My thoughts of this:
I can agree fundamentally with these ‘green flag’ ideas but I will say that I’m not sure stating them in this manner is reasonable or realistic… as if if they aren’t all met then that’s a deal breaker for a relationship. I think if I demanded that people always meet these criteria I would not have any relationships…lol. I don’t live up to all of them all the time, every second of the day, myself. I don’t think I have or have ever had an intimate relationship with anyone where these ‘rules’ are always met all the time. If most of these criteria aren’t met by someone most of the time then that’s a problem for sure. If most or all of them are met most of the time then there’s a solid basis for an intimate and authentic relationship I would say. Also I’m guessing each of us will have a different priority for each of these ‘green flags’, meaning, some will be non-negotiable and some will be seen as less critical. I mean, it’s kinda like someone sitting alone in a cave for 30 years meditating to find enlightenment. They may find it but they just spent 30 years sitting in a cave alone. If I were to have a non-negotiable ‘all green flags must be met all the time’ policy I think I would have spent most of my life alone.
I took this to mean that these are desirable traits/attributes. Ain’t no way in hell we can all meet all of these (or even a majority of them) all the time.
What I look for are people who appreciate and are aware of these things and are willing to make an effort at times to spend time somewhere in the vicinity of said things.
What you’ve said all seems a reasonable approach to the list of ‘green flags’ and I would say that’s the most useful way to regard it.
I’ll admit that I have a reflexive abreaction to those sorts of lists…it’s how they ‘strike’ me but I recognize that’s a characteristic of me and not the list. I respond the same to all those Facebook memes that declare that it is some form of spiritual wisdom to get rid of people in my life if I find them the least bit challenging in any way… if they don’t effortlessly conform with my need to believe that I can live some sort of fantasy life that has no interpersonal friction then they should be discarded from my life immediately and forever.
I think when I read the ‘green flags’ list you posted I was in a bit of a disagreeable mood and I actually considered deleting my response because I felt I might have been unnecessarily negative and critical. But then I thought ‘Ah what the heck…unnecessarily critical and negative is who I am sometimes so it’s not a complete misrepresentation of myself’…
I thought your response was spot on and I’m glad you left the post up.
I’ve gotten rid of people in my life who consistently leave me feeling disconnected in a variety of ways. However, we’d each be friendless if we wanted everyone to meet all of our needs/wants without ever falling down on the job. The friends I keep are the ones who make a fairly regular effort to show up (again in a variety of ways).
A friend of mine once referred to me as a “Tier 1 friend” and then talked about how other people are “Tier 2” and “Tier 3” which resonated with me. Plus it was funny the way he said it.
I’ve allowed myself to drift away from a few friendships that just weren’t feeling good to me…none of them were people being particularly horrible or abusive…they just weren’t easy to be around…I wasn’t able to feel fully relaxed and at ease for a number of reasons.
That’s how I organize my clothing!! Tier 1 - clothes I wear out in public, Tier 2 - clothes I will wear around the house, Tier 3 - clothes for my workshop…so I get it!
Been considering this one for a few days. I remember the first time someone shared a meme with “relationship red flags” and how I wished I had had that in my consciousness “way back when.” A red light “is not forever” nor is a red flag necessarily mean always “run for your life!”
Still… red flag knowledge is useful for honoring our desire to have more safety. What does arise that deserves a pause – even an extended stop?
For those raised by narcissists and abusers, or having run into them in traumatizing ways, the red flags can offer guidance and affirmation. “These are not generally okay, nor are you required or even encouraged to overlook them without doing so consciously!” (Yes, I have driven through a red light, after stopping and noticing that it was a stuck light).
Green flags, too, feel to me a part of the healing process. What are signs and signals we might get that it’s likely (although not assured) to go forward, get closer, continue to deepen?
Part of my healing process has included knowing also when the green flags are nodding me forward.
Someone who needs all greens on their journey probably is going to be panicked when driving. No one gets all greens. No one IS all greens.
It feels useful to be able to discern though and not be “color blind” when it comes to these aspects of relating. Appreciate the engagement on this. Sorta feel like posting some of the red flag memes for discussion but don’t currently have the time.
Thanks Rick…a very considerate response that is helpful.
I’ve been giving this some thought lately…the need for both red and green flags. I like the metaphor of ‘navigation’. If we are trying to navigate toward a destination (the experience of ‘thriving’ for example) then it is not only important to know what that destination looks and feels like (green flags) but also equally important to recognize what it doesn’t look like (red flags). And we also need a method of ‘course correction’…how do we get back on course when we’ve drifted off. I’ve been considering this in relation to the ‘Concepts For Thriving’ in particular.
Mmmm, yeah. Body Guidance has part of this. Probably need to acknowledge though that with trauma we can get energetically reversed, so that yes feels no and no feels yes. It’s apparently a contributor to why abuse and neglect as they heal take us from being “attracted” to people like the person(s) who hurt us to finding them a Red Flag to noticing the green flags and being really unsure whether they are really “good” or not!
I have noticed this in a vague sort of way for awhile now; thanks for articulating so clearly with “energetically reversed”.
What’s awesome is that we can use the green flags list to respect ourselves when we show any of those qualities in relating with others and with ourselves, too.