joyous and Successful Life, Day offers guidelines on ways to access this important faculty.
In the cases above, if Susan, Tom and Joanna were listening to their intuition’s red flags—rather than their fears—they probably would have dealt with their problems more quickly, prior to them getting out of control. Like them, we can also tap into our intuition in order to help guide us in making healthy and effective decisions, not only in our relationships but in life as a whole.
Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications