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Author Topic: What Are Your Red Flags When Making New Acquaintances?  (Read 10451 times)
Tivo8MyNeighbors
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« on: February 11, 2010, 04:08:58 AM »

In 1998, I was *badly* burned by a sociopath who had posed as my friend for almost two years. That served as a wakeup call to me to listen to my gut whenever I meet someone new, and it worked really well until 2007, when I moved out of my homestate after 36 years and was thrust into a brand new unfamiliar environment.  I again chose friends badly, and it took nearly a year to completely extricate myself from the situation.  Well, we've moved again to a new post in a new country, and I'm being super cautious about making associations.  The one neighbor I've met set off my bats**t bell immediately, so I just didn't pursue that relationship any further.  My son will begin school in a month, and I'm simultaneously excited and anxious about meeting people in his school community.  On the one hand, I certainly don't want to find myself on the business end of a sociopath again.  On the other, we all need human contact and a support network, and I'm too gregarious to remain completely friendless for the duration of this tour. 

What are some of your red flags, as far as new acquaintances go? 

*big hugs*
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 06:44:48 AM »

Hi Tivo, that's been a very important issue for me as well. I've met people who freak me out immediately, but I have also met people who excel at social camouflage and who are very difficult to truly recognize.

I have a couple of strategies. One, I look at my own behaviour when encountering new people. I read somewhere in a book on abuse that people who grew up in abusive environments can sometimes have a "zipper on the outside" - all it takes is for someone to pull on it and out comes trust, compliance, access to the person's inner core. I noticed that I trust people quickly and that I reveal a lot of information about myself quickly, both factual (history, details about my current life), and personal, thoughts, feelings, hopes, experiences.

Now that I know this, I look at pacing myself. I periodically stop and look - do I know this person well enough to trust them with this stuff? Am I giving away too much too quickly? How have they acted upon the information I have give so far?

Second strategy is time and looking at actions, not words or demeanour. Because psychos and garden-variety jerks can sometimes be so good at hiding their nature, I look at how they have acted. Some stuff is very telling! Like a new friend I made one time - I offered to help him move. Then when I was moving, I asked for his help and never even heard back, not even a "I'm so sorry, I can't do it that day". And it takes time for stuff like this to reveal itself. That's why it's important to pace the closeness and trust until you know someone better.

Some obvious things that make me go "STOP AND EVALUATE!":

- a person persuading me to do something. I now do this even when dealing with people I do trust. Whenever someone wants me to do anything and is trying to influence me to do it, I take a very close look at their motivation and keep in mind that they are not the keeper of my well-being and they don't get to live with the consequences of my actions.

Predatory people will always engage in some form of persuasion - they need to get a certain behaviour out of you, so they have to sell you on something. Whenever anyone is trying to persuade you, take a very careful look at the situation and the person.

- when someone refuses to hear "no" and I have to repeat it multiple times in the face of further attempts at persuasion. This can be something trivial, like a coffee date, or something more serious. Regardless, if they don't respect my "no", that's a red flag onto itself. The phrase "oh, come on!" is an automatic ding-ding-ding.

- someone becoming a best pal very quickly. All my deep friendships took time to develop. All relationships where the person became very important and very present in my life very quickly have been disastrous. Again, it takes time for a person's nature to reveal itself. Predators will try to ensure that you are in deep with them before too much time passes.

- charm. Charm is a behaviour and a tactical advantage. Sometimes it's harmless and unconscious. Sometimes it's deliberate and lethal. When I meet a charming person, I know I have to watch them very closely.

I hope this helps!

I also recommend reading books on the subject, I think one good one is The Psychopath Next Door. I forget the author, but the book Persuasion is excellent, it talks about pressure strategies and I have learned to recognize them a lot better after reading it.
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 08:21:31 AM »

Wow, thank you so much Random ! This was very helpful for me as boundaries are very important to me. Not having boundaries until recently opened the door to a lot a suffering. I also heard the thing about the zipper; I remind myself "keep your zipper inside". This is not only good to help keeping boundaries but also keeping our energy. Some people are energy vampires and they suck it out of you. My uBPDm was famous for this.
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LOAnnie
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 10:17:53 AM »

I agree, I think Random's advice is excellent!   And of that advice, I think the best one is "take it slow"; that's a red flag for me if someone is being too friendly too fast.  I call it my "salesman radar".  A salesman is trying to pitch their product and persuade you to buy it.  To the salesman, you are a potential "mark", a person who is easily persuaded and taken advantage of, and they're feeling you out. 

   

Another good one is to notice if a new acquaintance appears to need rescuing.   A sociopath is trying to trigger your empathy so you will say, "Please, let me help you."  Of course, sometimes a brand new acquaintance might be in genuine need, but its just not likely, statistically. 

If needing rescuing is how a virtual stranger presents himself or herself to you right off the bat, to me that's a red flag.  Note: appearing to have a broken arm was one of Ted Bundy's best ploys.  He lured young women to his car to help him load/unload an item, and they would follow him there out of pity and a desire to help someone who seemed injured, but when he had the trusting stranger alone he used both his good arms to subdue her. 

If this happens to you, all you need to do is say something like, "Just a moment, let me get my friend X to come over and help us do (whatever), or "Let's ask my husband, he knows about these things" or "I'll call a police officer to come help you" or something that delays your immediate compliance and gets another person involved.  If the acquaintance was trying to get you alone, they will suddenly not need your help after all.  If its a genuine situation of need,  the acquaintance will be glad of more assistance.

Take. It. Slow.

-LOAnnie
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Tivo8MyNeighbors
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 11:23:42 AM »

people who grew up in abusive environments can sometimes have a "zipper on the outside" - all it takes is for someone to pull on it and out comes trust, compliance, access to the person's inner core. I noticed that I trust people quickly and that I reveal a lot of information about myself quickly, both factual (history, details about my current life), and personal, thoughts, feelings, hopes, experiences.

I'd have to agree here about the zipper; in my late teens, early twenties, I was an open book, and I practically handed the Ginsu knives to the backstabber myself.  I was so compliant, if you'd asked for my Social Security Number, I'd have been four digits into it before it occurred to me it might not be any of your business.  I grew out of it,though, and law school *definitely* nailed the coffin lid shut on that tendency. 

Now, whenever I encounter an "over-sharer," a huge red flag goes up for me, and I tend to back away quickly from the person. 

*big hugs*
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 11:29:41 AM »

Excerpt
whenever I encounter an "over-sharer," a huge red flag goes up for me

Hah, it could just be someone like me who is still working on the zipper thing.  Smiling (click to insert in post) Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 12:41:36 PM »

Anyone who asks me for something for free the first time we meet.

Anyone who presents with an aggressive demeanour.

charming bothers me.
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 12:44:10 PM »

Oh, here is another good tip from the book The Gift Of Fear (must-read for everyone alive): loan-sharking. Predators often offer unsolicited help or gifts as a way to make the person feel indebted to them, and additional leverage to gain trust and control. I can't tell you how handy this advice came in with dating. Any guy who says they like to "spoil and dote on" their date is up to something.
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LOAnnie
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2010, 01:47:56 PM »

Excellent book, I'm glad you mentioned that one.  "The Gift Of Fear" has a lot of great advice and it teaches you what to look for and encourages you to trust your intuition about other people.

I have had that kind of instinct-based intuition that's discussed in "The Gift Of Fear" on more than one occasion.  Two come to mind; one was a neighbor, the husband of a friend of my mom's, and the other was a new boss (a woman).  The intuition translated into an actual physical sensation for me, like being pushed away from the person by an invisible hand.  Totally bizarre!  Each of these individuals later proved themselves to be quite nasty, so I'm glad I paid attention to my intuition and gave these creeps a wide berth.

-LOAnnie





Oh, here is another good tip from the book The Gift Of Fear (must-read for everyone alive): loan-sharking. Predators often offer unsolicited help or gifts as a way to make the person feel indebted to them, and additional leverage to gain trust and control. I can't tell you how handy this advice came in with dating. Any guy who says they like to "spoil and dote on" their date is up to something.

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Cindy
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 01:36:19 AM »

It is late at night and I am not playing with a full deck mentally, but I want to run this by you all and see what you think.

My now boyfriend who may not be my boyfriend much longer is usually very easy going but I hadn't known him that long when the following incident happened. Without getting into all the details of the entire relationship, what would you think if he had been fine and I had been the one who was nervous because something

really important was happening the next day.  We had a little time to kill when suddenly he becomes very combative over an idea I had.  The idea was not important.  It would be like discussing the meaning of a book or something.  Quickly the argument becomes absurd.  I go into the other room and start doing something and trying to keep from crying.  I had somewhere in that few minutes used the word "Whatever" in which he told me he hated. I tell him I was on the verge of tears and what in the heck is going on... .he mocks the fact that I am on the verge of tears and declares he is going to sleep on the coach.  What?  This relationship was so new that if he felt he needed to sleep on the couch he could just go home for heaven's sake.  Instead, within the hour, he gets a headache and asked for asperin.  His headache turned into a migraine type throbber in which I am getting him an ice pack and asking him if he gets migraines.  He tells me that "He don't know this has never happened before."  Since I do get migraines but a different kind, I had remembered him telling me that he does once in a while get such a bad headache that he has to leave work.  He was sensitive to light... .so I excused it as a migraine.  To this day it still bothers me as it seemed like dissociation.  He didn't remember the incident.  He knew at the time that he was irrationally mean but ... .ok enough. I saw an actual personality change but only for a few minutes. Edited to say that recently he had one of those headaches again but not while with me.  Instead it had to do with him wanting to come over and me saying no.  There is a lot of red flags but I am just writing about one of them. We have probably been seeing each other for about 8 months now.

The thing that strikes me as a similarity is that when I was working with an adult with autism at a school, my job was to find out why he was violent sometimes.  I found out that right before a seizure this autistic person would become aggressive.

Any relationship?  Personality Disorder or Migraine.  This guy is a recovering alcoholic who I didn't know when he was drinking.  For the most part he treats me well.  

Help? Cindy
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Ankakusu
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 01:50:08 AM »

Cindy--in general I think it is a red flag when you're having an argument with someone close to you who acts abusive or borderline abusive--hurting your feelings and acting non-empathetic-- and then you suddenly find yourself taking care of them when no apology has been offered. I don't know what this is, but this has happened to me in the past (and of course with my mother).

I've noticed when meeting  |> people that I get a sort of prickling sensation on the back of my neck, as well as a hot, tight, feeling in the chest. I wonder what that's all about... .it's useful though, if I allow myself to pay attention to it.

I have also offered too many things too fast to new acquaintances in the past, but I guess one way I've sometimes been able to tell the difference between a recovering non-type who is not a  |> person and an actual  |> --when I'm on the receiving end of it--is that with the latter I feel disoriented, like the rug is being slowly pulled out from under me, for a lack of a better description, and I find myself acquiescing to things without being quite sure how I got there. Whenever I notice that happening, I try to erect big strong boundaries and make myself scarce.

Take care,


Ankakusu
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 02:30:11 AM »

Sounds like an abuser to me.
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LOAnnie
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2010, 08:46:02 AM »

I did a little research on the Internet and found an article that mentioned a connection between "nonconvulsive epilepsy" and aggression:

"In his book "Nerves in Collision", Walter Alvarez, M.D., "the Sherlock Holmes of medicine," reports that "nonconvulsive epilepsy" (seen only on an EEG) may cause fits of sudden explosive aggression. He observed that remorse was common in such cases, while rare in violently aggressive persons with normal EEGs. Small maintenance doses of the anti-convulsant drug Dilantin were found to be helpful in such cases."

And there also appears to be some connection between migraines and epileptic seizures:

www.healthcentral.com/migraine/c/9924/34549/migraine-seizures

In any case, setting aside speculation RE cause-and-effect, I suggest that if someone you're dating displays hostile, verbally aggressive behaviors for unknown reasons and then has no memory of it afterward, that is not a good sign that this person is a "keeper."   

-LOAnnie



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Cindy
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 11:18:14 AM »

Thank you everybody.  I just broke up with him.  Now I have to mourn this loss, but what I really need to do is get down to the the real issue, mourning the loss of my 25 year marriage.  I just keep stuffing the feelings about that as they has been too painful. Even talking about my mother keeps me from having to deal with my marriage.  I think God is working on this now with me.

I have an on line friend who had an alcoholic mother and other PD's in his family.  Here is an exerpt from the last message I got from him.

"As to Alcoholics, they are arch manipulators & liars even to & of themselves. They can be very charming & most are extremely intelligent. I'm not saying I hate them but this is their psychology & they do it automatically. What you saw when he suddenly turned is a classic symptom."

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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2010, 11:41:55 AM »

Excerpt
I just broke up with him.

Oh thank god. Cindy, you deserve way, way better. And you'll get through the grief, just keep  taking small, gentle steps and getting as much support as you can. There is better life on the other side.
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Cindy
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2010, 01:23:22 PM »

atwitsend,

My friend who made the comments about the behavior of alcoholics is a friend from YouTube who lives on the other side of the pond.  (no chance of him being a rebound... .don't worry).  Yes we were discussing my now exboyfriend.

Random,

Thank you.  I suffer from "niceness".  I know that is not always a good thing.  That early red flag had bothered me for a long time. 
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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2010, 03:27:10 PM »

My red flags are as follows (some are    I have worked through FYI):

1. Consistent age inappropriate behavior (example: a woman who talks in babytalk or acts like a cutesy 5 year old long into adulthood)

2. Overly friendly before I get to know them. Not friendly/social but "oh lets go out this weekend and next weekend and what are you doing Thursday": I do not know you and that is creepy.

3. Lovey dovey in words and actions that don't match.  Be consistent.

4. No respect for my boundaries (this is a deal breaker) and not respecting my decisions (no passive aggressive re-engagements or gaslights thank you)

5. Deciding that you know better than I do what I need to do (and playing Doctor/Therapist by Google).

I do respect wanting to be friends and realize I am learning what to share and when (had a soul sucking emotional vampire teach me to hide my zipper recently and thus the list grew.
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« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2010, 06:58:12 PM »

Love the zipper analogy, Random.  People sure know how to pull mine.  I'm a talker by nature, so before I know it, I tell my life story, talk and talk and talk.  Never guess that from my posts, would you?   Smiling (click to insert in post) Laugh out loud (click to insert in post)

Good advice here!

And Cindy, good for you!
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Deb
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2010, 07:11:28 PM »

One thing I have noticed about myself is that I accept behavior from people that most wouldn't. An example:

  A suspected bp ex-friend wanted me to go to the hardware store about 10 miles away. I wanted to go to my car and get my jacket as it was March and fairly cool. She said I wouldn't need it as we would be in her car. She had a big heavy coat on and proceeded to turn the cold air on and the blower. I asked her to turn the heat on and she says "I thought you liked it cold." HUH?And proceeded to rip me up one side and down the other for complaining! Later, she calls me and says she is sorry but something about me makes her want to treat me cruel. And I forgaver, not even recognizing that she was blaming me for her abuse. I finally got it a month later when she started a rage at me in public and the witnesses were asking me what was  wrong with the nutcase. And she then went and told mutual friends that I was mentally ill. Sudennly  the light bulb went on. So I have to ask myself if others would tolerate that behavior and if the answer is no, I back slowly away.
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2010, 07:38:25 PM »

Cindy, I know it's hard to hear when you feel for someone, but your boyfriend sounds very abusive. I had my share of that personality type and it went in an almost fatal for me direction. So please. Beware. They have major areas of charm and good communication, maybe compared to others, but you can't overlook those major mood changes and the fact they get you to care for them. Eventually, it will become habit and you will care for them when they start abusing you. DON'T go there, the attraction you feel is from your childhood and don't confuse that with a true love feeling. I know that type like the back of my hand... .and I know it from hard won experience. RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN


REMEMBER. I'm sorry. I know you love this man. BUT RUN. RUN WHILE YOU CAN! I stayed with a carbon copy of what you are saying and he almost did me in. Long story, but RUN!
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Cindy
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« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2010, 08:32:13 PM »

Deb,

I think many of us on this board put up with things that others would not put up with for a minute.  The woman with the coat sounds like more than a fruit loop. She was also very abusive.

organicallygrown,

I am so glad you wrote this message.  I wanted to update from yesterday but didn't want to completely take over this thread.  After breaking up with him on email, he first wrote on facebook that "My girlfriend broke up with me".  Now I probably should leave Facebook or defriend him but I admit I am a little bit afraid to call too much attention to this.

Within minutes he called me.  I listened to his message and then called him later.  I was a basket case as I spent the day almost with the covers over my head.  Today I felt a lot better and absolutely know it is the right thing to do breaking up with him.  I think I am more addicted to the phone calls then anything.  

There is more... .ok here is the whole story.  He told me upfront that he is a widower and has struggled with alcoholism since his wife was killed in an auto accident. I know this part is true. He came to my state from a neighboring state to get treatment from our local VA program after a DUI.  He has supposedly not had a drink for 4 years.  He was married for 25 years to the same woman.  The problem is there are no witnesses for me to know how he treated this woman.  He also comes across sometimes as a cheap con artist.  I doubt myself because I seem to find PD's behind every tree, but he could actually be a Sociopath.  I wouldn't be surprised if he hasn't already stolen from me... .I mean chump change.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt as I usually do, including my ex husband.  That is what I tend to do.  I am learning to not do that.

Today, he sent a cute musical Valentine video on my cell phone.  I journaled that I wasn't go to cave so easily.  I am glad I didn't. I looked at it again and it had text on the bottom that was not his writing style guilting the recipient to "send this to everyone they love or even back to me if you care." It turned out to be one of the "forward" type things where you send them to everyone including back to the sender... .TACKY.

I texted him back that "A forward msg? Puleeeez".  He texted me that he was just trying to send me a Valentine.  End of that.  In the past I probably would have been explaining myself or apologizing to him.  

I am glad that you all are seeing these red flags.  It is crazy because there are things that I just sense but can't quite put my finger on that something was wrong with him.  No, I don't believe that I do love him.  I need to be alone without anyone waiting in the wings and take more time to actually heal from my toxic marriage. I met this guy the day my divorce was final.
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« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2010, 08:44:27 PM »

I think these people can sense what it is that we need and then they supply it.  To me it was/is someone to talk to.  He has literally spent hours on the phone mostly listening to me.  That is the part I feel the most violated.  I know I am also one of those zipper people.  What I told him mostly was things about my mother, like what I talk about on this board.

From now on other then this board I think my journal is going to get the earful not some new guy I meet.  Most guys would run after a couple of conversations like that.  Instead I think he was ingratiating himself to me so I would feel obligated. The only other thing I can think of is that he is also needy, but don't think so.  When he comes over to my house he can be very helpful doing handyman type stuff and we can enjoy spending time watching DVD's.  He is not all bad.  He is witty and talented.  He is also very thin.  I have a weight problem but am not unattractive.  I have had other dates who do not complain.  Somehow though he can make me feel that he likes me "anyway" stomping my self esteem. The problem is I gained more weight stocking my refrigerator with the type of things he likes.

Somebody just shoot me now!
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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2010, 11:15:53 PM »

Very interesting discussion, everyone. Cindy, I'm glad you're exiting that relationship.

Thought this information might be helpful--it explains "trauma repetition," one reason why we might find ourselves faced with these sorts of "red flag" relationships so often. There are certainly others, and there are enough people out there with their own unkind agenda that even if trauma repetition isn't a factor, we should foster our "red flag sensors." But if you find yourself often in the same bad situation with the same type of bad actor (only realizing it too late), you may be experiencing trauma repetition.

Quoting from The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitative Relationships, by Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D:

Excerpt
Trauma Repetition

Reenactment. Therapists use the term repetition compulsion which means repeating behaviors and/or seeking situations or persons that re-create the trauma experience... .Some people find themselves in the same situation, with the same type of person, over and over again in their lives. Yet... they may never link their behavior to the original betrayal and trauma. Reenactment is living in the unremembered past... .

Trauma repetition is characterized by:

doing something self-destructive over and over again, usually something that took place in childhood and started with a trauma

reliving a "story" from the past

engaging in abusive relationships repeatedly

repeating painful experiences, including specific behaviors, scenes, persons and feelings

doing something to others that you experienced as an early life trauma

In part, trauma repetition is an effort by the victim to bring resolution to the traumatic memory. By repeating the experience, the victim tries anew to figure out a way to respond in order to eliminate the fear. Instead, the victim simply deepens the traumatic wound.

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« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2012, 03:41:57 PM »

Oh, here is another good tip from the book The Gift Of Fear (must-read for everyone alive): loan-sharking. Predators often offer unsolicited help or gifts as a way to make the person feel indebted to them, and additional leverage to gain trust and control. I can't tell you how handy this advice came in with dating. Any guy who says they like to "spoil and dote on" their date is up to something.

OMG. This post just brought back a HUGE memory for me. Mine offered to lend me money "if I needed it"

when SHE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A JOB. I have a job, a great income, and no problems paying any of my

bills, but, out of the blue, she offers to loan me money.
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« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2012, 03:46:49 PM »

Oh, here is another good tip from the book The Gift Of Fear (must-read for everyone alive): loan-sharking. Predators often offer unsolicited help or gifts as a way to make the person feel indebted to them, and additional leverage to gain trust and control. I can't tell you how handy this advice came in with dating. Any guy who says they like to "spoil and dote on" their date is up to something.

OMG. This post just brought back a HUGE memory for me. Mine offered to lend me money "if I needed it"

when SHE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE A JOB. I have a job, a great income, and no problems paying any of my

bills, but, out of the blue, she offers to loan me money.

And the unnecessary gift giving began right out of the gate. She bought things I didn't need, clothes,

food, household items, you name it. But, eventually, when I didn't reciprocate, she began running me

down for it, implying that I was somehow cheap. She once projected on me that "(I) must want to

date a woman who's a millionaire." Of course, I bit the hook and went on to explain that no amount of money

could attract me to another person... .complete waste of breath because it wasn't *me* she was talking about.
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loti
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« Reply #25 on: March 26, 2012, 04:50:04 PM »

A big    for me is when someone says I am their only friend.  I learned the hard way that there are probably lots of valid reasons for that.  Also age inappropriate behavior- like a full grown woman throwing a temper tantrum and pouting like a little child.  Back away slowly- good advice.
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OneTrickPony
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« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2012, 07:14:03 PM »

A big    for me is when someone says I am their only friend.  I learned the hard way that there are probably lots of valid reasons for that.  Also age inappropriate behavior- like a full grown woman throwing a temper tantrum and pouting like a little child.  Back away slowly- good advice.

Yep... .she did that too. 37 years old, but, acts like a male juvenile delinquent, uses a "child voice," watches cartoons and doesn't have any close friends other than her ex-husband who is 15 years older than her.
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DesertChild
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2012, 08:56:39 PM »

A big    for me is when someone says I am their only friend.  I learned the hard way that there are probably lots of valid reasons for that.  Also age inappropriate behavior- like a full grown woman throwing a temper tantrum and pouting like a little child.  Back away slowly- good advice.

I had someone tell me conversely instead, "I'm your only friend." *insert pity party on *you** Not true... .and that's when you back away.
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epeach

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« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2012, 09:30:19 PM »

I always trust my gut. There was a friend in my circle once that everyone swore up and down was nice and I should get along with her. I refused because her behaviors reminded me of my uBPDm, and was cut out of the group because of it. Now years later they admit to me that she was unstable. Always always trust your gut.

I've gotten good at reading people (from studying dog behavior of all things). If I start seeing physical warning signs (fidgeting, shifty eyes, shifting, sighing, excessive coughing, etc.) then I avoid. You can tell a lot about a person just by how they carry themselves.

A friendship should be effortless. If you feel like you are having to work at being someone's friend then it isn't a friendship. I have a difficult time making and keeping female friends. I think I always expect them to treat me the way my mom does, and if they don't then I treat them that way. I have no problems making male friends. It just comes easily for me.

I'm working on learning how to appropriately interact with people and make new friends in therapy. It is a lot harder than I expected it to be but I really need to know how for my future happiness.
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zachira
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« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2019, 02:05:38 PM »

I think this is a very important topic: red flags when making new acquaintances. So much pain and heartbreak could be avoided if we paid attention to the red flags at the starting gate, before getting heavily emotionally involved with the wrong people, whether friends or romantic relationships. My red flags:
1) Shares too much personal information from the beginning and I can feel inclined to do the same
2) Very charming. Seems to want to impress me with how great he/she is
3) The opposite of calm and present. Overwhelmed by inappropriate emotions for the time and place, and for interacting with a person who is a recent acquaintance
4) Tight constricted body language. Not comfortable with self and being with others
5) Seems needy and craves attention any way he/she can get it
6) Inappropriate sexual language, gestures, and dress
7) Pushy about spending time together out of the public eye
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