17 Warning Signs You Should Stay Away From Someone

Ever met someone who just gives you a weird vibe?

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Maybe it’s a gut feeling, or perhaps you notice little red flags popping up in your interactions. It’s easy to ignore those warning signs, especially if you’re lonely or eager to make a connection. But trust your instincts – they’re usually right! If you spot any of these warning signs, it might be a good idea to steer clear. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

1. They constantly criticize you.

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A little constructive feedback can be helpful, but if someone is constantly nitpicking at your appearance, choices, or personality, it’s a major red flag. They might disguise their criticism as “jokes” or “concern,” but if it leaves you feeling bad about yourself, it’s not okay. This behavior can hurt your self-esteem and make you feel like you’re not good enough.

2. They’re overly controlling.

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Do they try to dictate who you hang out with, what you wear, or how you spend your time? This kind of controlling behavior is a sign of insecurity and a lack of respect for your autonomy. A healthy relationship involves trust and mutual respect, not one person trying to micromanage the other.

3. They have a history of dishonesty.

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If you catch them in little white lies or discover they’ve been deceitful in the past, it’s a sign that they may not be trustworthy. Trust is the foundation of any strong relationship, and if it’s lacking, it’s hard to build anything meaningful.

4. They’re overly jealous or possessive.

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A little jealousy is natural, but if it becomes extreme, it’s a problem, Psychology Today warns. They might get angry if you talk to other people, accuse you of flirting, or try to isolate you from your friends and family. This behavior stems from insecurity and can quickly escalate into controlling and even abusive behavior.

5. They’re disrespectful of your boundaries.

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Whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental boundaries, everyone has a right to set limits. If someone consistently pushes your boundaries, ignores your requests, or makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s a sign they don’t respect you. A healthy relationship involves mutual respect for each other’s boundaries.

6. They have anger management issues.

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Do they have a short fuse? Do they get angry easily or lash out verbally or physically? Anger issues are a serious concern and can put you in danger. It’s not your responsibility to fix their problems, and it’s not okay to be the target of their anger.

7. They’re inconsistent and unpredictable.

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One day they’re sweet and charming, the next they’re cold and distant. This kind of emotional roller coaster can be exhausting and confusing. It makes it difficult to trust them or feel secure in the relationship. Consistent behavior is a sign of emotional maturity and stability.

8. They lack empathy and compassion.

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Do they seem indifferent to your feelings or other people’s? Do they belittle your emotions or dismiss your concerns? Empathy and compassion are essential for building healthy relationships. Without them, it’s hard to connect on a deeper level or feel understood and supported.

9. They try to isolate you from your loved ones.

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Do they make snide remarks about your friends or family? Do they discourage you from spending time with them? This is a classic tactic used by manipulative people to gain control over you. They want to be the center of your world and may feel threatened by your other relationships.

10. They blame other people for their problems.

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Do they always have an excuse or someone else to blame for their mistakes or misfortunes? This lack of accountability is a red flag for immaturity and a potential inability to take responsibility for their actions in the relationship.

11. They’re overly critical of other people.

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Do they constantly put people down or gossip about people behind their backs? This can be a sign of insecurity and a lack of compassion. If they talk badly about people, chances are they’ll eventually do the same to you.

12. They have a sense of entitlement.

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Do they believe they deserve special treatment or expect you to cater to their every whim? This sense of entitlement can be exhausting and lead to an unbalanced relationship where your needs are constantly overlooked.

13. They’re financially irresponsible.

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Do they have a habit of overspending, racking up debt, or relying on you to bail them out financially? Financial issues can cause significant stress in a relationship, and their irresponsibility could put you in a difficult position.

14. They have substance abuse problems.

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According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, substance abuse can strain any relationship, leading to unpredictable behavior, financial difficulties, and even violence. It’s essential to prioritize your safety and well-being, and it’s not your responsibility to fix their addiction.

15. They make you feel bad about yourself.

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This is perhaps the most important warning sign. If someone consistently makes you feel insecure, anxious, or worthless, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship. You deserve to be with someone who uplifts you and makes you feel good about yourself.

Harper Stanley graduated from Eugene Lang College at The New School in NYC in 2006 with a degree in Media Studies and Literature and Critical Analysis. After graduating, she worked as an editorial assistant at The Atlantic before moving to the UK to work for the London Review of Books.

When she's not waxing poetic about literature, she's writing articles about dating, relationships, and other women's lifestyle topics to help make their lives better. While shocking, she really has somehow managed to avoid joining any social media apps — a fact she's slightly smug about.