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5 Major Relationship Red Flags That Trauma Survivors May Tend to Normalize

Relationship Red Flags Trauma Survivors

4. Pay attention to their sense of entitlement.

Are they rude to the server and valet? Watching how a new date talks to wait staff is very telling. When a person is essentially being paid to do things for us, they can be an easy target for people who feel above other human beings.

If they are kind to you but rude to others, this is a red flag that their behavior is not genuine. Pay attention to how they treat servers, employees, coworkers, and especially animals.

Malcolm S. Forbes once said, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

5 Major Relationship Red Flags That Trauma Survivors May Tend to Normalize
5 Major Relationship Red Flags That Trauma Survivors May Tend to Normalize

5. Feeling uncomfortable about or around them.

Trauma survivors, specifically those with a family origin of trauma, have learned a coping mechanism to ignore or even deny their reality. It was quite literally a means of survival.

They may have been taught from a young age that people who are supposed to love them would mistreat and hurt them, so this behavior is normalized in their adult dating relationships.

How do you feel when you are around this person? Anxious? On edge? Unseen? That will say a lot.

The opposite is also true: If you feel that they are perfect or too good to be true, they probably are. All of us have imperfections, and someone presenting themself as being perfect represents a red flag in itself.

Pay attention to the amount of time you spend trying to decipher untruths or lies. When you catch yourself saying, “That just does not make any sense,” trust that feeling.

Related: 6 Early Red Flags Of A Toxic Relationship

There are many ways dysfunctional and potentially abusive patterns can manifest in a budding relationship. Everyone can have a bad day. People can be misunderstood, especially if they are nervous, but look for patterns in how they treat you and others. Different interests or goals can be discussed and explored healthily, but maltreatment and abuse cannot be compromised.

It’s easier to get out of a potentially toxic relationship when it first begins.


Written By Kaytlyn Gillis  
Originally Appeared On Psychology Today  
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5 Major Relationship Red Flags That Trauma Survivors May Tend to Normalize
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Kaytlyn Gillis LCSW-BACS

Kaytee Gillis, LCSW-BACS, is a psychotherapist, advocate, and author with a passion for working with survivors of family trauma. She received her BA in psychology from Clark University, and her Master's from Tulane. Her work focuses on assisting survivors of family and intimate partner abuse and assisting survivors with navigating the legal system to receive protection. Her recent book, Invisible Bruises: How a Better Understanding of the Patterns of Domestic Violence Can Help Survivors Navigate the Legal System, sheds light on the ways that the legal system can perpetuate the cycle of domestic violence by failing to recognize patterns that would otherwise hold perpetrators accountable and protect survivors. Gillis provides training on recognizing patterns of domestic violence, treating the aftermath of abuse, and helping survivors move forward.View Author posts