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Red flags and heeding them....
February 10, 2010
4:57 pm
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Mugsie
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My question is simply this: Why is it so easy to see a "red flag" but so hard to move away from them?

February 10, 2010
5:09 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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I wish I knew, I see several in certain people and those are the ones who i can't seem to do enough for or be there for the most:(

February 10, 2010
6:37 pm
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saddoxie
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apprently i just miss all the red flags. never see them nor knew they existed

February 10, 2010
7:07 pm
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atalose
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(((Mugsie…..BAREFOOTGIRL …….saddoxie)))

I think it all comes down to ACCEPTING that those red flags are NOT big neon flashing “help me” signs but true warning signals.

And as BAREFOOTGIRL said we can’t do enough for them or be there enough for them and that’s what we codies do best……………over do and then expect something in return from people who are just not capable of giving it.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

February 10, 2010
9:59 pm
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Mugsie
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atalose,
thank you. that was very helpful for me.

February 10, 2010
10:46 pm
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haythere
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I think codies are drawn to people who "need to be saved". Kind of like shopaholics are drawn to "sale" signs.

February 10, 2010
11:33 pm
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onlyboringontheoutside
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Sale? Where!?!? 😉

February 11, 2010
7:33 am
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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I am not really into over doing it for people or expecting alot in return...but i am a friend and if someone needs me, i am there, at least I try...what hurts me is when I do need a favor and trust me, I often never ask, unless its serious and that is rare too, I often find no one around to help me...

I believe a friendship should be a two way street...if I am there for you, not talking ecessively there, but just there for you, and I ask for one favor a year, which what it seems to be here the case, I do expect some effort on your part, to me that is not being codependent but just expecting a friend to be a friend.

February 11, 2010
8:05 am
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fantas
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I have come to learn that these flags are so obvious yet irresistible to me because these are the wounds I need to heal within me. I notice them because I'm familiar with them but I can't stop myself from engaging because often I'm too focused on the other person, mostly because I have no idea that all that person is doing is mirroring me. My thing is to attract users. I give until I feel angry about their taking then complain about it. My wounds: people pleasing, fear of abandonment,martyr syndrome, lack of self love and esteem issues.

All these issues, I have come to learn formed in my childhood as I learned to cope and understand my physically abusive mother and a culture than supported a parent's child to beat up their child. I have worked really hard to realize all this but I'm in a much better place today. All the best to you and your journey!!

February 11, 2010
9:11 am
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atalose
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BAREFOOTGIRL,

The codependent part might be in hanging on to these so called friends who continue to let you down.

Yes friendship is a two way street but when it become one way only we do have choices with that friendship. We can either chose to accept them the way they are and stop expecting more from them or we can peacefully walk awake from that friendship that no longer is working for us.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

February 11, 2010
10:12 am
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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Yes I agree, we can walk away, but when you have only two friends to lean on....no extended family or anyone else to talk too, you kind of give in and make concessions and then feel bad later on when you get sideswapped again...I know i can just go on my own...believe me I been alone, and its too hard for me, I need some people around me throughout the day...just how i am.

February 11, 2010
12:18 pm
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cancer
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Wow Fantas,

I had an abusive mother and thats the void I carry with me. I am always looking for love and acceptance, but I dont think there is anyone that can really validate my needs except for my mother.

BFG..........I have those type of friends too who I am always there for and they are never there for me, I hold on b/c I have no one else, but i am finally learning to let go like Atalose said.
I am amazed that I am not the only one out there, our stories are so similiar but yet people like us do not find each other.

February 11, 2010
2:49 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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Cancer...

Why is it so hard for like minded people to find each other? This is interesting cause its so true and I have yet to be able to figure it out...Sadly most people do not give me the time of day, when they do, I sit and wonder to myself, why? Why? And then I get suspisious and then feel bad about that and till something happens, I usually let it go and just let it go....

My one friend will constantly ask me what I feed my picky eater at home who is eating certain foods and I have to tell her all the time, yes I give her all four food groups, yes I feed her reguarly...she constantly treats me as if I am not bright or something and it drives me crazy too.

When husbands mother died, she came to my home and made the remark that we ignore our child cause she was acting out and eating all the strawberries we had put out for her lunch with us....We spend more time than most as a family, every weekend and we are a close family and yet she hinted that my husband ignored our child on the day his mom died...

I just can't seem to get away from her critism of me....I could now make some remarks of her drinking and her husbands that are TRUE...but I wouldn't never do that, she knows, I know and it would insult her, but it seems ok for her to do that to me! UGH!

February 11, 2010
3:32 pm
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cancer
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Unfortunately some people cannot help themselves and are not very sensitive to others, on the other hand we dont say anything direct to our friends because for myself I would feel bad about it.
Secondly people like this is not truly our friends if they are always criticizing our lives, friends do not judge but should take you as you are otherwise move on.

February 11, 2010
3:59 pm
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atalose
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I think cancer is 100 % right, people cannot help themselves and ARE INSENSITIVE to other peoples feelings.

I used to use so much though and energy on others and why they are the way they are I think mostly to make excuse for them and their bad behaviors but I don’t do that anymore.

Bad behavior is bad behavior period!! It doesn’t matter how someone grew up or that their partner drinks, their bad behavior is still bad behavior and it’s unacceptable to me.

I think there are two things going on here, one you are very sensitive and may take some of the things she says out of context, like when you wrote….she hinted that my husband ignored our child. She didn't come right out and say that but that's what you read into what ever she did say. And the other is, maybe she has to much to say regarding you and what you should be doing instead of focusing on herself. Often people need someone to put down in order to built themselfs up. I don't know if that is what she is doing but that is how she is making you feel regardless. Finding a happy middle ground with this person is your best bet. Next time she makes some comment simple say “interesting, I’ll have to think about that” then change the subject.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

February 11, 2010
4:29 pm
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cancer
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Friendship is about sharing good times and bad, its not a competition who should be better, like atalose said some people just like to build themselves up by putting others down, but also think about it, and if we are grown enough and have true friends we shouldnt be afraid to say how we feel when some one say something we dont like, this way we clear the air right there and then.

February 11, 2010
4:35 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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Actually she did say that he was ignoring her...maybe he was that day, his mom just died, he kinda of ignored me too, we had planned lunch at my home that day, I invited her to come anyhow, thinking it might of helped things, all it did was make a bad situation worse, but in all fairness I am senstivie too and I can sometimes take things the wrong way, that is true too...

I think the lesson here is that I am ignoring the red flags that this is not a healthy frienship, getting hurt and then wondering why..gosh I am so dense sometimes but it is a choice i make cause for some reason I can't seem to be alone...

I am trying to do things differently, all my life when i got hurt, I would cry, pout and end the friendship...all I have is a trail of broken frienships and alot of tears, I would like to hold on to a few friends, even if they are not real friends, its something i guess...

I know, that sounds bad but its how i feel inside.

February 11, 2010
4:50 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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atalose...

your suggestion of "that is interesting and i have think bout that" is golden, I will def use that! THANKS!

February 11, 2010
9:33 pm
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freedom_calling
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GREAT THREAD, THANKS.

I agree with atalose, some people need some kind of holder, scapegoat or whatever you want to call it for their bad feelings.

I realized that this is the type of friendship I attracted too because of my childhood injuries, just like fantas.

I was "too nice" which allowed them to be jerks. There is no shortage of people willing and able to use others.

It is up to me to weed them out and create healthy boundaries.

BFG
I understand what you are saying about being alone. I started to think of friendships in a different way. In shades of gray. Not just black or white. In or out.
Some friends will be close, others casual. You can make your own distinctions and boundaries.

One thing I say to myself is: IF THEY HAVE THE NERVE TO SAY X(RUDE COMMENT), THEN I'm GONNA HAVE THE NERVE TO TELL THEM HOW I FEEL. Not be mean, but being honest.

I'm not at your stage atalose, where I can say, oh that's interesting......LOL
BUT HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.
; )

I have also found that as I am more honest, I have less resentment,,,and less friends too, but the ones I have are dear and true.

As i heal my trauma by creating boundaries and bolstering my self esteem, these people drop out of sight.
But boy, this is tough!

I saw Gloria Steinem speak a few years ago and something she said always stuck with me;
"NICE WILL NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH."

February 11, 2010
9:44 pm
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BAREFOOTGIRL
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I really can't help not being nice, even when I am so hurt...I just am not able to go there and argue. I am not able to fight, as I grew up the peacemaker and wittness so much for such a young person, it greatly affected me, my ability to stand up for myself, to speak out, and if I ever did, I did it wrong and had people hate me, so much that theyleft me...

So now....I am just too scared to have a say in the matter, I just go bout as if all is well, most of the time I can just push it aside...

I do not know how else to be...been this way for a long long time...

February 11, 2010
10:24 pm
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freedom_calling
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(((BFG))))

I hear ya. I was quiet and scared for 35 years.
I traced it back to all the family trauma and my being nice was a way to have people in my life.
This was good if people reciprocated, but many people did not. Especially those in my family of origin.

Some took advantage and still try to.

I had to let them go because the pain of not living my own truth was too great.
Maybe it was my age. But until I started dealing with my past family trauma and grieving I couldn't speak.

And if I couldn't speak, I couldn't get my needs met.
And If I couldn't get my needs met, I found I was depressed.
I get less depressed now and if I do, it passes quickly because I ask myself;
WHAT NEEDS TO BE SEEN OR FELT?

I read your post on the other thread(abuse).
have you ever talked with a safe person or therapist about your family trauma?

I think you said it best in your last post too,,,,you do not "KNOW" how else to be.
Maybe there is another way.

((((((((hugs)))))))))

February 11, 2010
10:30 pm
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freedom_calling
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(((BFG))))

I hear ya. I was quiet and scared for 35 years.
I traced it back to all the family trauma and my being nice was a way to have people in my life.
This was good if people reciprocated, but many people did not. Especially those in my family of origin.

Some took advantage and still try to.

I had to let them go because the pain of not living my own truth was too great.
Maybe it was my age. But until I started dealing with my past family trauma and grieving I couldn't speak.

And if I couldn't speak, I couldn't get my needs met.
And If I couldn't get my needs met, I found I was depressed.
I get less depressed now and if I do, it passes quickly because I ask myself;
WHAT NEEDS TO BE SEEN OR FELT?

I read your post on the other thread(abuse).
have you ever talked with a safe person or therapist about your family trauma?

I think you said it best in your last post too,,,,you do not "KNOW" how else to be.
Maybe there is another way.

((((((((hugs)))))))))

February 11, 2010
10:32 pm
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atalose
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What freedom_calling said:

{I have also found that as I am more honest, I have less resentment,,,and less friends too, but the ones I have are dear and true.}

Humility has brought me so much in life, I used to live my life as if I were on a ladder. Everyone was either above me - to be feared and envied - or below me - to be pitied.

Being honest with myself and my life has helped me climb down from that ladder and live with out judgment of myself and others. I am much happier with a few true friends that know me for me and accept me exactly how I am and who I am then I ever was while trying to live life on that ladder.

I have learned that nice doesn’t always have to come with “welcome” written across my chest, I am not a doormat for others to wipe there crap on. I was very confused about that because my whole life growing up it was instilled in me to ALWAYS BE NICE TO OTHERS, no matter what. It’s hard to un-learn those habits. How I learned was by learning what is healthy and what is not. I have learned that saying “NO” doesn’t mean I don’t care or that I am not being nice, it’s actually healthy!!!! It takes time and practice to feel comfortable with new healthy habits, we need to be patient with ourselves.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

February 14, 2010
7:48 pm
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yeahitsme
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I'm just getting out of an almost two year relationship where I saw red flags in the beginning but ignored them because this very manipulative, controlling, man made me believe he was everything that I wanted and needed. Since our break up he has made my life a living hell, horrible, rotten calls, text messages, and emails. Also he has revealed some of the most intimate parts of my life that I shared with him, thinking that he was going to be my husband. Since our break up I have ordered SEVERAL books of Melody Beattie, Robin Norwood, and Pia Mellody which have all taught me SO much about myself and why I choose these types of men, how to recognize them, and why I ignore the red flags. I suggest that anyone who is feeling like they are the failures in life, read these books and discover the deeper you that you need to understand to make better choices for your life. Learn to heed the red flags and not fall for the same type of guy that you always fall for. Courage, Strength, and love for yourself will get you through. Good Luck!

February 14, 2010
11:50 pm
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Mugsie
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My wounds: people pleasing, fear of abandonment,martyr syndrome, lack of self love and esteem issues.

Fantas,
I can relate to all of this. I want people to be happy and will do what I can to help them. I had been in a relationship for 8 months in 2008 that was nice, thought it was going somewhere, until one day the woman I was seeing said she did not want it anymore but wanted some sort of convenience arrangement. This was totally out of left field for me but I told her I am not a convenience and wished her the best. I set aside a great deal of time for myself to heal and thought I was ready to meet someone. I did, red flag after red flag popped up. She confided in me some intimate things about her life, some of which were very abusive but I wanted to help. In the end, I came to realize she needed me as a convenience as well. I will let someone tell me something but do something opposite so many times before I feel disrespected. I should not take this personally but how many times does one person accept another's words but ignores their actions? I have learned this:"If you do not listen to someone's actions as clearly as you listen to their words, you are only lying to yourself about this person."
For those wanting a really good read, check out The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz.
Thank you everyone for your responses and viewpoints. They have helped me tremendously.

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