Bad Relationship Series: The list

Posted on June 18, 2013



When I analyze the bad relationships I’ve had in the past, a few things tend to continuously pop up. Although each bad relationship I’ve participated in has its own unique destructive tendencies, there are some common denominators between them. Certain characteristics and personality traits seem to yield themselves to bad relationships. 

And not just in my personal relationship experiences, either. When I walk my clients through their own past relationship analyses, it’s apparent that people who damage others have a lot more in common than you would have ever realized.  

Considering all of this, it would probably be in all of our own best interests to have some kind of list. That way, when meet someone new, we can be especially vigilant about proceeding if any of these traits pop up.

I’ve developed this list from three different places: 1. My own life experiences 2. My clients’ experiences with destructive people and 3. From Dr. Phil’s newest book Life Code (By the way, if you feel like you have a problem getting continuously sucked into bad relationships, you need to read this one!)

This list is probably not comprehensive enough to prevent you from ever getting hurt again, but it is thorough enough to help you think twice before you get involved with someone who’s up to no good. In future posts, I’ll give you examples of these destructive traits in action.

Although most people find it helpful to have lists like these that they can refer to, I’d like to remind you that your best, most reliable tool in decoding potential bad relationships will always be your intuition. You’ll want to get into the habit of tuning in to it each and every time you start a new relationship. Even if a new relationship doesn’t fly any of these red flags, if your intuition says beware, it would behoove you to take heed.

Bad Relationship Red Flags

1. Lack of empathy

 2. Display verbal and nonverbal signs of contempt

3. Arrogant entitlement 

4. Blame others/No personal accountability

5. Self-Destructive

6. Do and say hurtful things on purpose

7. Thrive on negative drama, conflict and chaos

8. Triangulate people against each other

9. Brag about outsmarting/manipulating other people 

10. Pattern of short-term relationships

11. Delusions of grandeur

12. Inauthentic/Phony

13. Self-centered/It’s always all about them

14. Draining

15. Badmouth others to you